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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Short Morning Walk At Lower Peirce Reservoir (09 Dec 2017)

I was running some errands around Upper Thomson Road and had some in between time, so I decided to go to the Lower Peirce Reservoir for a short macro-photography session. I was not expecting much from the session as I only have about an hour plus there.

Here's a photograph of a commonly encountered True Bug which many people wrongly identified it as a beetle.

The first beetle for the trip was a 2 mm Lady Bird (Cryptogonus orbiculus).

A stone's throw away was a 4 mm Leaf Beetle (Graphops curtipennis).

There were not many critters encountered possibly because of the overcast sky which looked like it would rain any time soon. After a while of walking, I found this 5 mm Leaf Beetle (Colasposoma auripenne) hiding under some shade.

Coming to some Ixora plants, I was surprised to find this lovely Leaf Beetle on it.

An hour passed by quickly and it was time to go. Just then this lone Fungus Beetle was found on a fallen log next to the trail.

Although only a few beetles were encountered during this trip, it was still considered a good trip as it could have been worse, given that we are now in the monsoon season.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Night Walk At Punggol Promenade Nature Walk (30 Nov 2017)

Today is Thursday and I happened to be free in the night, and so I decided to take a walk at the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, taking advantage of the exceptionally fine weather. It has been raining almost daily through the week and so having a rain-less day is such a rarity during the monsoon season.

I was thrilled to encounter a 30 cm baby Black Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana) during the trip. While searching for beetles among the low bushes, I saw a black tail moving slowly into the bushes. There are not many terrestrial snakes in Singapore that are black in color, and so my first thought was that it can either be a Black Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana), Pink-headed Reed Snake (Calamaria schlegeli) or Sunbeam Snake (Xenopeltis unicolor). For those who are not familiar with snakes, the Reed Snake and Sunbeam Snake are non-venomous.

To get to the bottom of it, I gently pulled on its tail and got it out into the open. As I am aware that the snake can be a cobra, I was extra careful when I was handling it. A word of caution - please do not do what I have done as there is a high chance of being bitten if you don't know how to handle snakes or understand their behaviors. Regardless of whether it is a venomous or non-venomous snake, they all bite! It is only how readily they will bite when handled. Therefore, the best thing to do when you encounter a snake is to leave it alone and make a detour around it.

The first beetle for the trip was a pleasant surprise - a 10 mm Net-winged Beetle. I always like the bright coloration of the Net-winged Beetle.

Next to the Net-winged Beetle was a dark brown Chafer Beetle.

Further down the path was another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

Near to the Chafer Beetle was a 5 mm Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata).

Next to the Ladybird Beetle was a small fallen tree and on it was a lone 3 mm Darkling Beetle. The interesting thing about this beetle is the orange pattern on its elytra which is normally red in color. This is likely because it has emerged from a pupa not too long. 

Just a short walk from the Darkling Beetle was another surprise - a 10 mm Net-winged Beetle (Lycostomus porphyrophorus) on a blade of grass.

Less than a meter from the Net-winged Beetle was another Ladybird Beetle (Henosepilachna implicata).

Near to the Ladybird Beetle was a beetle pupa, likely that of a Ladybird Beetle.

The spot that I was at was exceptionally productive and I am happy to find this 5 mm Leaf Beetle.

The highlight of the trip was the encounter with this first-time-encountered 5 mm Fungus Beetle on a blade of grass just centimeter from the Leaf Beetle.

Nearby was a small Ladybird Beetle larvae on the underside of a leaf.

Time passed by quickly and it was almost time to call it a day. Just then I found this 20 mm Click Beetle. I cannot be sure but it looked like a Pectocera babai Click Beetle.

The last beetle of the trip was a lovely orange color Leaf Beetle resting on a blade of grass.

The trip was surprisingly fruitful even though the place is undergoing massive housing development. I guessed that I will frequent this place more often before all these nature spots are gone forever.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Short Night Walk At Windsor Nature Park (24 Nov 2017)

It rained heavily in the late afternoon but the forecast was cloudy sky for the night, so HW and I decided to go to Windsor Nature Park for our regular macro-photography session.

There were a number of interesting critters encountered at the place and this large 80 mm flat worm (Bipalium sp.) was one of them.

The first beetle for the trip was a 3 mm Darkling Beetle on a small tree.

On the same tree were several small 3 mm Darkling Beetles.

Hiding in the mosses on the same tree was a larvae of the 3 mm Darkling Beetle.

On a nearby low bush was a commonly encountered brown Chafer Beetle.

Next to it was another Chafer Beetle (Adoretus compressus).

Near to the Adoretus compressus Chafer Beetle was another commonly encountered Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis).

Near to the entrance to the Venus Loop trail was a 8 mm lovely colored Long Horned Beetle. This is the second time that I encountered this type of Long Horned Beetle.

Coming to a patch of Elephant Ear Plants, I am glad to be able to find several of this Ant-like Flower Beetle (Anthelephila cyanea) under the giant leaves.

On a dead branch nearby was a 10 mm Darkling Beetle (Phymatosuma rufonotatum).

