Category Archives: Insects

The Mangrove Dwellers of Sungei Buloh.

The little of what is left of our mangroves is vital for the survival of many of our mangrove dependent birds, reptiles, butterflies and dragonflies. Without the mangroves they will simply disappear and we will be the poorer for it. On a short morning walk at Sungei Buloh yesterday, we came across some of these survivors there. Let’s hope that this protected wetland will be their home for many years to come.

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Out door nature workshops for the students during the school holidays. All lined up on the bridge waiting for the crocodiles to appear.

 

 

From top left, the Colonel is locally common at the Kranji Marshes. Kim Keang’s sharp eyes picked up the smaller and less colorful Scarce Silverstreak at a distance. My lifer the Full Stop Swift( bottom) was spotted by Richard White.

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First time I came across this beautiful Mangrove Shield Bug, seen along the boardwalk. Lena Chow posted a link from WildSingapore with the ID. Not only are they mangrove dependent, the larvae can only be found on the Buta buta trees where they will feed on the new fruits. The adults were often seen clustered together under the leaves.

Mangrove Dwarf at SB

The Mangrove Dwarf as the name suggested is a smallish dragonfly that is found only in the mangroves. This uncommon dragonfly lives and breeds in the saline waters of the mangrove.

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The Copper-throated Sunbirds, another mangrove specialist, are busy bringing up another brood to grace our wetlands. I had the wrong setting for this and had to brighten it.

Ashy Tailorbird at SB

The Ashy Tailorbird is also confined to the Mangroves. They are often jumpy or hiding behind the vegetation. Good to have this one out in the open posing for a shot.

Mangrove Pit Viper at SBWR

It is never easy to spot a small motionless snake that has the same color as the surface it is resting on. But Marcel Finlay managed to see this Mangrove Pit Viper along Route I. Small ( about 40 cm) but venomous, it likes to stay near water edges and wait for its prey. The rest of us were happily shooting away for another great encounter of the herpy kind.

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Rare Pink Katydid at Danum Valley.

We heard the call of the Giant Pitta at a hillside ridge after hiking for 2 hours. This was our target for the visit to Danum Valley, Borneo last October. Unfortunately it refused to show despite waiting for hours. To pass time we went looking for other creatures on the forest floor. This very rare Pink Katydid was right in front of our noses and we almost missed it. Another gem in the Borneo Rain Forest. It did not take away the disappointment of dipping on the pitta but it helped.

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This was taken with my Samsung handphone. This Kadydid will not move one feeler to try and pretend to be a young leave.

Despite its color it did not stand out in the forest as it managed to find some young pink leaves to blend in. It just pretended to look like a new shoot. We could get very close to it and it will not move a single part of its body. This is part of its survival strategy. The more common green Katydid does not have this problem to hide from its predators.

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It managed to find this plant with young pinkish leaves to blend in as much as possible.

So why does a Katydid want to turn pink in a green forest? Apparently it has no choice. The genetics will supply this reddish pigment to one in five hundred kadydids as a quirk of nature due to a condition known as erythrism. It also give them the instinct on how to survive.