Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Is Thriving @TPTP ?

I got back my malfunctioning SB800 Speedlight from the Nikon workshop yesterday afternoon. It cost me SG$160 to replace the light tube and the Hot-Shoe Mounting Plate. This morning, I was testing it at Toa Payoh Town Park (TPTP). A detailed write-up of the park is in the ButterflyCircle Blog.

The row of Ixora flowers were blooming but surprisingly the insect activity was close to a complete standstill. I decided to take a look at the pond.

It was a completely different scene at the pond. The dragonflies were darting and buzzing in the air.

A striking and intense all red dragonfly stood out very prominently amongst the green foliage. This is a male Crocothemis servilia. A row of dark markings on top of the abdomen is a distinguishing characteristic of this species.

I think this is a male Aethriamanta gracilis. The brown patches underneath its thorax and the bluish body produce a nice contrasting colour combination. Orthetrum Sabina was the largest dragonfly I spotted this morning. There were quite a number of them darting from place to place and one of them finally settling on top of a cement wall.
I took a close-up shot of the eyes, nothing special about this shot. Were the eyes telling us something? The problem with insects is that they have no facial expressions to convey their mood. This is a female dragonfly for sure but I am not sure which species it is. A dorsal view is needed for identifying the species however, she was not willing to come down to a lower level. Ischnura senegalensis is not a very big damselfly and it is quite well spread, garden ponds, wastelands and nature reserves can be their homes. The female of this species has different colour forms - this is the orange form.This was the the same specimen but shot in a different angle.
I was very lucky to spot a mating pair. The male is on top which has a short end section of the abdomen in blue. I guess the shot on the right below is a new-born of the same species (?).

I guess these shots are immature dragonflies or nymphs. I think TPTP is a great place for observing the behaviour of dragonflies and studying their life cycles.

This creature was floating and surfing on the water surface. I have no idea what it is - my first shot of a life form in water.

After shooting enough dragonflies along the pond, I went back to where the Ixora flowers were, waiting for butterflies and other terrestrial critters to greet me good morning.

I noticed a motionless black tiny critter on an Ixora leaf. I have not seen this before. However, when I viewed on the computer screen, I guess this looks like a juvenile praying mantid.

I finally got my first butterfly shot in the later part of the morning, a Anthene emolus goberus (Cillate Blue). What a disappointing day for me in terms of butterfly shooting.

So, you have got the answer to my question.


  1. So sorry to hear about the lack of butterflies, but the other fauna sure was interesting, to me anyway! Thanks for sharing!

    My speedlight also had to be fixed for about the same amount. Have yet to pick it up though. Hope she is alright.

  2. That surfer is a pond skater. Not sure what species though!

  3. Oh ya, and those "immature" bugs are actually the final moult of the dragons and damsels before they emerge as adults.

    Left one is probably a damsel moult while the right is a dragon (If I'm not wrong).

  4. Ria, I am happy with the speedlight now. I feel it was a bit expensive but their service was quite good and fast - it was in the workshop less than a week.
    The pond area is thriving with lots of DFs , a few more species that I could not photograph.

    Thanks Siyang for pointing out that is a pond skater. My first time seeing a final moult of a dragon and damselfly. Still have a lot to learn about these critters. Thank you very much.