Thursday, November 24, 2011

Venus Trail On 19 Nov

It has been a very long time since I last visited the Venus Trail.  I decided to check out the trail on a sunny Saturday morning 

There were quite a number of Bush Brown butterflies fluttering and perching at a grass patch. This particular shot which looks more like a Dark Brand Bush Brown (Mycalesis mineus macromalayana) was my first shot of the morning. I didn't notice the water droplet when I took the shot.

I noticed an orange skipper resting on a leaf surface from far. It was rather docile, allowing me to get a few shots. I think this is a Common Dartlet (Oriens gola pseudolus), a small but quite common in grassy area especially along the fringe of the forest.
Here is another shot from a different angle.

A beautiful snake with a fluorescent green body, this whip snake can be found in our forest.

This immature cricket was lazing around on a fallen tree trunk. Who would anticipate this few minute's rest in fact was so fatal for it. Shortly after this shot, I was stunned !!

Shortly after taking the shot, I witnessed with my own eyes how a robber fly grabbed the cricket and landed on a leaf.

After reaching the Ranger Station, I decided to turn back and headed for home. Quite a few Pretty pink bugs caught my attention - here is one of them, peeping the ground beneath it.
Along the Island Club road while I was on my way out, I noticed a Large Snow Flat (Tagiades gana gana)   feeding on some Leea indica flowers. Though it didn't stay long on the flowers, I managed to snap a few shots.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Few Critters In the Central Catchment Areas

Perhaps due to the unusual weather in October - exceptionally wet this year, two short afternoon weekend outings to our nature reserves didn't give me any excitement and surprises at all.

Bush Hopper (Ampittia dioscorides camertes) appeared to be abundant lately. The body shape and posture of this species is quite distinctively different from other orange skippers - the head section is rather "pointed" and triangular.
There were two Starry Bobs (Iambrix stellifer) darting and chasing each other around a flowering Leea indica tree. Alert and active all the time, they were very shy for photography and this is the best I could get after many futile attempts.
A lonely and pristine Chocolate Grass Yellow (Eurema sari sodalis) was puddling on the damp forest soil along a shady trail. With patience and luck, I finally nailed a shot.
I always love to shoot Ornate Coraltail (Ceriagrion cerinorubellum) - a very common but beautiful damselfly. This is a male which took an afternoon nap along a forest fringe.
An interesting squash bug (?) caught my attention - wow, mathematics teacher could set a problem asking students to find the areas of the black spots on its body.
This small skipper which looks like a Lesser Dart (Potanthus omaha omaha) was found at the entrance of a forest trail when I was about to leave for home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lornie Trail On 29 Oct

I went to Lornie Trail (LT) again on a cool Saturday morning (29 Oct). Surprisingly, the species that I encountered were different from what I saw during my previous outing there (see previous post).

My first presentable shot was this orange skipper which tended to perch with an opening-wing posture. Looking at the upperside shot of this skipper, can you tell what species it is ? With this underside shot, I believe it is Taractrocera archias quinta, a small orange skipper with a relatively short and spoon-clubbed antennae.
How about this skipper ? Can you see the subtle differences between the two upperside shots ?
This is a common species Lesser Dart (Pothanthus omaha omaha) - one distinctive feature of this species is that the veins on both the hind and forewings are darken.
There were quite a number of them darting at high speeds and occasionally chasing each other.
Here is another upperside shot of a brown skipper - I didn't have a chance to shoot its underside but I am quite confident that this is a Contiguous Swift (Polytremis lubricans lubricans).
A solitary Ciliate Blue (Anthene emolus goberus) was found loitering around on the ferns. I remembered I was shooting this guy in a light drizzle.
Saturn (Zeuxidia amethystus amethystus ) is a rather large forest butterfly which prefers to stay at the forest undergrowth, blending itself very well with the environment. I would not have noticed it if I had not walked past it puddling on some dried leaves next to a forest trail. It flew deeper into the forest and perched in a shade - of course, I didn't give up and was rewarded with this record shot.
I noticed a colourful grasshopper hiding on a blade of grass while I was searching for interesting dragonflies along the reservoir edge.
I guess this is a kind of soldier fly which I spotted it when I was on my way out.
Though it was a short outing (about an hour), I was rather fortunate to be able to see and take a few pictures of our forest denizens on a rather cloudy Saturday morning.