Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lornie Trail on 21 Dec 2011

At last, it was a bright and sunny Wednesday (21 Dec) morning after a few days of gloomy and stormy weather during our usual year-end monsoon season. I seized the opportunity and headed down to Lornie Trail which is just 15 minutes of a bus ride from my home.

What a lucky morning for me - a perfect Five Bar Swordtail (Pathysa antiphates itamputi ) welcomed me at my favourite spot near the reservoir edge, loitering around the area and occasionally checking the ground. I knew it would visit and feed the Mile-a-minute flowers after a few days' of "starvation" . Yes, true enough, it did.
A magnificent Papilionid with a pair of sword-like slender long tails, Five Bar Swordtail is a forest denizen which is always alert and fast on the wings. However, its uppersides are less attractive - predominantly white and unmarked.
This is another shot while it finally settled down to puddle on a wet plastic bag.
This rather pristine female Malay Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsina) was also busy feeding on the Mile-a-minute flowers. Unlike the Five Bar Swordtail, it fluttered slowly and gracefully amongst the flowers.
The underside wings are prettier but she was too shy to fold her wings up for me to snap a proper shot.
There were quite a few Chocolate Grass Yellows ( Eurema sari sodalis ) fluttering and frolicking in the morning sun. As usual, they were extremely alert but once they were feeding, we could quickly snapped a few shots.
The Green Crested lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) is our native species which is getting rarer. However, they seemed to show up quite often at this particular location.
Another individual which plunged from a tree branch a few meters away from me.
I am not sure what this tiny but colourful spider is. It was lurking on a flower stalk when I noticed it moving towards its prey - the Five Bar Swordtail. Of course it was too slow to bite the alert and fast-flying papilionid.
I suspect this is a Scarlet Flash (Rapala dieneces dieneces) (note : it is Rapala manea chozeba,Slate Flash  identifed by Dr Seow from ButterflyCircle). Perching on the edge of a leaf at my eye level, it gave me a few seconds to squeeze off two shots before it took off vertically up towards the canopy.
On my way back to the bus stop near the main road, I spotted a brown skipper, perhaps a Caltoris Bromus resting on a leaf surface with wings partially open.
This was a lucky shot because it turned out to be quite acceptable as the skipper closed its wings when it responded to the flash light.
I must say it was a very fruitful 2-hour long outing and I really enjoyed the peace and serenity of our forest on a weekday morning.

However, the ugly sights of fallen trees in our forest (the first picture below was taken a few weeks ago) make me worry about the health of our nature reserve - thorough health checks must be done regularly in order to preserve our very limited natural resources on land - the greenery and a small forest.


  1. The spider is a Camaricus Maugi~ one of the more colourful crab spiders in our parks. :)

  2. Thanks Nicky
    My first sighting of this small but colourful spider.

  3. Hi, I have a photo of this spider, with a little more white striping but otherwise identical, taken at my back door in South Africa. Beautiful.

  4. Slightly different on closer inspection, but here is a link to an identical spider. 4th photo down.

  5. Thanks Dayle for the link to your pictures.
    An excellent collection of shots you have there.

  6. Hi Federick
    Unfortunately not mine, but a lovely collection of photos taken by other South Africans. I am so impressed with the little spider I saw at my back door, so beautiful. I have about 10 000 photos that I have taken on file which I am going to sort out one day, flora, fauna etc, we live on a small farm close to a national flower reserve (Van Stadens Flower Reserve)and we have an amazing collection of fynbos in the area, some plants that grow nowhere else in the world.