Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Very Dry MNT

On a sunny and rather warm Saturday morning (20 Feb), I was taking a slow walk in our nature reserve areas. I noticed that many parts of the MacRitchie Nature Trail (MNT) were quite try and filled with dead fallen leaves.

I am not sure if this is a Coeliccia octogesima which was found along a very shady forest trail. Its wings were spreading out quite evenly whenever it perched on something, not a usual posture displayed by most damselflies.
I saw this giant forest ant (Camponotus gigas) swimming across a narrow stream. This was my first sighting of how an ant overcoming the water obstacle. Finally, it succeeded in crossing the stream.This spider has spiny legs but the eyes don't seem to suggest that this is a kind 0f Lynx spider. It was waiting patiently on a leaf surface, ready to attack any intruders coming close to its territory.
I guess this is a digger wasp which kept buzzing around from leaf to leaf. It stopped occasionally to survey its surrounding. A rather cute black-and-white and pretty butterfly in its own way, this small Lycaenid Elbowed Pierrot (Caleta elna elvira) loves to flutter just above the ground level, looking for "sweet" spots to puddle on. I guess the common name Elbowed Pierrot was given to this species because of the L-shaped elbow-like black band near the base of the forewing beneath.
This particular species of Robber Fly seems to be abundant in our nature reserves as it kept appearing in the past two weeks. Robber Flies are carnivorous and their sharp mouth parts together with their compound eyes make them dangerous and deadly predators of other insects. Robber Flies are popular subjects for macro-photographers. I am no exception and I particularly like to take the side view shot.
This dark brown skipper is Banded Demon (Notocrypta paralysos varians) (Correct id should be Quedara monteithi monteithi . Thanks Khew). It can be seasonally common. A distinctive feature of this skipper is its white band on the forewing from the costal (the edge ) to the discal region. It tends to feed on flowers in the early morning. In fact, the upperside of the forewings has similar white irregular discal bands. This skipper was very sensitive to camera flash, both shots here were taken using the natural light source only.


  1. Federick, that's a female Quedara monteithi monteithi and not a Banded Demon. Looks like they are in season!

  2. Khew, thanks for the correction.
    Didn't really have much time to check carefully these days.