Friday, July 31, 2009

Who Love Mikania micrantha @ LT ?

I was awaken by a pre-dawn thunder storm on 25 July. Knowing that the weather did not favour me to go out for my usual weekend hunting, thanks and no thanks to the gloomy sky, I had this rare occasion of working in front of a computer on an early Saturday morning, updating this blog (about my outing on 18 July). The moment I saw the first ray of sunlight piercing through the clouds and the emergence of a clear sky around 10 plus, I packed my gears and within 30 minutes I was on Lornie Trail (LT).

The morning showers had indeed energized the forest a great deal. I could sense that the forest was teeming with life manifested in various forms : birds singing, cicada songs and a good variety of creatures foraging . The air was purer and refreshingly cooler and everyone who was jogging or walking past me exuded a high spirit.

Near the reservoir edge, there were some flowering Mikania micrantha (mile-a-minute) which attracted quite a number of insects. This Pyroneura latoia latoia (Yellow Vein Lancer) is a common forest skipper. We always found them in the early hours feeding on flowers.
I noticed this large and very unusual wasp which has a section of a long and slender abdomen, feeding high up on the flowers. It refused to come down and I had no choice but to take a few record shots afar. This is another small insect with a cute yellow head. I am not sure what this is.
This is a kind of Scoliid wasp. Quite a number of them were seen visiting the flowers and feeding on the nectar. Two male Cruisers (Vidula dejone erotella ) were seen feeding voraciously on the flowers. I was delighted when I noticed a female was hovering high on tree-top. It has been a long time since I last shot a female so I decided to wait for her to come down. My patience paid off but she never gave me an easy time to photograph her as she kept flapping her wings while feeding. I blasted off many shots and this was the only presentable shot. Female Cruiser is rarer and she generally prefers to stay at forest canopy level. Here is an underside shot. So a good diversity of insect species were attracted by the flowers of Mikania micrantha. I love to see all these little flying beauties visiting and fluttering amongst the flowers as watching them feeding and pollinating the flowers so diligently and graciously would liven up my day.

Wild flowers and perhaps some weeds as well are absolutely essential for making our forest more vibrant and habitable for our many wonderful creatures.

I will write about my other encounters along the reservoir boardwalk in my next blog article.


  1. That large slender wasp is a potter wasp, Phimenes flavopictus. Good records here. Interesting to see wasps attracted to Mikania, from my observations Mikania flowers in Hong Kong are seldom visited by bees or wasps.

  2. I missed out the insect with a cute yellow head, it is also a Scoliid wasp, possibly Scolia sp.

  3. Thanks John for your comments.
    Hope these shots and observations add to our understanding of the wasps.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


    1. I love the contents in this section. Some Lovely Photos to and lovely words . Thanks for sharing this on internet and hoping to see more works ......


    2. I love the contents in this section. Some Lovely Photos to and lovely words . Thanks for sharing this on internet and hoping to see more works ......