Friday, January 22, 2010

Field Trip to BTNR, 20 Jan 2010

Our first field trip for the module LSM3271 (Forest Ecology) had our TAs (teaching assistants) bringing us to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for an appreciation/awareness trip. My group was assigned Sam and Le. I didn't really see much though, perhaps cos I'm pretty much clueless in the field of terrestrial ecology..

Nonetheless I did see some beautiful stuff :)

At the start of the trip Le shared with us the symbiotic relationship between ants and the Macaranga. The former provides protection for the plant against herbivory (animals that feed on the Macaranga) while the latter provides shelter and food for the ants.

Then I spotted this caterpillar on one of the leaves of the Macaranga. Isn't it beautiful! It's body is translucent green and it has spikes over its body like a spun web.. :) Commander pointed out that this is likely the Malay Baron. Click here to find out more about this charming animal :)

This millipede seemed to be busy scavenging for food on a decomposing log.

There was this part of the forest where we noticed prominent "noise". That was the singing of the cicadas. And sure enough there was a signboard nearby alerting us on the presence of cicadas. Ever heard of this amazing (intriguing) species of cicadas that live underground for 17 YEARS as larvae and only come out to mate for awhile, then die after the eggs are laid underground again?

The rest of the group found this frog in a pond which I can't identify..

Bracket fungi were common and they are found mainly on decomposing logs.

Other organisms that we saw include the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and the Long-tailed Macaques.

I sure hope to learn more about wildlife that can be found in terrestrial habitats. Singapore definitely has plenty to offer still! (:


  1. That caterpillar that you found on Macaranga is probably that of the Malay Baron, a relatively common butterfly in the nature reserves.

  2. Hi Commander, thanks! I looked it up in your blog and indeed it seems like it!

    Hope you don't mind, I put up the link to your page about the Malay Baron so that my friends and the public can refer to it should they want to find out more :) Thanks again!

  3. You're most welcome to do any links to your blog, Chun Fong.

    We haven't fully recorded the entire life history of the Malay Baron (Euthalia monina monina) yet. What you've linked to, is the Baron (Euthalia aconthea gurda), an urban species that is closely related to the caterpillar that you saw, but feeds on Mango leaves instead.

    But the caterpillars are quite similar. What I often refer to as the "Christmas tree" caterpillars! :)

  4. Ahh thanks for the clarification Commander! Haha "Christmas tree" caterpillars, how apt and cute! :) Good work you guys have been doing on butterflies in Singapore, keep it up!