Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Punggol Wasteland 31 Dec 2008

This huge plot of wasteland in Punggol which is situated diagonally opposite the Coney Island is soon going to be developed into a residential area with waterfront recreational facilities as part of the "Punggol 21 Plus" project.
It is a matter of time this place would fill with dusts and mud once the massive excavation and construction work start. I hope in the next few months, I have time to capture more fauna and flora on photos before this place goes into oblivion.

An overcast afternoon on 31 Dec 2008, the last day of a disasters-filled year, before going to my in-law's place, I dropped by there to check out this habitat of a Yellow butterfly (please read on to find out). I was relievd to see that nothing has been destroyed since my last visit more than a month ago.

I stopped at the usual entrance point, hoping to spot at least one of the Silverline butterflies putting up an afternoon open-winged show. But today these little beauties didn't appear at all. I guessed the weather was not conducive for a show. Along the way in, I was greeted with some common butterfly species such as Common Grass Yellow, Orange Emigrant, Nigger, Bush Brown and orange skippers.

Here are two species of dragonfly I spotted. This relatively large Orthetrum sabina is a rather common speices. You could easily see a few of them.

The next DF is suspected to be Trithemis pallidinervis (the correct id is Diplacodes trivialis, a female invidual pointed out by Ian, thanks) smaller than the above. It has the the habit of resting on the sandy ground and perching at a low level. A mimosa look-alike shrub with yellow flowers will definitely catch your eyes in this particular patch of sandy grassland. These are Cassia mimosoides ( Chamaecrista mimosoides, Fabaceae). This is the larval host plant of the speices Eurema brigitta senna (No Brand Grass Yellow). ButterflyCircle's blog has a marvellous write-up on this species.

I will feature more fauna and floral shots next time if I spend more time there shooting.
The above picture is a shot of a small green beauty, a planthopper I believe. Sorry, I have no reference at hand to identify this - I appreciate your help.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Indian Red Admiral @ Mount Faber Park 26 Dec 2008

It was a last minute decision that I decided to try my luck at MF in the late afternoon hunting for an elegant migratory butterfly from the north, Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) because the weather was quite sunny and most importantly a fellow ButterflyCircle's member James had shot the "Admiral" a few days ago. In fact last two days of bad weather prevented me from hunting for this species. But to our surprise, what it was intially thought to be a Painted Lady is actually an Indian Red Admiral, Vanessa indica indica. Lady Luck was really with me as another senior BC’s member Sunny who was there early had already spotted the "Admiral". I was delighted and within seconds, I sprang into action, stalking, chasing and snapping shots on this pretty "Admiral". In late afternoon, the "Admiral" seemed to love the ground, openning its wings gradually from partially to fully for sunbathing. However, when there was no direct sunlight, it went for a perch on the upper side of a leaf with wings folded most of the time. Another behaviour was that this "Admiral" liked to flutter around the nearby area. After awhile, it got used to our presence and became quite tame, even resting on my finger, my back and bag. We were therefore presented with adequate opportunities to snap more shots with different backgrounds and compostions even though shooting conditions were not ideal in a windy late afternoon. How did this beauty end up in Singapore remains unknown. We will definitely welcome this Indian Red Admiral visiting Singapore more frequently.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Upper Seletar Reservoir 21 Dec 2008

USR (Upper Seletar Reservoir Park) has been one of my favourite hunting grounds for butterflies. In my many previous outings to the park, I have encountered quite a number of rare species of butterfly there.

This is definitely a larva of a moth species feeding on a leaf of Clidemia hirta.
Near the reservoir edge, a Flantid planthopper was seen resting on the ground - not an usual behaviour as I often spotted them on plants.

I suppose this is a species of Robberfly feeding on its prey. It stayed in this position in a shade for more than 10 minutes. With strong wind blowing and a poor ambient light, these photos had to be taken at a low speed and high ISO.
A mating pair of some kind of Robberfly (?) was spotted near the entrance to the first trail.
This damselfly is rather common, a permanent resident of USR. Take a closer look at plants near the drain, you can easily spot them resting on the tip of the leaf. They tend to perch on the same position again after they have been distured. I had no luck for more butterfly shots today. Only two decent shots were taken on this female Knight (Lebadea martha parkeri ).

Other not-so-common butterfly species spotted :
1. Thaumantis klugius lucipor (Dark Blue Jungle Glory)
Elymnias panthera panthera (Tawny Palmfly)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mount Faber Park 12 Dec 2008

This was my very first time taking the The Marang Trail located behind the Harbourfront MRT Station up to Mount Faber Park. An easy and shady trail with gravel and wooden staircases that took me less than 30 minutes to reach the park - much faster than before.
Along the way, I spotted a few late instar Polyura hebe plautus (Plain Nawab) caterpillars feeding on the leaves of Adenanthera pavonina (Saga Tree).At least 3 or 4 male Abisara saturata kausambioides (Malayan Plum Judy) butterflies were flying around but only one female indivual was spotted. A couple of Spalgis epius epius (Apefly) were seen fluttering erratically among a hedge of shrubs. Once a while, they would settle down on a perch and allow you take pictures of them.

I was lucky to be able to take a few shots on a rather rare skipper Halpe ormenes vilasina (Dark Banded Ace) just before I left MF.

Some other butterfly species sighted were :

1. Doleschallia bisaltide australis (Autumn Leaf)
Hypolimnas bolina jacintha (Jacintha Eggfly)
Anthene emolus goberus (Ciliate Blue)
Lebadea martha parkeri (Knight)