Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Grand Species @ Central Catchment Area

It was a sunny Saturday morning. I met up with Yong San and went to this relatively less-travelled forest trail somewhere in the northern part of our nature reserves.

You would agree with me that Malay Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsina) is a very attractive butterfly. It was found resting underneath a fern at knee level. A forest denizen, Malay Lacewing could be seen visiting flowers on a sunlit day. The absence of some submarginal white spots on the underside hindwing distinguish it from the other Lacewing species in Singapore. BC blog has an excellent article on its life history.

Another forest species, Mycalesis fusca fusca (Malayan Bush Brown) was hopping above my eye level. Though it was far from pristine, I still took some shots as I have not photographed it for a long time. The very distinctive and pretty ochreous undersides were different from other Mycalesis species found in Singapore.
I spotted quite a few Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites atlites) at two different locations in the past two weeks. This one was not so lucky as it was caught and found dead in a spider web. At least another two individuals were frolicking near a stream in the vicinity. Though not a very pristine specimen, this "grand" and rare Neocheritra amrita amrita(Grand Imperial) butterfly was definitely our catch of the day. My second sighting of this long-tailed beauty at the same location, it always perched underneath the leaf, giving us a hard time getting a better shot. It took off a few times whenever we approached it closer. Here is another shot from the other side of the wings. Though these two shots were far from good, I was quite happy as these shots were better then what I had shot sometime ago.
I always feel quite helpless in identifying an orange skipper. Really, without seeing its upperside markings, one can never be sure of the species.
According to Yong San, this is a male Orchithemis pulcherrima and it has different colour forms. The blue form can be found here. I feel quite disappointed at times when I could not identify a dragon or damselfly from Tang's website .I found this small beetle resting on the edge of a palm leaf. There was a bit of motion blur in the shot as I was shooting with one hand holding the camera and the other hand flicking the leaf over.I think these were wild mushrooms growing on moist ground. They scattered around and really looked nice in groups among the green grasses.

I guess this is a kind of tree frog. I shot it once many years ago along the same trail. It stayed very still until I "reset" its position in order to get a brighter background but it responded by showing me a few frog jumps into the undergrowth.

Other not-so-common butterfly species sighted :

1. Chersonesia peraka peraka (Little Maplet)
2. Poritia sumatrae sumatrae (Sumatran Gem)
3. Sinthusa nasaka amba (Narrow Spark)

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