Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Few First Sightings @ Mandai

It was a solo butterfly hunting session at Mandai area on a sunny Saturday morning (24 Oct 09).

This was my second time shooting the Metallic Caerulean (Jamides alecto ageladas) at the same location. I saw two individuals fluttering around the Powder-puff flowers (Calliandra emarginata) .When in flight, its metallic blue uppersides could be seen. The life history of this species was excellently recorded by one of ButterflyCircle members ( here).
This small orange skipper looks like a Taractrocera archias quinta. It was rather alert at first but after a while it gave in to my persistence and became a model for me.
This black and white, small and very cute Elbowed Pierrot (Caleta elna elvira) butterfly is rather common in our forests. It was usually seen fluttering erratically close to the ground along forest trails. At one moment, it perched on a grass blade, I quickly went low and snapped a few shots.
This is an upperside shot of a male Common Red Flash (Rapala iarbus iarbus) butterfly. I was fortunate to see quite a few of them "fighting" for their territory. All of a sudden, one of them perched on a leaf and opened its wings and here shown a snap shot of its magnificent uppersides. An excellent write-up of its habitat and behaviour can be found here. The larva feeds on Mimosa pigra and there were a few tall host plants there but I could not find any caterpillars. I guess this very tiny critter that I seldom take note of before is a planthopper. It caught my attention only when it was "floating in the air" from one leaf to another. My first shot of this speices and it added to my collection of planthopper shots. On second thought, it may be a moth, a Choreutis species ?
This is another bigger planthopper which I have not seen before also. A very cooperative guy which stayed quite still on the leaf for me to compose my shots.
Along the forest fringe, I saw this beautiful moth resting on a leaf under shade. The sunlight piercing through the canopy provided me a slightly brighter background for this shot. Any idea what species it is ?
I might have shot this black bug at Daily Farm Nature Park (see here). But this was my first clear shot of its dorsal view. Here is another shot. I have searched through some references and materials, I still have no clue of its exact identity. When I saw a carpenter bee with a distinctive blue thorax feeding on an aquatic plant from far, I knew that it was not the common species that I usually encountered. I quickly moved closer and fired off two shots when it was momentarily at rest. Yes, this was my maiden shot and first sighting of a rare carpenter bee Xylocopa caerulea. Very skittish and fast, it never stopped long for me to get more shots.
I considered this outing a very fruitful one as I was fortunate enough to snap a few record shots of some of the insects which I have never seen before.


  1. The black bug may be the nymph of the leaf-footed bugs. I have seen similar bugs with some adult leaf-footed bugs.