As we walked along the trail, I was surprised to find a number of this commonly encountered Tiger Beetle (Cicindela aurulenta) resting on wet leaf.

On a small rotten tree near to the Tiger Beetle was this 5 mm Fungus Weevil (Habrissus omadioides).

On the same tree was this commonly encountered Fungus Weevil (Eucorynus crassicornis).

A stone's throw away on a small tree was this Beetle Larvae.

On the same tree was this 1 mm Darling Beetle.

Moving further down, there was an upright rotten tree where this 10 mm Ground Beetle (Miscelus javanus) was found running about the tree.

On the same rotten tree was this Darkling Beetle (Bradymerus clathratus).

At the base of the tree was this 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

Near to the Darkling  Beetle was this 1 mm Fungus Beetle.

Several centimeters form the 1 mm Fungus Beetle was a 10 mm well-camouflaged Weevil, badly infested with mites.

A 4 mm beetle (Martinezostes sp.) was found at the base of the tree.

Further down the trail was a small tree stump with this 4 mm Rove Beetle found in a crevice on the stump.

Coming to a patch of Singapore Rhododendron plant (Melastoma malabathricum), I am surprised to find this Leaf Beetle (Argopus brevis) still out on a leaf at this hour.

Across the trail was this roundish 5 mm Darkling Beetle on a small tree.

On a tree next to the Darkling Beetle was this 5 mm Ground Beetle.

Next to the Ground Beetle was a large fallen log where several of this 4 mm Darkling Beetle (Meilichius nigricollis) were found.

Near to the Darkling Beetle was a 5 mm Checkered Beetle. It has been a long while I last encountered this beetle.

Just as I was photographing this beetle, the sky started to drizzle and we decided to call it a day in case that it turned into a thunderstorm. Although the trip was short, it was still fruitful with  a good number of beetles found.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Night Walk At Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (17 Nov 2017)

The weather was forecasted to be stormy in the late afternoon but it turned out to be cloudy instead. Taking advantage of the good weather in this monsoon period, I decided to go to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for my macro photography session.

I was particularly looking forward to this week's session as I wanted to test out my new flash diffuser setup and more importantly, I wanted to try out my DIY grip for my Sony A6000 camera. I have been rather frustrated with the camera's grip as it was designed to be used with its original kit lens. As I am using an A-mount macro lens with the camera, the balance of the camera was off which makes one-hand operation of the camera difficult.

My DIY hand grip.

For this trip, I was particularly thrilled by the encounter with this brightly colored 10 mm bug. I am not sure what it is but it looked very much belonging to the Lantern Bug family.

The first beetle for the trip was a 10 mm Fungus Beetle found on a tree log used to line the path leading to the entrance of trail that I am taking.

On another tree log were several of this 3 mm Darkling Beetles.

At the entrance of the trail was this Chafer Beetle (Apogonia expeditionis) munching on a leaf.

Near to the Chafer Beetle was a Fungus Beetle (Eumorphus tetraspilotus).

A stone's throw away was a commonly encountered 10 mm Darkling Beetle.

There were a number of fallen logs that lined the sides of the trail and on one of them was this small 3 mm Darkling Beetle feasting on an orange color fungus mushroom.

On another fungus mushroom nearby was a 5 mm Rove Beetle.

Walking further down the trail, I was surprised to find a Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Triplatoma gestroi) on a torn leaf.

Near to the Pleasing Fungus Beetle was one of my favorite Leaf Beetle (Hemipyxis semiviridis).

Coming to a small tree, I was surprised to find several of this 5 mm Weevil Beetle.

On a tree next to the Weevil Beetle was another larger 10 mm Weevil Beetle (Microspathe fuliginosa).

Time passed quickly and I have reached the mid way point. I was glad to find this Long Horned Beetle (Epepeotes luscus) on a small bush.

Moving to the trail leading back to the "entrance", a 8 mm Darkling Beetle (Strongylium sp.) was found at the base of a small tree.

There were several freshly chopped woodpiles at the mid way point and among the woodpiles were a number of beetles. Several Darkling Beetle (Ceropria induta) were found on one of the woodpile.

On the cut portion of a chopped tree were several of this 5 mm Ground Beetle (Dolichoctis striata) running about the log.

Next to the Dolichoctis striata Ground Beetle was another larger 10 mm Ground Beetle on a leaf of the chopped tree.

Running along side the Dolichoctis striata Ground Beetle was another 5 mm Ground Beetle (Pericalus sp.)

On one of the chopped tree was a 8 mm first-time-encountered Click Beetle.

Next to the Click Beetle was a Fungus Weevil (Stiboderes impressus) found on a small tree next to the woodpile.

On another tree log was this 10 mm Click Beetle.

There was a small rock next to the woodpile and on it was a round 5 mm Darkling Beetle.

The last beetle for the trip was a 10 mm Fungus Beetle found on a ginger plant.

The trip was a fruitful one with a good number of beetles encountered. More importantly, I was able to test out my flash diffuser setup and my DIY camera grip. I am glad that my DIY grip works well and I can easily take photographs with one hand. As for the flash diffuser, I need to increase the size of the foam in order to fully remove the hot-spot in some of the photograph. Overall it was a good trip.