Sunday, February 17, 2008

Discovery @ Tuas Grasslands on 17 Feb 2008

Forty Eighth Discovery Posting:

Let me quote what SY has written, "An initial plan to go Sungei Buloh was changed to the Tuas marshlands; the enticement was to hard for me to resist, even though I was busy doing some assigments." It was an exact situation for me, as i had to complete an uncompleted assignment due on Monday. However, to go to some nature place in Singapore which i have not been to before was too big an attraction for me.

Thus Tuas Grasslands was the place i was at this morning (17 Feb) with LK, HW, RY, ST and SY. With us also were Mr Tang (Dragonfly expert) and several students who were there to study dragonflies.

Did i mention this place was a great place to observe dragonflies?

And as we were walking along the path just next to the grassland, this butterfly (picture below) attracted our attention and immediately our cameras were out! First 'discovery' and this might be the Tawny Coster, Acraea violae.
Discovery Note:
1. According to what i read, this species migrated from Thailand to West Malaysia and then to Singapore! Read about this at here.

And we actually saw the caterpillars of this butterfly back on Ubin in Jan, here's a photo of them i took back then (picture below).
Would this look like a place in Singapore to you (picture below)? I am wondering how many natural grasslands do we have right now...
Another look at this place with LK leading the way for the students (picture below).
Along the way, LK pointed out this rare orchid that grows from the ground (picture below), by the way, most orchids are epiphytes. This is the Spathoglottis plicata or Lumbah Tikus, second 'discovery'.
Discovery Note:
1. This is a orchid that can be found in forests or reclaimed land (Tuas Grasslands is reclaimed land)
2. The colours of the sepals and petals are variable, ranging from white to dark purple.

If you are wondering what is an epiphyte...

Discovery Note:

1. Some sources say an epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant but does not receive its nourishment from that plant.
2. Other sources say that an epiphyte is an air plant, which is described as a plant that does not grow in soil.
3. Both definitions accurately describe an epiphyte.

After walking further into the grasslands, we reached this marshland like habitat (picture below) where the students were busy at work while we continued to explore around.
And as i walked around, i spotted the third 'discovery' which looks like a pond wolf spider, Pardosa pseudoannulata (picture below). Discovery Note:
1. This spider is easily recognised by the two dark bands on the carapace and ring-like markings on the legs.
2. Most Wolf Spiders hunt on the ground.
3. Female Wolf Spiders are recognised by the spherical egg-sac that is attached to their spinnerets. Read more about them at here.

And just right next to where we were was the sight of development (picture below), it is said that this place will be developed into a racing course for riders. But is there a need to destroy everything? =( Extra (read more about the things we saw to understand why we are sad that this place is going to be gone soon):
a) Check out Tidechaser's entry to see the many dragonflies we saw.
b) Read Urban forest to know why this place is such a great place to see dragonflies.
c) Discover more about the carnivorous plants we saw at this place from Manta's blog.

Finally, it's thanks to LK for planning this trip and all others for making this another enjoyable trip.

Interested to find out how many kinds of dragonflies we can see in Singapore?
> Visit Mr Tang's website on dragonflies here.

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