Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trekking In Central Catchment Area On 2 May

While on my way to the nature reserve, I passed by a row of palm trees, the buzzing bees attracted my attention. Look at the number of hardworking bees on a bunch of white flowers. I hope the residents nearby know that all these bees are harmless if they are not disturbed.
The bees are one of the important pollinators of flowers in nature. The process of pollination is an essential part of sexual reproduction in seed-producing plants (spermatophytes). Look at what the bees have achieved - helping the flowers to produce many striking red fruits.
Just next to the forest fringe is a patch of grassland, early birds and insects have started their day either foraging or sunbathing.

This small beetle was roaming on a leaf. In the field, the body shell looked black to my eyes. However, the camera flash light brought out a a dark blue tint of the shell as shown in the picture.
This Lycaenid Common Line Blue was seen taking a short break when the sun was momentarily behind the clouds.
The moment I stepped on the jungle trail, this mother Common Mime (Chilasa clytia clytia) was testing out leaves to ovipositing her eggs. Finally she did and in less than a few seconds, she completed her duty. ButterflyCircle blog has an excellent account of the life history here. Look at the precision of the egg laid - precisely between two water droplets. I wonder how she ensured that the egg would not land on the water droplets ? Her abdomen has special sensing functions ?
This fern with an interesting Y-shaped arrangement of its reflective leaves was found on shady and damp forest floor in abundance. I cannot find a good match in the pocket guidebook : Ferns of Singapore published by Singapore Science Centre. [Note : As pointed out by Khew, I think this looks like Selaginella doederleinii belonging to the Selaginellaceae family]I did not notice this black big fungus on this very shady and damp trail previously. It was quite big with shining edges. There was another bigger one nearby but looked "old" to me.

I saw this very funny-looking creature moving up and down on a foliage, carrying long feathery "tails" which caught my attention first as the body size was really tiny. I had a hard time getting a decent shot of this strange and unknown (to me) bug.

There was this active spider which kept playing hide-and-seek with me.It was not my day to spot butterfly. I used to spot a few Arhopala species along this very shady and less-travelled trail.

Flies belong to the Diptera (one pair of wings) group of insects This pretty and shiny fly was found along the main forest trail.

At last, I got a chance to shoot a low flying forest-dwelling butterfly, a male Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana). Lexias pardalis dirteana is sexually dimorphic. The underside of the male is brownish and blends well with its preferred habitat which is the forest undergrowth.

In Singapore, the genus Lexis has three lookalike species. We can distinguish between Lexias pardalis dirteana and Lexias dirtea merguia by their differing antennae tip, orange colour in L. pardalis but black in L. dirtea. The third species Lexis canescens pardalina is the rarest and I have not shot one yet.

Commander (Moduza procris milonia) is an elegant and a swift flier which can be spotted on sunlit forest clearings. The prominent V-shaped white spots on the reddish brown upperside wings are distinctive enough for us to identify this species. An excellent ButterflyCircle blog article on Commander can be found here and its life history here.

Identifying a damselfly is usually a difficult task for me. But this damselfly with unique and highly reflective wings should be Vestalis amethystina.

This was shot in a shady trail where the ferns were thriving. Thanks to the morning rays that piercing through the canopy that enabled me to get a bright background shot. I have no idea what this species is.

It was found near a water-logged area, this looks like a Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (to be confirmed). [As pointed out by Yong, this may be an immature male of Argiocnemis rubescens. Thanks ]It was a long trekking into our nature reserve that took me about 3 hours. I felt rewarding and refresing while I was having lunch and enjoying the icy sugar cane drinks at my favourite Sembawang Hill hawker centre.


  1. I will guess the last demselfy is immature male of Argiocnemis rubescens. << Yong >>

  2. Try googling for Selaginella for the Y-shaped fern. You may find something useful.

  3. Thanks Yong for your suggestion that will give me a clue to look into its id again.

    Thanks Khew for the key word Selaginella. After googling, agree that the fern is one of the Selaginella species belonging to the Spikemoss (Selaginellaceae) family. I have learnt a bit more on this primitive plant.

  4. Hi Federick,
    love your blog and photos! Recently I visited Malaysia for insect macro photography. Many of my photos are already up on my Flickr photostream:
    You are invited to have a look there and possibly post scientific names for unidentified creatures.



  5. Thanks Bernhard.
    Wow, you have a very good collection of insect shots. Sorry, I cannot offer much help on iding the insects. Perhaps John ( can help you. I will send your flickr link to him.

  6. Amazing blog and wonderful photography. Can any body tell me the common or scientific name of the tiny blue beetle?