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Saturday, 5 May 2018

Night Walk At Lower Peirce Reservior (04 May 2018)

It was forecasted that it will rain in the evening but the weather remained pretty clear, and so I decided to go for my night macro session at the Lower Peirce Reservoir. When I reached the place, rain clouds started to gather and there were rumblings of thunders in the distance. Not deterred, I continued to head towards the part of the Lower Peirce Reservoir that I seldom frequent. From the look of things, it would be a short trip for the night.

Here's a photograph of an interesting spider found on a leaf.

The first beetle was a 10 mm Darkling Beetle, commonly found on rotting logs.

Near to the Darkling Beetle were several of this 10 mm Fungus Beetle.

Centimeters from the Fungus Beetle was a 4 mm Fungus Beetle, badly infested with mites.

Running about the fallen log was this metallic colored Ground Beetle (Catascopus dalbertisi). This is also one of my favorite beetles.

On the far end of the same fallen log was this 5 mm Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis).

Nearby on the same log was another Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis).

Next to the Fungus Beetle were two Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta).

Moving on, there were a number of tall Singapore Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) along the way but only one particular plant that have these Chafer Beetles munching on its leaves.

A different Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus) near to the above Chafer Beetle.

On the same plant was another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

Further down the trail was a small tree where this 5 mm Darkling Beetle (Strongylium sp.) was found munching on its bark.

On the same tree was this 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

No other beetle was found until this 1 mm Darkling Beetle turned up on a small tree next to the trail.

The last beetle for the trip was a Ground Beetle found high up a small tree, out of the reach of my 60 mm macro-lens. Right about now, the rumbling of thunders were right above head and the sky has turned smokey pink, a sure sign that it was about to rain. As such I decided to call it a day and picked up my paces and made my way towards the exit of the trail.

Although the trip was shorter than expected, there was still a good number of beetles encountered. Hopefully the next trip to the place will be much better.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Morning Walk At Upper Seletar Reservoir (28 Apr 2018)

It rained the night before and so I decided to go for my macro-photography session in the morning instead. For this trip I decided to go to Upper Seletar Reservoir, partly because I have not been to the place for a while, and partly I wanted to avoid the usual morning crowd at popular nature parks like Windsor Nature Park.

Given that it has been raining for the past few days, I am mentally prepared that the trip would not be fruitful. Nevertheless, I proceeded with the trip as my main purpose is to test out my flash diffuser setup. Ever since I switched to the current Sony A6000 camera, I have not been noticing the flash hotspot in my photographs until the last trip.

Here's a surprise find at the place, a Whip Scorpion or Vinegroon.

The first beetle was a Click Beetle (Synaptus filiformis) sheltering from the wet weather under a leaf.

Some distance from the Click Beetle was a 3 mm Leaf Beetle. The vegetation at the place was dripping wet, as can be seen from the water droplets on the leaf.

Near to the Leaf Beetle were several of this bright orange Leaf Beetle (Hoplasoma unicolor) feasting on their food plants.

There were not many critters encountered due to the wet weather, and it was after a long while of walking before finding this 15 mm Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Triplatoma gestroi) resting on a rotten log.

Near to the Pleasing Fungus Beetle was a low Singapore  Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) where several of this 2 mm Jewel Beetle (Habroloma lepidopterum) were found on its leaves.

Next to the Jewel Beetle on the same plant was this lone Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) munching on a leaf.

After walking for a while without finding any beetle, I decided to call it a day and turned back. Just when I am about to reach the place where I started off, a Tiger Beetle (Therates dimidiatus) flew right in front of me. It was very skittish and did not allow me to approach. Here's a "blown up" shot of the beetle for record purpose.

Near to the Tiger Beetle was a fallen log where this 10 mm Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus) was on a Birdnest Fern growing on the log.

The last beetle for the trip was this Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis) found on the underside of a rotten tree branch next to the fallen log.

As expected this trip is not particularly fruitful but nevertheless I was able to test out my flash diffuser setup.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (13 Apr 2018)

The weather has been dry for the whole week, so HW and I decided to go to the Windsor Nature Park for our night macro photography session as the place has a higher chance of finding beetles in such dry weather. Joining us was Reynard who also find the Windsor Nature Park interesting.

For this week's session, we decided to take the Squirrel Trail and Venus Link instead of our usual Venus Loop route when we are at the Windsor Nature Park. Here's a bright green katydid nymph encountered during the trip.

I was slightly earlier than HW and Reynard and so I decided to explore some of the spots around the car park. The first beetle that I encountered were these lovely Orchid Leaf Beetle (Lema pectoralis) feasting on a poor orchid flower.

Near to the Orchid Leaf Beetle was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle hiding in a crevice in a small tree.

Just then HW and Reynard came and we started the trip with this larva of the Orchid Leaf Beetle, munching on a flower bud of an orchid plant.

