Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rich Biodiversity @ Temasek Junior College Part 2

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were quiet a number of fauna species in the college. In addition to those critters mentioned in my previous post (see here), here are a few more species which I encountered.

This is a kind of Lynx spider. It does not spin webs but it has spiky long legs and excellent eyesight to hunt for its preys amongst flowers and foliage.
This is a male Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus chrysippus) butterfly which belongs to Danainae subfamily in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Plain Tiger generally displays leisurely slow flights and is unpalatable to predators due to the chemicals ingested from the host plants Asclepias curassavica (Blood Flower) or Calotropis gigantea (Crown flower) during the larval stage. This is Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis lampa) which I featured in Part 1 of this series. So far I have not found another look-alike Pygmy Grass Blue (Zizula hylax pygmaea). This is Pale Grass Blue (Zizeeria maha serica) the largest of the three Grass Blue butterflies that can be found in town parks, gardens or even roadsides. In addition, the denser and more prominent underside submarginal black spots on both wings separate this from the other two species mentioned above. I am rather optimistic that I would find Pygmy Grass Blue as these three species share the same habitat.
Lemon Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona pomona) is a rather common and interesting butterfly that can be found in our urban parks as its larval host plants Senna fistula and Senna alata are common wayside trees. Female Lemon Emigrant has quite a number of forms which look differently. I have seen this fast-flying medium size butterfly visiting the college compound regularly but it was always skittish. So this indeed was a timely and lucky shot. This is a solitary Scoliid wasp with a pair of long antennae and some yellow stripes on its abdomen. This is most likely to be a species of Campsomeris according to John. It tends to bend and curve its body when feeding, making it a challenge for us to take a good shot of it.

This is a small Potter wasp, possibly an Apodynerus species. So long as we don't disturb them or their nests, these wasps in general are not aggressive and if they do come close to us, I usually just stand still and do not react offensively.
This honey bee looks like Apis cerana was found feeding on the flower heads. Again. these bees are not aggressive. We just leave them alone, quietly observing how they collecting nectar and pollinating the flowers can be quite inspirational.
Grasshoppers belong to the insect order Orthopetera which includes crickets and katydids as well. These insects' hind legs are long, robust and strong, enabling them to make long distance leaps effectively. This green planthopper belongs to the insect order Homoptera. Planthoppers feed on plant juices and excrete honeydew, a sweet by-product of digestion. This is a day-flying moth (syntomis huebneri) that is rather common in parks and gardens. The nectar from the Bidens flowers could make it stay there for a long time. A mating pair was found underside of a leaf. Usually the copulation takes at least an hour so that a sufficient number of eggs would be fertilised.
Vitex trifolia (Family : Verbenaceae) is a perennial herb, a treasure for uncle Neo who consumed the leaves regularly and found it beneficial for his health and eye sight. He propagated quite a few of them in the college compound.
This purple flower is Brazilian Button Flower (Centratherum punctatum , Family : Asteraceae). A bushy herb, the purple florets are rather showy and attractive.
This female Carpenter bee (Xylocopa confusa) was easily attracted by the flowers.
KY and I have seen quite a few other butterfly species visiting the school compound. We will continue to photograph them and perhaps include them in Part 3 of this series of write-ups.

Related post
1. http://peacockroyal.blogspot.com/2009/10/rich-biodiversity-temasek-junior.html

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