Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guess What I Saw @ MNT Boardwalk

My usual Saturday morning outing was interrupted by an unplanned activity so I could only go out in the afternoon. I went to MacRitchie Nature Trail (MNT) boardwalk on 28 Aug.

There were not many people on the trail and boardwalk in the afternoon. I really enjoyed the serenity and the great solitude in the quiet forested trail.

This dragonfly looks like a female of Neurothemis fluctuans which loved to perch on a twig . There were a few of them taking afternoon nap along the boardwalk.

A very tiny beetle-like critter was spotted in a shady part of the boardwalk. I am not sure if the leaf surface was "scratched" by this little bugger.

The process of growth of insects in their immature forms is stepwise, going through a few times of molting (shedding off their old exoskeleton). This looks like an exoskeleton of an insect but I really can't tell what insect it is. This strange and unknown creature was spotted along the boardwalk above my eye level. When it was in flight and flapping its wings, I could see an orange patch on its upperside wings. My wild guess is this may be a moth. This Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconius) was found at its usual location where its larval host plant Smilax bracteata, a very aggressive forest creeper was quite abundant. A very prominent orange beauty with a pair of curly white tip tails, I usually encountered this species singly in the late morning or early afternoon on a sunny day. A rather skittish specimen which kept "hopping" among the foliage, it didn't give me another chance of getting a better shot. This Oriental Whip snake (Ahaetulla prasina) was spotted by two Eurasian ladies who were strolling along the boardwalk. Though it can be quite well camouflaged with the green foliage but its slender and long, startling green fluorescent body would reveal its presence to passersby. With its prey (a skink ?) in its month, it moved very slowly on a tree branch. I have seen this mildly venomous snake a couple of times in our forested areas. It didn't seem to be aggressive and after watching it for a while I decided to move in closer to take some shots.

Within a few minutes, it has almost swallowed up its prey. Just wonder why it kept closing its small eyes or were they open ?
This strange-looking piece of cotton-wool like fluff was alive and movable - it looks like a scale insect. I was not able to take some shots from other angles to capture its body parts. I found it very challenging to photograph this white and fluffy insect. Last shot of the day was this small kaytidid. It appeared to take an afternoon nap under the direct sun.

Hope that I have better luck in spottng and photographing some of the rare butteflies that can be found in MNT next time.

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