Thursday, April 7, 2011

From Lornie Trail to Rifle Range Link Part 2

Continue from my previous post.

I met Cher Hern at the "Spa" around 11 : 15. The sun was rather shy hiding behind some clouds that's why we didn't see many butterflies puddling on the sandy ground. Nevertheless, a few common species kept us busy.
Common Hedge Blue (Acytolepis puspa lambi) is rather common in our forest. I usually found it fluttering along sunlit forest paths or puddling on damp soil. There are a few look-alike Yellows here. In the field, we usually can't differentiate them with certainty. However, macro-photography allows us to ascertain and notice the delicate differences between them. This is a Chocolate Grass Yewllo (Eurema sari sodalis) characterised by a continuous patch of chocolate-brown apex on the underside forewing. How about this species ? The brown forewing apex is more diffused - the main characteristic of Eurema simulatrix tecmessa. A third Eurema species came down to puddle. This is Anderson's Grass Yellow (Eurema andersonii andersonii) - one of the the main identifying keys of this species is that it has only one cell spot on the underside forewing. Common Blue Bottle (Graphium sarpedon luctatius) is a common and keen puddler. Its larvae feed on wild Cinnamon - a common wayside tree. That is why we can see Common Blue Bottle in many town parks.
I wondered why this scary and hairy moth caterpillar was crawling on the sandy ground towards the water - I guessed it has lost its direction. Of course it turned back eventually.
Not far away from the above caterpillar, I found another similar caterpillar resting on an aquatic plant - can it be the host plant ? A beautiful damselfly perching on a leaf, Ceriagrion cerinorubellum is very common in our nature reserves and some town parks.
Due to the very low butterfly activity at the "spa", we decided to take a look at the reservoir edge. We saw a lycaenid fluttering along a drain. Finally it settled on a perch but at a difficult position.
Same situation at the reservoir edge - there wasn't a good sign of fauna life. We decided to call it a day and walked towards Rifle Range Road. I was quite surprised to see this female Tawny Costa (Acraea violae) feeding on Elephant's Foot flowers (Elephantopus scaber) at the Rifle Rage Link. A hasty shot was what I could manage but it was a significant shot - my first sighting in the central catchment area.
Once again thanks Cher Hern for sending me back to Sembawang where we had our late lunch there. After a long trekking, sitting down enjoying a good meal with icy cold water make me feel good and ecstatic - more to come, I hope.

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