Moving down the trail, a commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) was found on a fern.

Walking further, a 15 mm Ground Beetle (Onypterygia longispinis) was resting on a low bush.

On a small tree further down the trail was this 8 mm Darkling Beetle (Strongylium tenuipes).

After walking for a while without finding any beetle, this 5 mm Darkling Beetle found by Reynard was a welcomed find.

Across the path was this lovely colored Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis). I particularly like the deep green coloration of this specimen.

Along the trail was this Chafer Beetle that looked like the Apogonia expeditionis Chafer Beetle except for its broader body and metallic bronze coloration.

Coming to a fallen log, this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus assamensis) was resting on a dead leaf.

On the same log was a Darkling Beetle (Ceropria superba).

Diagonally across the trail was this lone Fungus Beetle hiding on a broken Bracket Fungus of a fallen log.

Next to the Fungus Beetle was this 4 mm Darkling Beetle munching on something on the log.

Moving on, this 10 mm Ground Beetle (Physodera eschscholtzii) was found on a small fallen log.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with several of this Bess Beetle (Aceraius grandis) in a pile of rotten wood. This is the first time I encounter several of this Bess Beetles in a single spot.

The last beetle for the trip was a long-time-no-encounter Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus nobilis nobilis) on a small leaf.

After the Stenotarsus nobilis nobilis Fungus Beetle, we entered the Squirrel Trail but sadly there was not a single beetle encountered along the way. 

By the "standard" of Windsor Nature Park, this trip was not consider to be fruitful given the length of time that we were there. Nevertheless, I am still glad to be able to find so many Bess Beetles on this trip, not mentioning the encounter with a flying Firefly Beetle which unfortunately flew into the tree canopy when we found it.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Morning Walk At Windsor Nature Park (31 Mar 2018)

I was so inspired after watching a You Tube video by a professional photographer on the Sony A6000 camera (which I am currently using), and so I decided to go for a walk at the Windsor Nature Park to try out some of the settings and functions of my camera. When I reached the place, my heart sank a little as the place looked like it just rained. Basically, this means a much lower chance of finding beetles.

The first place that I check was the spot where we found the Orchid Leaf Beetle (Lema pectoralis) during our last trip. Sadly, I only managed to find the larvae but not the adult beetle. Noticed that the larva has put on a coating of whitish stuff over its entire body.

The first beetle encountered was a 3 mm Spiny Leaf Beetle.

I was pleasantly surprised to find several of this 2 mm Jewel Beetle (Habroloma lepidopterum) on a low Singapore Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum) plant.

On a small tree nearby was this lone beetle larva.

Next to the small tree was a fallen tree where this lone 4mm Ground Beetle (Coptodera marginata) was running about.

Moving further, I was amazed to find a fallen tree full of beetle larvae. Here's a small part of the fallen tree and the number of beetle larvae on it was amazing.

Here's a close-up of one of the beetle larvae.

Further down the trail was this Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus quadriguttatus quadriguttatus) found on a dead leaf.

The highlight of the trip was this Fungus Beetle (Stenotarsus pardalis) which I have not encountered for a long while. Interestingly, I encountered two specimens during this trip.

On another low  Singapore Rhododendron plant was this lone 5 mm Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) happily munching on its leaf.

Another surprise find was this Tiger Beetle (Therates dimidiatus) which turned out to be a challenge to photograph as it was pretty skittish and kept flying around the bushes.

After a while of walking without seeing any beetles, this lovely 8 mm beetle was a welcomed sight. I am not sure what family this beetle belongs to. It looks like a Net-winged Beetle but lacks the usual net-pattern elytra which gave the family its name.

On a small tree was this well-camouflaged 4 mm  Fungus Weevil.

On an adjacent tree to the Fungus Weevil was this bright 2 mm Darkling Beetle.

While photographing the Darkling Beetle, a flying beetle zipped by the corner of my eye and landed on a small bush. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a female Fungus Weevil (Apolecta aspericollis).  How I differentiate between male or female of this species is to look at the length of the antennae. The male of the species has antennae 5-6 times its body length as compared to the female which typically has antennae that are 2-3 times its body length.

The last beetle for the trip was a 5 mm Pintail Beetle.

For those who are observant, you would have noticed that many of the photographs in this post are not particularly sharp or the depth-of-field was pretty shallow. The key reason is that I was trying out different settings and functions on my Sony A6000 such as Auto-ISO, Auto-focus, Neutral-color, etc. I was rather disappointed with many of the photographs taken as they were not as sharp or defined as when on full manual. I am not sure of the reason, it could possibly be because of the continuous auto-focusing by the camera and coupled with the shallow depth-of-field, the photographs turned out badly.

Guessed that I am reminded of the adage "When it ain't broke, don't fix it!" and will go back to the camera settings that worked for me so far.