Friday, June 26, 2009

Winged Beauties@ Endau Rompin (Selai) Part 1

Endau Rompin (ER) National Park, situated between the Johor and Pahang state, is one of the oldest and the 2nd largest tropical rainforest in the Peninsular Malaysia. Well-known for its lush, rich biodiversity, waterfalls and many endemic species of plants and animals, ER never fails to attract and excite many nature lovers and adventurers. Deeply inspired by a BC's outing there, BJ, Yong, SC and I took the 7:40 am Lambaian Timur train on 20 June to Bekok, a small and quiet town near Segamat. After passing 8 train stops in Malaysia, the train arrived at Bekok around 11:30 am, much later than the scheduled time.
We had a simple fried noodles lunch opposite the train station. We also packed fried rice for our first day dinner here. The 4WD in the picture above brought us to the park office which was just round the corner. While Yong who is conversant in Malay, was busy helping us to settle all the administrative stuff (insurance, park permit etc) before we could go into the park, the rest of us surveyed the next door sundry shop and bought some cup noodles, breads and other food and drink supplies necessary for our Day 2 and Day 3 consumption.

After more than an hour of journey on mostly good-conditioned country roads , passing through palm oil plantations and tree-logging sites, we reached the Lubuk Tapah Base Camp around 2:15 pm. This was my very first shot at ER, a male Tyriobapta torrida. He seemed to love “hugging and kissing" the tree trunk. I observed that it came back to the same place often. Two male individuals were sighted but I did not see any female around.
Eupheae ochracea is a red-winged damselfly which we don't find it in Singapore. It is surely attractive enough for me to chase and shoot this very distinctive looking beauty. There were quite a few of this species along the sandy river banks, resting either on sandstones or weeds.
Another small but unique black Dysphaea dimidiate damselfly was found along the river banks as well. This one was resting on a twig protruding stoutly from the river bed. I had to maneuver carefully among the rocks to position myself closer to it.

I spent quite sometime observing how this small male Heliocypha perforate with a very striking blue abdomen and thorax was guarding three females who were nearby busy laying eggs on a piece of plank on the sandy river banks.

While these two female were ovipositing their eggs they also showed us how good they were in putting up gymnastic formations like this. The third female was in fact near by laying eggs as well. You can imagin the total number of eggs laid will be at least a few hundreds. The eggs must be very small as I could not see any with my naked eyes.
This Vestalis species was shot on Day 2 along a shady forest trail when the Orang Asli guide brought us venturing into the forest searching for butterfly species. We could see this large damselfly almost everywhere, of course less than the number of leeches on the moist ground.
This slightly smaller partially red-winged forest damselfly was shot in the vicinity of the Vestalis species. I am yet to find out what it is.
I didn't capture many other critters as most of the time I was hunting for butterfly species. However, this colourful fly with red and black abdomen caught my attention.
This wasp was loitering on a leaf as if searching for food.
SC found this juvenile bird along the main trail on Day 1. I saw it again on Day 3 morning perching on a tree stem just outside the base camp. This cutie was waiting for its mother to feed her. I wonder what bird this is.In part 2 of my write-up, I would feature mainly the butterfly species that I have shot in ER.

No comments:

Post a Comment