Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pleasant Surprises @ Seletar

It has been more than a week since my last update of the blog as I was down with flu last weekend and therefore did not go for outing. After recovery, I was eager to take a look at the Seletar site on 20 March late afternoon.

I could sense that something zipping past me and settling on the underside of a leaf in a shaded area in front of me. My instinct told me that it may be an Awl. So I approached closer to where it rested.
True enough, it was this Common Awl (Hasora badra badra) that flew past me rapidly. It has the habit of resting underneath the leaf at an awkward angle. You can imagine how frustrating I was when shooting this bugger.

It was my first encounter of this leaf-eating tortoise beetle in the field. It is such a cute little creature that most macro photographers would love to take some shots of it.

Junonia atlites atlites (Grey Pansy) is one of the four Pansy butterflies we have in Singapore. This pristine specimen was seen fluttering at low level among the weeds and grasses. I was patiently waiting and stalking, and finally it was resting with its wings fully open. I took a distant shot of another Grey Pansy when it rested on the Blechum pyramidatum (Acanthacceae family). Its fluttering behaviour appeared to be trying to lay eggs but I could not find any. I usually see butterflies laying eggs with wings folded so it might not be laying eggs at all.

This particular ground weed Blechum pyramidatum produces tiny flowers as shown in the picture and it was abundant near the entrance of the trail.
There are two look alike climbers growing well in this area, entangling with each other at certain spots. Here are the two different flowers.

This ground level vine produces attractive yellow flowers. I have not been able to find its name despite some searching on the web and books. Are your eyes sharp enough to see one blue tiny egg on the flower bud ?The other one with purplish blue flowers is the Pueraria phaseoloides (Fabaceae family) which is known to be one of the host plants of Jamides bochus nabonassar (Dark Caerulean). Indeed, I was very fortunate to get a record shot of a Dark Caerulean feeding on a flower. Wow, there was another tiny egg on a flower bud as well. It was my first sighting of this species here.Both Gram Blue and Common Caerulean were seen fluttering around these two climbers. So far the known host plant of Jamides celeno aelianus (Common Caerulean) is known to be Combretum sundaicum, a jungle plant species. So I guess there must be an alternate hostplant around here but yet to be discovered.

It was my first time getting a decent shot of this Rhyothemis Phyllis, a slow flying and beautiful big dragonfly that I would love to shoot often.When I saw a rather small and tailless Blue butterfly puddling on the ground, my first impression of that was a common butterfly, Tailless Line Blue. But the two small tornal black spots on the underside hindwings indicate that it must be something else. A pleasant surprise to me that this Petrelaea dana dana (Dingy Line Blue) was found here, a species that I have not been shooting for a long time. Another dragonfly really puzzled me. I have never seen a dragonfly having two colours on the abdomen like this before. I am still looking for its id.
This poor butterfly became the prey of a merciless robberfly . Really, this is how different species in nature fight for their survival and maintain an equilibrium.

The rich biodiversity here must be contributed by a healthy food-web in the ecosystem of this wasteland.

Apart from some common species of butterfly I always found here, I am glad that I could find something new to write about from my last outing.
The abundance of Scurrula ferruginea (Family Loranthaceae) on this patch of wasteland may give us more surprises. I am sure I will be able to shoot something new again in the future. The rich biodiversity and the beauty of this wasteland has yet to be fully discovered.


  1. What gorgeous photos! I sure learn a lot about the plants and animals of our wild places from your posts! Thank you!

  2. Thanks Ria for your kind comment. I hope to capture more wild creatures and plant species.
    I am in awe of your knowledge on mangrove plants and creatures on sea shores. Love reading your blogs as well.

  3. Hi Frederick
    great info! May I know where this trail is? I'd love to have a look. Thanks.

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