Friday, September 20, 2013

From MacRitchie Nature Trail to USR

I am glad to know that one of my current PGDE (Sec) students WH has an interest in macro photography. With his initiation, we went for a hike with our cameras along the MacRitchie Nature Trail (MNT) on a fine Saturday morning (17 Aug).

We saw this Glossy Starling feeding on a big tree full of fruits -I am yet to find out the name of this tree
A small but hairy leaf beetle (Trichochrysea hirta) was found along the MNT.
We walked for a long time before spotting a Banded Yeoman (Cirrochroa orissa orissa). From far, I saw this fellow sun-bathing on a leaf, I approached closer and snapped a few shots while it was   flapping its wings constantly.
A notoriously skittish species, it was highly sensitive to human movement, flitting around tirelessly between short perches. 
A pair of mating fly was found on a twig. What kind of fly is this ?
Along MNT, there were not many macro subjects for us to photograph. When we reached the Island Country Club, we made a right turn walking towards the Venus Trail. 

To show WH where my other hunting grounds for butterflies are, we took  Bus 138 to Upper Seleter Reservoir Park (USR).  This damselfly being a permanent resident of USR,  
We didn't stay long at USR. Before we called it a day, this open-winged Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius) allowed us taking some shots.


  1. Hi Federick Ho,

    We tried to look for your email contact but it does not seem to be available on your blog. So we are contacting you via a comment.

    On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project (SMP).

    We find that your entries about your encounters with the various, beautiful creatures would be a great addition to the Singapore Memory Project.

    We think your blog would offer a different perspective. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life or an expression of your thoughts, our project hopes to find a home for these memories so that it can help build a ground-up understanding of Singapore.

    If you believe memories are worth preserving, simply pledge your blog here:

    The SMP is a national initiative started in 2011 to collect, preserve and provide access to stories, moments and memories related to Singapore. For more information about this initiative, you may wish to contact Mr Patrick Cher at or read the FAQ.

    Yours sincerely,

    [Simulation Software & Technologies (S2T) Pte Ltd. is the officially appointed vendor for SMP for the period Nov 2012 to Dec 2013.]

  2. Thanks for the invitation.
    I have made the pledge at the website

  3. From post: "We saw this Glossy Starling feeding on a big tree full of fruits -I am yet to find out the name of this tree" [your photo]

    The tree is Ilex cymosa (Marsh Holly, Pokok Mensirah, Timah-Timah), family: Aquifoliaceae. It is a common native species of S'pore, growing up to 20-30m in height.

    This species can be found at inland primary & secondary forest, coastal forest, along rivers, as well as at waterlogged/ swampy sites. Elsewhere in the region, it is also found in nutrient-poor peat swamp forest.

    Ilex cymosa is monoecious, producing separate male & female flowers on the same plant. The bird-attracting fruits ripen from pale green to reddish-purple to blackish, each containing 8-10 small seeds. This tree is also the larval food plant of Athyma asura idita (Studded Sergeant) butterfly.

    Photos & info:
    * Photos (Tide Chaser)
    * Photos of seeds (Flickr)
    * Photos (Plant Observatory Sg)
    * Info & Photos (Plants of SE Asia)

    * S'pore Biodiversity: An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment & Sustainable Development (pp 229: Aquifoliaceae)
    -- describes the main differences between Ilex cymosa & the other 2 native Ilex -- Ilex latifolia (vulnerable, syn. I. macrophylla), Ilex maingayi (endangered).

  4. Once again, thank you very much for your ids and valuable references you quoted.
    I just wonder have I ever met you before ?

    1. You're most welcome & thanks to you for taking online visitors on a fauna & flora tour of S'pore. I'm not sure if we have met before ... I'm not very good at remembering faces !