Sunday, December 16, 2007

Discovery @ KNT & SBWR on 15 Dec 2007

Thirty eighth Discovery posting:

(Entry @ 17 Dec 2007: Correction of ID for both butterflies in this posting. Thanks to Commander for pointing out the mistake => Got the ID for second 'discovery' too, thanks, Ron!)

Just yesterday morning (15 Dec), together with a few members of Semakau and Naked Hermit Crab Guides, we went for a walk along Kranji Nature Trail (KNT) and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR).

As usual, our speed was a bit slow due to the fact that we were looking out for things along the way and photographing them whenever we spot anything. Anyway, the first 'discovery' of the day are two Dark Brand Bush Brown butterflies if i'm not wrong. (picture below)

Entry @ 17 Dec: The ID for first 'discovery' should be Nigger.
Discovery Note (Updated):
1. This is a common grassland butterfly from the same family as the Dark Brand Bush Brown.

2. The caterpillar of this butterfly is believed to feed on grasses, particularly, Lallang.

And not far away afterwards, i spotted an insect landing on a plant nearby. This is second 'discovery' but i am wondering what this insect is. Anyone can help me with the ID (picture below)?

Entry @ 17 Dec: This insect is the assassin bug.
Discovery Note:
1. Many assassin bugs have been known to bite humans when not handled carefully.
2. For some species the bite is known to be very painful, sometimes causing allergic reactions, and bites can become infected, as with any wound.

And nearby (again), someone spotted this beautiful spider. The ID of this spider might be the Mangrove Big-Jawed spider from the family of Tetragnathidae. Third 'discovery' (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. When disturbed, it will run away from the web and lie motionless on a leaf or branch nearby.

2. Males are easily identified by their large and prominent jaws, thus their common name.

As we walked into the trail, we spotted a number of St. Andrew Cross Spiders, here's one of them (picture below) and this is fourth 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. These spiders get their name for the way they hold their eight legs in pairs to form an X shape.
2. This X is called the St. Andrew's cross because it is believed that the saint was martyred on a cross of this shape.
3. Besides their standard orb-web, these spiders also build addition white opaque zig zag lines on their webs.

Click here to read more about the St. Andrew Cross Spider.

Fifth 'discovery' should be a grasshopper (picture below).
Discovery Note:
1. Those species that make easily heard noises usually do so by rubbing the hind femurs against the forewings or abdomen, or by snapping the wings in flight.

Sixth 'discovery' is a Cabbage White butterfly (picture below). Oh ya, sorry everyone, i kept saying this is White Cabbage =P. Anyway, i was following this butterfly for about 50 meters plus before i got this picture which you see.

Entry @ 17 Dec: ID for sixth 'discovery' should be Psyche.
Discovery Note (Updated):
1. The Psyche is a small and delicate butterlfy.
2. It is relatively common in Singapore.
3. Although it has a weak flight, it can go on flying for long periods of time without making a rest stop, no wonder it took me so long to get one photo of this.

When we reached the mangrove boardwalk of the SBWR, this Malayan Water Monitor Lizard was happily basking in the sun before our voices made it move to another quiet spot (picture below). Sorry.. oh, by the way, seventh 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. Among the largest lizards in the world, Malayan Water Monitors can survive in habitats that wouldn't be able to support other large carnivores.
2. One is because they are cold blooded and thus doesn’t need to use energy to maintain their body temperature.
3. In addition, they eat anything that they can swallow. From tiny insects, to crabs, molluscs, snakes, eggs (of birds and crocodiles) and even other monitor lizards. They even eat rubbish, human faeces, and even dead bodies.
4. The Water Monitor's main hunting technique is to run after prey that it has spotted, rather than stalking and ambushing.
5. Water Monitor Lizards are highly mobile. They can swim, run faster than most of us can run and even climb trees.
6. Like snakes, they have a forked tongue that they stick in and out regularly to "smell" their prey and other tasty titbits.

Click here to read more about the Malayan Water Monitor Lizard.

And along the sides of the boardwalk were some very beautiful flowers from the torch ginger (picture below). Eighth 'discovery'.Discovery Posting:
1. This is also called the Sceptre of the emperor, maybe due to the beautiful flower?
2. The showy pink flowers of a tall perennial look almost too pretty to eat but their flavour is an essential ingredient in some dishes.

3. But its flowers are only used for food before it blooms.
Think rojak.

As we walked on the boardwalk, we spotted an Atlas moth resting on a leave just next to the boardwalk (picture below). Wow! This is my first time seeing a real Atlas moth. Ninth 'discovery'!Discovery Posting:
1. The Atlas Moth has the largest wing surface area of all moths.

2. It is so named because its wing patterns resemble maps.

3. The Atlas Moth's wings have triangular transparent "windows" whose purpose which no one knows yet.

4. The wing tips are hooked and some say resemble a snake's head complete with eye, to scare off predators.

5. Atlas Moths are found only in Southeast Asia and they are common in Singapore, especially from November-January.

Click here to read more about the Atlas moth.

The last feature, tenth 'discovery' is a spider which i don't know which species it belongs to. But according to the others, the white thing is its eggs. Interesting! There are many other things which we saw, like jumping spiders which jumped from one camera to another and Siyang's back, many other spiders, misc insects and of course Homo sapiens. =)
Read these on,
Manta's blog, Tidechaser's blog, Urban Forest and on Colourful Clouds.

Finally, it was really a wonderful outing due to the company and weather. So thanks to everyone and the weather. =)


Commander said...

Hi there! Sorry to have to correct both the butterfly IDs again. :-p

The first one's a Nigger (Orsotriaena medus cinerea) which is a common grassland butterfly. Same family as the Dark Brand Bush Brown, but this one's usually easier to ID from its more unique eye spots.

The 2nd one's a Psyche (Leptosia nina malayana). Smaller than the Cabbage White, but just as active when it decides to fly non-stop. You did well in at least nailing a shot when it stopped to feed.


DreamerJuly said...

Thanks commander!

Will update the IDs.