Tag Archives: Brown Awl

Upper Seletar Reservoir Park Surprises

I seldom leave empty handed from visits to the Upper Seletar Reservoir Park. It is also one of the more accessible forest parks in Singapore. You can step right into the forest straight from the carpark. Even during midday, it can be rewarding if you venture into the nooks and crannies, away from the open areas.

The bird activity around this time was poor. Most were resting in the cooler shade inside the forest. But the butterflies loved the sunny day. One of the workers there was photographing this female Great Mormon and was kind enough to alert me. He seems to know his butterflies. Later he showed me hundreds of photos of butterflies and insects taken with his hand phone at the park. He even had a photo of the rare Plane. I was impressed!


The male Great Mormon had to be the luckiest butterfly around. It had so many forms of females to choose from. This beautiful female is of the esperi form.

The find of the day had to be this 20 cm uncommon Variable Reed Snake. Serin Subaraj told me that reed snakes are like warblers, all of them are very similiar. He identified this by the black bands at the underside near its head, which is absent on the Pink-headed Reed Snake.

Pink-headed Reed Snake USR

The young Variable Reed Snake has a orangy red head which makes it looks like a Blue Coral Snake. According to Ecology Asia it lives in mature forests and is confined to the Central Catchment. It is nocturnal and not known to be venomous. 

Sapphire Flutterer USR

A treehugger hugging a wall, thanks to Lena Chow for the ID. Looks like the Sapphire Flutterer except that it does not have the bright blue on the base of the hind wings. 


Singapore during the time of Raffles was a great place to collect beetles. It is not so easy to find them now unless you know where to look. I don’t and was happy to see this Bess Beetle out in the open. Their pair of antennae has many more smaller antennae. They lives in groups inside rotting logs and stumps. 

Brown Awl USR

Not the most spectacular butterfly this Brown Awl is still a good find as they stay still in the undergrowth.

Clouded Monitor. USR

Ended the day with a lazy Clouded Monitor Lizard out sauntering and sniffing around with its long tongue. These are forest lizards can be separated from the water monitor lizards by the snort position. 

So the next time you visit a forest park in Singapore, take your time to look around. You will never know what is lurking around the corner.






From Birds to Butts.

Plane feeding on Syzygium sp
Rare male Plane feeding on Syzygium sp. This butterfly was the main attraction.

What does a birder do when the birds are quiet and lifers are hard to come by? Luckily in Singapore, there are many other fauna to check out. Thanks to Kim Keang’s alert earlier this week, I went butting or butterfly shooting at a reservoir park.

Suffused Flash
The Suffused Flash is a small butterfly that is easily missed.
Slated Flash
Is this a Flash or a Royal? Still waiting for an ID.

In two days I ended up with eight lifers, some uncommon and a few rare butterflies. I don’t remembered seeing so many new and rare birds in two days in my years of birding. I was told that the flowering Syzygium species at the edge of the Central forest was the reason why so many hard to see butterfly species were seen. Besides the butterflies, there were hoverfly, beetles and moths to keep me busy.

White Banded Awl
White Banded Awl pointed out to me by Soon Chye
Brown Awl
Brown Awl is rather rare and hard to spot
Malay Lacewing
Malay Lacewing. Missed the Plain Lacewing.
Little Malpet
Hard to shoot Little Malpet
Vinous Oakblue
Vinous Oakblue
Tiger Bettle
One of the many Tiger Beetles found in our forests.