Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Day Before F1 Singapore Race

It has been quite a long time since ButterflyCircle (BC) organized the last group outing. On, 26 Sept, the day before F1 Singapore Grand Prix, we finally had one, thanks to Simon’s initiative. A few of us gathered at Venus Drive carpark and others were waiting at the Riffle Range Road, all heading to our final destination – the “spa” area in Sime Forest.

My first shot of the morning near the entrance of the Venus Trail was this Taractrocera archias quinta. It is quite a small orange skipper without apiculus on its antennae. This open-winged Faunis canens arcesilas (Common Faun) was shot along Venus Trail in a rather shady environment. Usually, Common Faunn was found puddling along forest paths so I consider this a relatively rare moment . I can not identify this pair of damselflies. What was this couple trying to do ? Where they in a copulation position ?
This stream at Sime Forest provides a good habitat for many species of damsel and dragonfly. Again, I cannot be 100% sure of the species of this female though she looks like Trithemis aurora. Nannophya pygmaea is the smallest dragonfly in Singapore. Mature male of this species has very striking red body. The males were quite abundant but there was no sight of any female around that area. A slow-flyer, it usually perched around the same place and at times remained very sluggish, giving us plenty of time to compose our shots.
A relatively large and beautiful dragonfly with short abdomen, Rhyothemis triangularis is getting less common these days based on my field observation. This male perched on a grass tip along the forest stream. Glistering in the sunlight, his metallic blue hindwings are definitely attractive and enticing us to chase for good shots.

Thanks to Cher Hern's sharp eyes, he spotted this green-bodied cicada resting on a tree trunk at kneel level. Cicadas have two pairs of transparent wings, prominent compound eyes and three simple eyes. They belong to the order Homoptera.

Only male cicadas produce incessant high-pitched sound to attract mating partners. They produce the chorus of the forest by vibrating the membranes near the base of the abdomen.

All cicadas go through an interesting 3-stage life cycle : egg, nymph and adult. Females lay many eggs in tree barks sliced open by her sword-like ovipositor. The tree bark protects the eggs until they hatch into nymphs. The wingless nymphs burrow underground . Once they mature, they dig themselves out from the soil, creating mud chimney during rainy days.
Robber flies belong to the family Asilidae in the insect order Diptera . Rrobber flies have stout and spiny legs, a pair of short antennae and colourful compound eyes. Aggressive and fast-flying predators with excellent vision, robber flies are rather common in our forest.
This black creature with highly reflactive shell looks like a Darkling beetle. It was found on the stem of a vine, staying very still as if it was dead. This small red-eyed and black-bodied critter was a stranger to me. I have no clue what it is. Lastly, I would like to end here with two shots of this beautiful flower found near the entrance of Venus Trail. A solitary bee belonging to the genus Halictidae was diligently pollinating the attractive pink flowers. But getting a good shot was really tough.A close-up shot of the flower and I hope I will find out the name of this flower soon.
Though I didn't encounter many flying jewels in our forest in this outing, I was glad to meet some old and new members of BC.


  1. WOW, stunning photos as usual. And I learnt so much about these gorgeous animals! Thank you.

  2. Ria, thanks for your kind and encouraging comments. Hope to learn and shoot as many gorgeous animals as possible before climate change wipes them out (let's pray this will never happen)

  3. cicada shot from the side is excellent!

  4. The damselflies in tandem are Onychargia atrocyana.