Sunday, April 5, 2009

Somewhere Near Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Quite often I could easily spot orange or brown skippers in the morning whenever I passed by grass patch along forest edges in our nature reserves. However, this was not so on 4 Apr morning. The only skipper I saw was this brown Pelopidas mathias mathias (Small Branded Swift) which was spotted napping in a shade.
Saw quite a number of lycaenid butterflies fluttering at the ground level. The ground was rather dry and these Blues were alert and did not puddle for long, not giving us many good chances of shooting them. I need luck and patience to get a decent shot like this picture of Nacaduba berenice icena (Rounded Six-Line Blue). At one particular moment it was quite tame and our butterfly master Khew was able to make it resting on his finger. I overheard Khew explaining to Roy and Jane the purpose of the tornal orange-crowned spots on the hindwing .
This Hypolycaena erylus teatus (Common Tit) was puddling on a tarred road and it really tested our endurance of the pain when we were shooting from the prone position on the stony road. Saw this Miletus biggsii biggsii (Biggs's Brownie) fluttering erratically from shade to shade. I had to be very patiently following its flight paths and kept this bugger in my sight. It took me a while focusing on this bugger before it finally settled on a leaf. Shooting without an external flash, I was quite satisfied to get some shots at a slow speed of 1/60 second.
Neopithecops zalmora zalmora (The Quaker) is a rather small butterfly- slightly more than the size of our five-cent coin. It is usually found in the shady area of the forest trails. It has a distinctive black spot on the hindwing below near the costar margin. This species can be quite seasonal and it is not a very common butterfly. Quite often whenever I saw Prosotas dubiosa lumpura (Tailless Line Blue) , this species always appear in a good number. I guess this poor Tailless Line Blue has to endure the irritation of the presence of a red flea on its head.Other butterfly species I spotted :

Here are some non-butterfly shots. This planthopper was seen in a shade under a thick canopy. I wonder what its name is.
I think this is a fly rather small in size.
I like to include some shots on plants to have a balance between the "yin and yang". This foilage plant (Aglaonema species ?) with very attractive fruits (?)was abundant and growing very well on the shady forest ground.

A promising hunting ground for butterflies and other insects, I will certainly like to explore this part of the nature reserve again in the future.

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