Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lower Pierce, 19 Dec 2010

After quite a long hiatus, finally a nice long night trip to Lower Pierce with James :) A couple of strange creatures (which I would highlight later)!

A wasp on a leaf.

A scarab beetle.

James has a keen eye for stick insects; he spotted all of the stick insects we saw during this trip.

Giant forest ants (Camponotus gigas) which always fascinate me with their humongous size compared to their other ant counterparts (hence the number of photos that I took of them). They are often scurrying fast around.

These are both giant forest ants! The difference is that one is a major worker (the bigger one) and the other, a minor worker.

Weevils are cute! And like beetles, they adopt the "drop and flight" (as I call it) defense mechanism when they feel threatened. Meaning they will fall straight off from where they were, making it hard for the predator to find them amongst the leaf litter underneath.

James spotted this beauty! I wonder what butterfly it would turn into :)

A derbid.

A kind of leaf bug which I have never seen before!

As usual, spiders were everywhere.

A Sparassid. Doesn't it look so furry!

Cool finds of the night! First a cricket with unusual body patterns. It seemed to be drinking from the drop of water.

Not far from the cricket was a very beautiful tiny caterpillar!

Then James spotted this very unique cricket - check out its legs with "spines".

A leaf bug which I have never encountered before.

James pointed out this cluster of baby spiders! Up close they look really adorable!

We later found this mother spider carrying a cluster of egg sacs.

Then I found this bunch of beautiful tiny egg cases (James suggest they might even be very very tiny caterpillars).

Last but not least, long-horned beetle! When James first spotted it, he commented that it looked like it was just chilling out. Indeed :)

See also the post by James on the trip, with some different sightings and even more awesome pictures!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Admiralty Park, 21 July 2010

A very short trip to Admiralty Park, but nonetheless some very pleasant finds. Our eight-legged friends were prominent as ever.

Huntsman spider (Sparassid).

Argiope sp.?

I wonder what this spider was feasting on. James postulates that it was a moth.

This (whip spider?) looks extremely queer! I have no idea what this fascinating creature was feeding on.

Earlier one of its kind was seen feeding (on a moth?).

Brown huntsman spider (Heteropoda venatoria).

Lynx spider (Oxyopidae)? James caught some cannibalism in action.

Also commonly seen were grasshoppers and crickets. My very first encounter with a mating pair of grasshoppers!

I love the eyes of this cricket.

Cricket nymph, small but beautiful.

Monkey hopper?

We saw these bumps on the leaves of a shrub. Probably galls which, as unappealing as they may look, may serve different purposes. These include being structures protecting insect larvae. An interesting essay on galls by Joseph Lai sheds light on these amazing structures.

Mantis nymph.


Wasp. So beautiful!

Brahminy blind snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus), which was really tiny (4-5 cm long) and moved extremely fast; when the camera got too close it literally disappeared out of sight.

Caterpillar egg case or cocoon, same as that sighted at Chestnut Avenue on last night trip.

Forest cockroach with an interesting "shield" that protects its head.

James spotted this gecko among the bushes.

Thankfully some caterpillars were out and about, they always make my day! The ones we saw on this trip were astounding beauties.

This looked like it had chocolate chips lined on its back.

Last but not least, the find of the day! When James and I were heading back to the carpark I spotted a dark blob on the gravel path and alerted James about it. The excitement when James exclaimed, "It's a tarantula!" is still vivid in my mind. And boy, that I could well have dismissed it as some poo. So here it is, my very first ever tarantula!

If you look at the above picture carefully, there is a white speck on its back some distance away from its eyes. Zoom in on it and you will see what looks like a tick or louse!

Despite being a man-made park that is highly impacted by humans, Admiralty Park nonetheless serves as an important habitat for many organisms. Besides the above creatures we saw many others; James' blog entry covers some interesting finds such as a cute looking cockroach nymph and a tiny centipede that had blue-coloured legs and turquoise-coloured head which couldn't be noticed with our naked eyes!