Wednesday, May 30, 2012

From Belukar Track To Lornie Trail Part 2

Continue from last post

Finally I reached the Rifle Range Link Trail. Immediately, I saw a female Commander (Moduza procris milonia ) checking on a big leaf - a Timonius species. She "waddled" on the leaf surface and reversed to the tip and stayed there for a moment - yes, a rather unique behaviour of laying eggs. 
A tiny egg was laid at the tip.
I could see a prominent reddish-orange butterfly flitting just above the ground level from far. Un-mistakenly, it was a Malayan Sunbeam (Curetis santana malayica).
In fact there were two of them; another individual was taking a short rest on a leaf.
It was a rather quiet morning along the forest trail until I reached Golf Link boardwalk where I met two butterflies - one was Arhopala major major.
The other one looked like a Miletus symethus petronius on a high perch.
Finally, I reached my favourite spot along Lornie Trail in the early afternoon but I didn't see many butterflies. For one moment, I thought I had shot a new species - no, this is just a Common Line Blue (Prosotas nora superdates)  without the tails. 
It was a long but an easy walk which took me more than 4 hours to complete. Though I didn't get to take many photographs, I was happy with all the shots I posted here.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

From Belukar Track To Lornie Trail Part 1

On an early and sunny Saturday (12 May) morning, I took a bus to the Dairy Farm Park. While waiting for the "green man" to appear at a traffic light, an image of a butterfly puddllng site flashed through my mind. So  instead of crossing the road, I walked straight down to a sandy area. What a disappointment,  the puddling site is no longer conducive for butterflies.  

Decided not to turn back, I strolled along a "green corridor" next to the Belukar Track and it is parallel to the highway. Bearing in mind that I was walking on a mountain bike trail, I had to be on high alert of  the mountain bikers who sped past me at times - of course, a vast majority of them would slow down or shut when they saw joggers or trekkers like me.  

My first decent shot of the morning was this Malayan Bush Brown (Mycalesis fusca fusca) which was perching rather tamely.    
Here is another shot of its new perch after it was chased away by another Bush Brown butterfly.
At the same location, I saw a colourful shield bug high up underneath a leaf.
Finally I reached the highest point of this "green corridor" - the scenery was quite magnificent and the constant breeze was especially refreshing for me.
A black and yellow-spotted wasp was sighted "exploring" the soils where I took a short rest. According to John, this is a potter wasp (Vespidae: Eumeninae - Phimenes flavopictus) .
At the end of the "green corridor" is Rifle Range Road. I turned left heading towards Rifle Range Link Trail. Taking a slow walk along this quiet road, I could see quite a number of butterflies fluttering around. A few Pointed Line Blues (Ionolyce helicon merguiana ) were flitting and sunbathing along the roadside.
This is its upperside shot
A Common Line Blue (Prosotas nora superdates) was flitting amongst a few Pointed Line Blues.
Next, a female Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana) was found feeding on some rotten fruits.
What do you think of this Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea ) butterfly, dead or alive ?

To be continued .. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mandai Track 15

A very cloudy Saturday morning on 5 May dampened my desire and spirit of having my weekly photography and hiking session. Fortunately, the weather became better in the early afternoon - a last minute decision brought me to Mandai Track 15. 

This time I decided to walk all the way to the end though I wasn't on the road all the time as there is a bicycle trail running almost parallel to the track. This Ancyra Blue (Catopyrops ancyra) was perching slightly above my eye level , looking downwards at the trail.         
I have not been sighting and shooting any robber fly for quite sometime.This small robber fly was holding on its prey while I snapped a few shots.
As usual, I can't be sure what Telicota species this is. According to Dr Seow who commented my post in the BC forum, it is more likely to be a T. linna .  
A relatively large Potanthus species compared with other look-alikes, this Detached Dart (Potanthus trachala tytleri) was shot at a grass patch along the bicycle trail.  
Another orange skipper but smaller,  was resting quite still on a leaf surface. After taking a few shots, I real;ised that it was a Lesser Dart (Potanthus omaha omaha).
 There were many Pea Blues at the end of Track 15 near a campsite.
In the afternoon where there is sunshine, they tend to open their wings for sunbathing. The uppersides of the female look like this.
This brown skipper looks like a Small Branded Swift (Pelopidas mathias mathias) which was found resting on a blade of grass at the end of  the track.        
Branded Imperial (Eooxylides tharis distanti) is a rather common forest beauty. It likes to flitter around  in shady forested areas.
It was late in the afternoon when I came back to the starting point where I saw a  Common Sailor (Neptis hylas papaja) perching close to the ground level. This species has become rather abundant in our scrubland  or along forest fringes.      
Another shot of a same perch.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

USR on Labour Day

Labour Day is a day for workers to celebrate and take a day off to refresh and rejuvenate. I chose to recharge myself by going to the forest. So I met up with Cher Hern at Upper Seletar Reservoir (USR) Park for a walk cum butterfly hunting.

