The Fascinating Insect World of Trus Madi.

By Alan OwYong.

In 1986, Philip Chew found many rare plants and orchids in a regenerated forest at the heart of the Trus Madi range. Together with his brother Jimmy and friend Tam, they pooled their retirement funds and proceeds from sale of their homes to set up the Tras Madi Conservation Area. Their aim was to preserve the biodiversity of the 747 square meters of the conservation area. Their efforts paid off when it was designated as Class 1 forest reserve. In 2006 they were given an operation permit to set up a camp inside the area. The Trus Madi Entomology Camp better known as the Borneo Jungle Girl Camp was born.

Borneo Jungle Girl Camp with the Trus Madi Range in the background. Photo: MySabah.com

The present day camp was a far cry from the first camp which was a single tent. You will be shown videos of how they dragged each cabin on logs from Apin Apin to the site.

Four insect screens on each side of the ridge to attract the insects from the hillsides and valleys below.

Today the Entomology Camp is well known globally as the center for the study of insects and moths in Borneo. Against all odds they had created ” something out of nothing”. Unfortunately Philip passed away and Jimmy is left to carry on with his legacy today.

We ( Wilson Leung and his wife Theresa) were indeed privileged to be able to experience the magic of this world in June 2022 with the help of David Tseu, a Sabah based wildlife guide. Here are some of the more colorful moths and fascinating insects that we saw during our 4 days stay. Credit to iNaturalist for some of the identifications which are subject to confirmation from the experts and notes from Wikipedia.

David Tseu helping Wilson Leung to focus on the hundreds of insects on the screen attracted by the light.
The myriad of moths, cicadas, beetles and other insects is beyond imagination. During the peak months of March to May, you will be swamped by them.
Brahmaea hearseyi/Antheraea hearseyi. The most intricate moth that resembles an owl.
Archaeo attracus staudingeri moth. The largest moth seen. Forewings have prominent extensions at tip with markings resembling s snake head. More purplish than A. atlas.
Hawk Moth. Notonagemia analis
Greater Death’s Head Moth Acherontia lachesis looks sinister.
Xyleutes strix. Goat Moth, a family of the Cossidae family. Found in India, SEA and New Guinea.
Euthrix laeta. Wide Asia distribution. This is the austrina sub species found in Borneo and Sumatra
Dinidica olivacea. The dorsal side is all green. A moth of the lowland forests found from Himalayas to SEA
Dog Paw Moth Geometridae, Ennominae-Plutodes sp
Agathia codina ssp australis found in Pen Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo.
False Leaf Bush Criket. Pseudophyllus titan. The biggest we seen.
Leopard Moth (Chalcidica minues)
Necroscia sp. There are many stick insects that have yet to be named.
Agathia hemithearia
Dead Leaf Mantis ( Deroplatys sp)
Pingasa ruginaria
Polythlipta divaricata
Net-winged insect Protohermes dichrous
Anisoneura aluco just like a beautiful tapestry.
The only shot of a beetle with an open wing.
Trabala vishnou Rose myrtle Lappet moth. One of the more common moth there.
Pingasa venusta. Found across the Himalayas, SEA, Sundas and New Guinea
Krananda semihyalina. Oreintal Tropics to Japan.
Antheraea larissa. Silk moth found in the Sundas.
Pachynoa purpuralis. Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Thailand.
Gangarides vendena a member of the prominent moths.
Antheraea rosieri.

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