Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rich Biodiversity @ Punggol Wasteland (Part 2)

Coat buttons (Tridax procumbens, Family : Asteraceae) is a common weed in open fields, wastelands or along roadsides. The flower head appears at the end of its long stalk, making it prominent for insects. The margins of the leaves are toothed and generally arrowhead-shaped.Its fruit is a hard achene covered with stiff hairs and having a feathery white pappus at one end. The plant is invasive because it produces so many of these achenes.This vine seems to love the shade and its flower is very small compared to the leaves. Without a picture of its fruits, the name of this vine remains unknown for the time being.

Another beautiful wild flower that I have no idea at all. I wish someone out there can identify these two plants.
The markings on this shot resemble that on Zizina otis lampa (Lesser Grass Blue). But the size of this Lesser Grass Blue fooled me into thinking of other species. A sun-loving and sexually dimorphic butterfly, Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei) butterfly tends to flutter near the ground and quite often we saw them frolicking and gliding from flower to flower. Not an easy subject for photography in the wild, this female Blue Pansy shot was taken from far while she was taking a short break. Though the larval host plant of Hypolimnas bolina jacintha (Jacintha Eggfly), Asystasis intrusa (same host plant as Blue Pansy) is abundant, only a couple of Jacintha Eggfly was spotted. This particular pristine female is of interest to me as the prominent white patches on the hindwing above differ from her usual form.At last, I was able to take a few shots of a Spindasis lohita senama (Long Banded Silverline) near the entrance when this pristine female decided to show up and say good bye to me. My last sighting of this beauty here was many months ago. From my field observation, this species usually appears on a late sunny morning or early afternoon.
Oxalis barrelieri (Family : Oxalidaceae) was found at the sandy area. A little research on this plant reveals that it is a perennial. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.

Though the pinkish red flowers of Mimosa diplotricha (Family : Fabaceae) look rather attractive, the sharp thorns on the stems can really hurt us. This invasive wild weed can vigorously scramble over and smother other plants by means of its prickly stems.

This beautiful planthopper was found at the grassy part of this wasteland.
This black and white small spider was moving on a dry grass blade underneath a Casuarina tree where I took shelter from the scotching sun. This guy was just too active for me to take a better shot. I was very lucky to capture the moment when it was about to jump over to the other grass blade. I should have posted this shot in my earlier post. This unknown red larva was seen moving on the stem just above my head.
I guess this is a day-flying moth but it appears to have only one pair of wings. It has lost the other pair ? I touched it with a twig to find out whether it was dead. Guess what, it flew away.

I was attracted to the flowers of this grass. Is this Melinis repens (Rose Natal Grass) ?

The swaying flowers and the fruits really presented me a beautiful scene. I wish I had a suitable lens to capture this picture.


  1. Your photos are incredible. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Mike.
    Thanks for your very encouraging comment.
    Do visit my blog again. Will try to update it once a week.

  3. From post: "Another beautiful wild flower that I have no idea at all." [your photos: inflorescence, plant foliage]

    That's Indigofera hirsuta (Red Hairy Indigo -- family: Fabaceae). It is a short-lived perennial or annual woody leguminous shrub with hairy stems, flower calyxes & fruit pods.It is also the larval host plant for butterflies like Hemiargus ceraunus (Ceraunus Blue) & Freyeria putli (Oriental Grass Jewel).

    This plant is naturalized in S'pore, but otherwise native to Africa, China. Taiwan, Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea & Australia.

    * Photo & Info (NUS: DNA of S'pore)
    * Photos (Plant Observatory Sg)
    * Photos & info (FloraBase Western Australia)

    From post: "I was attracted to the flowers of this grass. Is this Melinis repens (Rose Natal Grass) ?" [your photo]

    Yes, that's Melinis repens, aka 红毛草 (hóng máo cǎo: literally "Red Hair Grass") in Chinese. The inflorescences are more reddish when young, aging to silvery. The lower florets are male, while the upper florets are bisexual (ie. hermaphrodite).

    The species is native to Spain, Morocco, Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Seychelles & India, but widely naturalized in many parts of the world. In S'pore, the grass is found at disturbed scrubland & also cultivated in parks like HortPark.

    * Photos & Info (Weeds of Australia)
    * Photos & Info (Plant Observatory Sg)

    From post: "This vine seems to love the shade and its flower is very small compared to the leaves. Without a picture of its fruits, the name of this vine remains unknown for the time being." [your photos: flower, leaves]

    You had since ascertained the plant's identity in your other posts:
    * A Short Outing to Punggol Wasteland (17 Jul 2009)
    * After Rain@Bah Soon Pah (02 Sep 2011)

    But for the benefit of curious readers of this page, this vigorous creeping & trailing herbaceous vine is known as Calopogonium mucunoides (Calopo, Wild Ground Nut -- family: Fabaceae).

    Its stems & explosive fruit pods are densely covered with coarse golden-brown hairs. This legume species is native to Mexico, Caribbean, central Americas, as well as north & western South America, & naturalized to disturbed infertile sites in S'pore.

    * Photos & info (Urban Forest)
    * Photos & info (NUS: DNA of S'pore)