I arrived early and went to the washroom before getting my camera gears ready. Strolling along the forest fringe, I came across this Malay Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea hypsina) larva resting underneath a big leaf which did not look like the usual larval host plant, Adenia macrophylla. 
This was my first time seeing this dragonfly in a shady part of the first trail - I am not sure if this is a  Gynacantha dohrni. (Note : Mr Tang  has identified it to be a  young  Gynacantha subinterrupta. A write-up on this species can be found here .
Here is another shot that Mr Tang used to identify the species.
At the end of the "First Trail", I noticed this Yellow Banded Awl (Hasora schoenherr chuza) in its usual behaviour- hiding underneath a leaf when it settled on a new perch. With luck and patience, I managed to nail a record shot.
This Aberrant Oakblue (Arhopala abseus abseus) was spotted in a shade behind the toilet.
We went to the reservoir edge. I saw a few lycaenids fluttering around but only this Common Line Blue (Prosotas nora superdates) was kind enough to pose for me.
After coming out from the reservoir edge, I had to stalk and wait very patiently for this rather small Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra moorei) to perch long enough to take a few shots. 
 This Malay Viscount (Tanaecia pelea pelea) was found resting in a bush of shrubs. 
Our last shot of the morning was this Sumatran Gem (Poritia sumatrae sumatrae), a beautiful lycaenid which didn't present me with a good shooting angle and condition.
Though the weather was quite ideal for photography and there were butterflies zipping and flitting around, I just could not find many good chances of shooting them - they appeared to be very restless and uncooperative on Labour Day ! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Scarlet Flash @ MacRitchie Nature Trail

On a cloudy Saturday morning (28 April) I decided to take a slow walk along MacRitchie Nature Trail. There wasn't anything worth shooting until I saw a couple of Peacock Pansies (Junonia almana javana)  frolicking, feeding and basking under the morning sun. 
There were some Mike-a-Minute flowers at one of my favourite locations. I spotted this male Scarlet Flash (Rapala dieneces dieneces) feeding voraciously on the flowers. Oblivious to my presence, it allowed me to take quite a number of shots of his different feeding postures.
It moved from flowers to flowers. I didn't know it was so close to death while feeding on one of the clusters of flowers.
Now, it was even closer to the crab spider and one of his legs was in fact touching the spider. The spider seemed to be busy with other things ?
He even demonstrated different stunts when feeding.
This hairy larva belongs to a moth species for sure. It was lying so still on a leaf surface that any predator could easily swallow it up.     
Last shot of a very quiet morning was this Common Snow Flat (Tagiades japetus atticus ) just before it scooted off from a leaf high up above me. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Hot Sunday @ Ubin

A few members from the ButterflyCircle (BC) went for an outing at Pulau Ubin on a rather hot and humid Sunday morning (22 Apr). Arriving around 10 am, I joined the group at the Butterfly Hill and was introduced to two new and young BC members, CJ and Nona, nice meeting them.

Most of the butterflies were extremely active and alert under the scorching sun. It was a test of my patience and luck in order to snap a decent shot of this Leopard (Phalanta phalantha phalantha ) which was trying to puddle along a gravel roadside. After many futile attempts, I finally got a shot when it landed in front of me - though a bit too near to me. 
Next, I spotted a Dark Glassy Tiger (Parantica agleoides agleoides) resting in a shade under some bamboo clumps.
I was walking around the hill without shooting anything for quite a long period of time. I saw a few Pea Blues (Lampides boeticus) flitting around their host plants..With perseverance and determination, I tracked their  movement and  finally located one of them resting on the edge of a leaf.    
The upperside shot shows that it is a female. 
I encountered this moth caterpillar just outside the Nparks nursery. What species is this ?
I am not a fan of snakes. This slender green snake was found in the Nparks nursery. It curled around the bushes and appeared to be taking an afternoon nap. 
I think this is a kind of wasp foraging from leaf to leaf. This is an instantaneous moment when it looked straight at me.
There were signs of re-planting and maintenance work at the Butterfly Hill. I was quite surprised and pleased to see a few well-grown Chamaecrista mimosoides being planted at the foot of the hill. Hopefully the No Brand Grass Yellow (Eurema brigitta senna) would come to establish their homes here after their first home at Punggol was destroyed.
After lunch, we returned to the Butterfly Hill to hunt for more species. Except for this sunbird feeding on the Pagoda Flowers at the hill top I didn't have any good chance of adding more shots to my photo collection.