Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Morning Walk - In the Forest

This is the continuation from my previous post. After a long walk along the forest fringe behind some private houses, I finally knew where I was and I decided to enter the forest via a shady and narrow trail.

It is difficult to spot Thaumantis klugius lucipor (Dark Blue Jungle Glory) because it blends so well with is preferred habitat which is the forest floor. Its presence can be noticed by its intense blue upperside when it made a short flight from one spot to another. The thorns on some fallen rattans prevented me from going nearer and lowering myself to shoot this magnificent jungle glory.I was caught by surprise when a Lesser Harlequin ( Laxita thuisto thuisto) suddenly perched in front of me. Lesser Harlequin is a relatively rare and very pretty member of the Riodinidae family. A shade-loving forest species, it tends to make short distance hopping flights from leaf to leaf, usually settling on upperside of the leaf and turning around with it's wings half opened. However, this one was different. It stayed still for a few seconds with both wings closed but at an undesirable angle for me to get good shots. Along a side trail leading to the main forest path, there were quite a number of black insects crossed my path. This tiny red-and-black beetle looks rather adorable but having a good shot of it was a huge challenge as focusing on such a small creature under a low light condition really made my lens work extremely hard. Here is another slightly bigger black beetle with a pair of long yellow antennae. It was found foraging on a leaf surface. That orange layer looks rather strange to me. I was not surprised to spot different species of beetles in my past outings because there are a lot more species of beetles than any other insects in the world. This looks like a Micropezid fly, a very common resident in our forest. I always found it stretching its front legs outwards in the field. Does anyone know the purpose of doing so ? The Arhopala genus contains many look-alike species. Identifying them by photographs is quite impossible. This shot taken along the main forest trail may be a Tailed Disc Oakblue (Arhopala atosia malayana ) or another different species ? We need someone to study these species closely.

This attractive red wild flower was found along the forest fringe before I entered the shady forest. Not sure what this is.

Needless to say, we would see a lot more interesting fauna species in the forest compared to forest fringes. Apart from the many different and diverse plant species in the forest, the interactions between the different ecosystems or habitats at the forest canopy layer, the shrub and herb layer, the understory and the forest floor also account for the rich fauna diversity in our tropical forests.Let's us play our part to protect and preserve our small but unique and precious forest in our natural Central Catchment areas.


  1. What glorious photos as usual! I learn so much about our amazing little animals from your blog.

  2. It is said that those Micropezid flies extend their forelegs as a mimicry to some wasps. To scare of possible predation perhaps?

  3. Thanks Ria. I am sure there are many small creatures in our forests waiting to be discovered. I think we need more people coming onboard to blog and share what they have seen in the wild.

    Siyang, thanks for your explanation.