Monday, February 9, 2009

Lower Peirce Reservoir Park On 7 Feb 2009

A bit late in posting this entry this time. After a busy Chinese New Year weekends, my first outing on a rather cloudy Saturday morning was to explore a portion of the forest edges near the Lower Peirce Reservoir Park. This time, I was with some friends from the ButterflyCircle and Nparks.

Failing to find any insect life after 10 - 15 mins of hunting, I could sense that the insects were either asleep or on a prolonged Chinese New Year holidays, visiting some other places.

My first snap of the day was this brown skipper, a long distance shot
The brownish unmarked hindwing and the opaque spots on the forewing suggest that this might be a Baoris species - anyway, I can't be sure.

Usually, we would spot Tagiades gana gana (Large Snow Flat) basking in the sun along forest trails with an open-winged posture. However, perhaps due to the cool weather, this particular Large Snow Flat was quite lethargic and tame when I spotted it. From my field observations, I noticed that Large Snow Flat was quite territorial and it often perched on the upperside of a leaf after a short flight. This hoverfly looks like a Eristalinus arvorum. It was busy hunting for nectar on the tiny Bougainvillea flowers and quite oblivious to our presence. Our bees and wasps expert, John was explaining to us that one way to distinguish a fly from a bee is that a fly has only one pair of wings and generally has bigger eyes compared to two pairs of wings and smaller eyes in bees. This blue beetle with a long feeler was surveying the ground above my eye level. Getting this shot was quite a challenge for me as the wind was strong at that moment. Very rare to see that the two antennae were inclined at an awakard angle.

This small butterfly, Zizeeria maha serica (Pale Grass Blue) was shot along the Ixora hedges just besides the carpark. Likely to be found also in urban parks, Pale Grass Blue can be easily mistaken for the other two similar species - Zizula hylax pygmaea (Pygmy Grass Blue) and Zizina otis lampa (Lesser Grass Blue) The submarginal black markings on both wings are more prominant than the other two species -

My first impression was that I might have chanced upon a new Lacaenid as the forewing black markings were something I have never seen before. However, the flight pattern, the tendency to flutter at low bushes and the whitish light blue uppersides suggested very strongly to me that it was a Jamides celeno aelianus (Common Caerulean). Taking a closer look at the shot, I realised that its forewing did not develop properly during the eclosion process. I have no idea what I had shot below, a nymph perhaps ? It looks rather interesting.

Lastly, this is a low-flying common moth we always see at the ground level among the grass.

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