Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trekking After Rain in the Nature Reserves

A pre-dawn thunder storms brought about by the belated North East monsoon on the last day of October signals the beginning of a rainy season. Once the sky cleared up a bit in the late morning, I went out with Koh to this northern side of our nature reserves.

We hardly encountered any butterfly species during our first 45 minutes of slow trekking in a very damp and quiet jungle trail.

This female Purple Duke (Eulaceura osteria kumana) was our first butterfly model, not a very obedient one as we never had a chance of shooting its upper side. Making frequent stops after short flights on the ground near a drain, she seemed to like puddling on a relatively cool morning. This Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea ) was spotted by Koh resting on a young leaf of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) . This was my first shot showing a thin bluish marking along the forwing costal margin and the two blue forewing discal markings in space 6. I guess the camera flash light might have brought out the reflective colours of the wing.
A moth with a pair of feathery antennae suddenly perched in front of me with underside wings facing me. It was just too impatient for me to manoeuvre round him to have a shot of its uppersides. This black ant (Polyrhachis species ?) was found eating up another red ant. In the animal world , this cannibalistic behaviour can be observed in many species. Ants can be quite territorial, they may attack any other unwelcoming visitors. Here is another shot showing the part of its prey had been swallowed up. This looks like a spider to me. Its very long legs appeared to support its whole body and make it "floating" in the air.
I guess this is a immature dragonfly perching on a twig near a stream but I am not sure what species it is. Vestalis amethystina is a very colourful damselfly. The iridescent colours of the wings were shown A newly emerged teneral male Coeliccia octogesima (thanks Tang for the id) was spotted at a very muddy area. A teneral odonata has glossy wings and the colors on the body are often paler. Several days after its emerging, the wings will be hardened completely and take on the colors of a mature adult. This tiny wasp (no, it is a kind of fly, according to John) with a very peculiar shape of the abdomen was hovering around this Singapore Rhododendron flower. I need to get John to help me to identify this species.
Beetles belong to the insect order Coleoptera which makes up close to 40% of all known insect species. It was not a surprise that quite frequently, I was able to spot and shoot something new in our forest. This predominantly yellow beetle was seen "free-falling " from a leaf. What is this green creature with a white head ? It looks like a nymph of a Katydid of something else ? Even though we didn't see many butterfly species in this very casual outing in a cool morning, I still managed to spot and shoot some other critters. Most importantly, I found myself rejuvenated after the outing.


  1. I don't know you are a trekker or photographer. Amazing place for trekking and that pictures and photography impressed me.

  2. Thanks for dropping by here.
    I like to trek in the forests and take pictures of insects especially butterflies when they present me the opportunities.