Friday, December 4, 2009

Butterflies and Other Critters @ USR

Upper Seletar Reservoir Park (USR) has always been my favourite ground for butterfly watching and photography. Once again, I was on a solo trip to this familiar place.

Along the row of Syzygium hedges along the roadside, I found lots of planthoppers on one of the shrubs. A few wasps or perhaps hornets were foraging on the leaf surface on the same shrub as these planthoppers . Not sure if this is a Banded paper wasp (Polistes sagittarius). And this Yellow-vented hornet (Vespa analis) was seen stopping on the leaf for quite a while. I have no idea what it was trying to do. We only have four butterfly species belonging to the genus Flos and this Flos apidanus saturatus has been the most commonly seen in the nature reserves. She landed on a young leaf and slowly walked forward on the stem, looking for a spot to lay eggs.

She found it. The larva is known to have close association with ants. As you can see here the eggs were laid near some ants. If I had said it loudly ' Hi, mother Flos apidanus saturatus, don't be shy, let me see your face", pherhaps my shot would not had been obstructed.

Here is a picture of the host plant, a tall tree perhaps a Syzygium species
This Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconius) was shot at the water edge. A few of them, all lost their white-tipped tails, were seen sunbathing occasionally. Read more about this species here. Here is another shot that shows us a glimpse of a bright orange patch on the upperside forewing.The Knight (Lebadea martha parkeri) is quite common in some parks and our forest. Very often, it prefers to glide and perch on a leaf surface with wings fully open. My first shot of this relatively rare Colonel (Pandita sinope sinope) at USR was way back in 2005. Here was the shot taken then.This was my second encounter of this species here after four years. As usual, a very skittish guy, it preferred to stay high up most of the time.It is rather hard to spot a Dark Blue Jungle Glory (Thaumantis klugius lucipor) resting on the forest undergrowth as it blends very well with its environment. Very often its presence was noticed only when it was in flight as its very intense and magnificent metallic blue upperside surly caught our attention. The camera flash light really brought out the spectacular colours of the underside as well. I have begun to notice and shoot more species of moth in the wild since I started this blog almost a year ago. I usually have no clue of what I shot, like this one, a small moth resting underneath a leaf. But I hope one day someone will drop by here and name the species.Another Yellow-vented-hornet (vespa analias) was busy feeding on the dry fruits and the flowers of the Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum). Wow, at one moment as if it was staring at me.This fungus grew on a fallen tree trunk and I think the grasshopper was risking its life resting at that open and prominent position. This was my best attempt at shooting an in-flight male Orchithemis pulcherrima. Not a good shot as it was a bit too far from me. I hope to get a better shot next time. I consider this a rather fruitful outing. Let see what I will find during my next visit to USR, well, that should be at least two or three weeks later.


  1. [QUOTE]Not sure if this is a Banded paper wasp (Polistes sagittarius).[/QUOTE]
    Image of Vespa Tropica:
    Image of Polistes Sagittarius

    It seems to me to be Vespa Tropica. Notice that throughout species in Vespa, there is a high ridge where the metasoma meets the petiole. There is also marked difference between the mesosoma of Vespa and Polistes.

    On another note, I am not sure that Vespa Analias is an alternative spelling of Vespa Analis.

    Cheers and good job!

  2. Tom
    Thanks for your valuable comments and elaboration.
    Thanks for pointing out the error in V. Analis.

  3. Frederick

    You are welcome.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever seen velvet ants in Singapore? Where can they be commonly found, if at all?