Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flowering Syzygium Trees Part 1

I knew there were one or two flowering Syzygium trees at this forest fringe so I went to take a look on a rather hot and humid Saturday morning (20 Apr). I was greeted by a few Lascars which were gliding from shrub to shrub with high alertness. This is the only shot of a Malayan Lascar (Lasippa tiga siaka) when it perched momentarily on a Singapore Rhododendron leaf.
A Yamfly (Loxura atymnus fuconius) was flitting nearby. It found a high perch on a stem of a forest vine and "communicated" with some red weaver ants - interesting interactions between two different insect species.

Here is another shot.

The Acacia Blue (Surendra vivarna amisena) seemed to be very common in this area. This fellow was quite cooperative, staying rather still on a low perch in a breeze.
A different background colour when the late morning sun was blocked by some passing clouds.
This skittish fellow which looks like a Dot-Dash Sergeant (Atyma kanwa kanwa) was never kind to me - it preferred high perch most of the time.

At last I bumped into Khew and other ButterflyCircle (BC) members who were shooting at the flowering Syzygium trees. I noticed different species came to feed on the flowers at different times - in the late morning, spread-winged skippers seemed to visit the flowering trees more often than other species. A solitary Hieroglyphic Flat (Odina hieroglyphica ortina) kept some of us excited and busy for a while.
At least a couple of the Ultra Snow Flats (Tagiades ultra) were quite engrossed in feeding also.
This common species The Large Snow Flat (Tagiades gana gana) was not a surprise to us.
I suspect this is another specimen when it rested high on a leaf.
Some uncommon butterflies were also attracted by the flowers but they came at different times. I didn't know when this Yellow Flash (Rapala domitia domitia) came to feed on the flowers again. Though it wasn't a pristine specimen, we were very happy to snap some shots of this rarity.    
I quite like this "environmental" shot as it showed us how it manoeuvred in a "sea of flowers".
Having a pair of long and unique tails, The Great Imperial (Jacoona anasuja anasuja) is rather rare and it is one of the largest lycaenids that we can find in Singapore. I was lucky to snap a couple of shots when it appeared in front of me for a very short span of time.
I seemed to have luck with The Cornelian (Deudorix epijarbas cinnabarus) butterfly - this was my third sighting in the past few months. 
Let me showcase more pictures in my next blog post.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

From Lornie Trail to Rifle Range Link

An outing on 13 April to Lornie Trail was a disappointing one initially. The trail was exceptionally quiet even at my favourite spot where the Mile-a-Minute (Mikania  micrantha) flowers are. It was an eye-sore to see many Rabbit's Foot ferns (Davallia denticulata) were cleared but thrown at the site, affecting the grow of the Mile-a-Minute flowers.

No butterflies so I looked for dragonflies along the reservoir edge. A small-sized light blue dragonfly, perhaps a Pond Adjutant (Aethriamanta gracilis) presented a nice perch on a twig for me to snap a couple of shots. 
A very prominent and beautiful pink dragonfly flew past me and landed on the tip of an aquatic plant. I guess this is a Crimson Dropwing (Trithemis aurora).
Here is a close-up shot of its compound eyes.
Along the way to the Rifle Range Link, a very tame and interesting-looking shield bug was found hiding underneath a big Dillenia leaf. On first look, the patterns on the body resemble another smaller shield bug riding on the body. 
At the Jelutong Hut, a lonely Blue Spotted Crow (Euploea midamus singapura) was hanging out at the hut. I took an instinctive shot when it perched high on a leaf.
Before I reached the "spa" area, a female Black Tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea merguia)  was flying low along the forest trail. I grabbed a golden opportunity when she landed just a few steps away from me.
Finally, I reach the "spa" area where I met BJ. The weather was hot and humid and I could see some butterflies were searching for puddling spots - but what a pity, l didn't have anything to make  them to stay on the ground longer. 

The Common Hedge Blue (Acytolepis puspa lambi) was the first cooperative lycaenid settling on the wet sandy ground. 
Giving up hope of photographing puddling butterflies, I decided to move around the area. I bumped into this Malayan Sunbeam (Curetis santana malayica) resting underneath a leaf above my head.
This male Cruiser (Vidula dejon erotella) was teasing us for a long time. Finally it was attracted by a dry fruit of the Singapore Rhododendron.
Well, it wasn't too bad at the end - at least I could still snap some butterfly shots though after spending a long time waiting and chasing for them. I must thank BJ for giving me a lift back to Yishun after a quick lunch at Bukit Timah hawker centre.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Wild Place Near Punggol Waterway

A natural habitat at Punggol Waterway Park enriches the biodiversity of the area. I came to this wild habitat on 29 March (my last visit to this place was about one year ago) to explore the place again. Tawny Coster (Acraea violae) was again thriving here -  they were fluttering around and displayed different perches on a sunny morning.
This is another female resting on a blade of grass.
The male has brighter uppersides. 
But this male was not so lucky as it was trapped in a spider web.
There were a few Blue Pansies (Junonia orithya wallacei) sunbathing on the ground. They were extremely alert and getting a decent shot was a great challenge.This male Blue Pansy moved around on the ground, giving me a chance to snap a quick shot.
A Forest Hopper (Astictopterus jama jama) was zipping around. When it perched and fed on the flower, I took a few shots.
A neglected small butterfly,  the Lesser Grass Blue (Zizina otis lampa) was fluttering on a grass patch and their occasional perch gave me a chance to take some shots.  
I came to a stream where there were lots of prominent pink snail eggs attaching to some twigs, concrete bricks and even leafs. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Have You Seen These Creatures in the Wild ? -Part 2

Continue from my previous post

In the shady and thick overgrown forested area, I could see some skippers zipping around but getting a shot of them was not easy. When this Common Awl (Hasora badra badra) landed underneath a leaf, I quickly approached closer and snapped a quick shot.
This was my third encounter of a very rare Yellow Chequered Lancer (Plastigia pellonia) but it gave me no time to think and adjust myself to take a better shot. Just one shot and it took off.
Just a few meters off a forest trail, I noticed a brown skipper (possibly a Caltoris malaya) darting past me before it landed on a dry leaf with some bird droppings.
Now, it landed on a leaf surface.
A male Common Palm Dart (Telicota colon stinga) was found perching on a leaf outside the forested area. Occasionally, it opened its wings for sun-bathing.
The Bamboo Tree Brown (Lethe europa malaya)  is famous for its skittishness but this particular pristine specimen gave us a bit more time to take a few shots when it landed on a slope.
This is a Malayan Lascar (Lasippa tiga siaka) sunbathed under the morning sum. It changed its perch a few times before settling down on the leaf long enough for me to snap some shots.
Here is another shot.
The Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana) is commonest Lexias species in Singapore. This male specimen was displaying its usual behaviour - flying past me a few times along a forest trail and settling down on dry leaf.  
Lastly, an arboreal Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) was moving slowly away from me towards a higher perch when I spotted it on the main trail. A common snake in our nature reserve, the Oriental Whip Snake is mildly venomous but rather docile - leave it alone when you see one next time.