Tag Archives: Darky Plushblue

USR-An Amazing Reservoir Park.

Of Endemic Crab, Night Frog, Unique Spider and Rare Butterflies.

The quiet Upper Seletar Reservoir Park is well known for its forest bird, butterfly and insect life. But being adjacent to the Nee Soon Swamp Forest, there is also a surprising diversed freshwater aquatic life as well.

Singapore Swamp Crab Parathelphusa reticula USR

On one late August morning, I was delighted to find a nocturnal swamp crab in one of the drains here following Art Toh’s FB post. It turned out to be the Reticulated Swamp Crab (Paratherphusa retculata), one of our three endemic crabs found in Singapore. It was only discovered in 1989 inside the Nee Soon Swamp forest as its secretive and nocturnal habits have kept it hidden all these years.

Malesian Frog a nocturnal semi aquatic carnivore occurs in swampy mature forest.h

Nearby a Malesian Frog Limnonectes malesianus betrayed its well-hidden nook by jumping away. Luckily for us it stayed motionless at it’s next resting spot. According to Nick Baker all the local Malesian Frogs have this black marking on the external ear drum. Along the same drain, there was a small reddish brown catfish about 10 cm long. I missed getting a shot as It was quick to swim away and hide under the leave litter.  

Female Coin Spider guarding its eggs.

Further up the road, on a tree trunk that I used to go pass umpteen times, a family of Spotted Coin Spiders Herennia multipuncta, were busy bringing up another new generation of these unique spiders. They are small and live on the tree trunks all their life, using camouflage as their survival against predators. Every successful generation is a celebration for this species as the male can only mate once in their lifetime.

Two rare butterflies came out this morning. The small Malay Dartlet that can be confused with the Common Dartlet and the male White-tipped Baron which I though was the more common Common Baron. Both are my lifers.

Malay Dartlet. It was not listed by early researchers and only discovered in 2011.
White-tipped Baron with a slight bluish sheen at the leading edge of the forewing. Thanks to Gan Cheong Weei and Aaron Soh for the id.

Besides these, there were some uncommon butterflies like the Full Stop Swift, Hoary Palmer, Palm Bob and the Darky Plushblue, the last staying on the same leaf for hours.

Full Stop Swift.
Darky Plushblue the least encounter among the four Flos in Singapore.
Hoary Palmer a fairly large skipper distinguished by its strongly whitened hindwings.
Palm Bob, once rare but expanded due to the cultivation of palm tress as ornamental plants.

Our hope is that there will be no developments at this park to destroy the precious biodiversity. Plans should be put in place to enhance it. There should be no trespasses inside the primary forests so as not to disturb the wildlife there.

I like to thank so many of my friends who helped to find and showed me these creatures, without which I would not have been able to photograph and post them here.


Ng PKL (1997). The conservation status of freshwater prawns and crabs in Singapore with emphasis on the nature
reserves. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore, 49: 267–272.

Nick Baker & Kevin Lim 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore.


Singapore Biodiversity online

Forest Butterflies at our Reservoir Parks

30th August 2016

Butterfly watching is somewhat different from birding but just as absorbing.  For one thing they are smaller and harder to identify in the field. The best part I like about it is not having to wake up at the break of dawn, as the butterflies are active much later in the morning. Lim Kim Keang, veteran birder and a keen butterfly watcher first got me interested in butterflies. On some slow birding days I got a chance to do some butterfly watching with him and also learn from other members of the Butterfly and Insect Group.

Mango Hawk Moth at USR
Mango Hawk Moth, about half the size of my palm, found by Yong Yik Shih

Recently I was fascinated with the forest butterflies that were seen at our reservoir parks. Some of the rarer ones are found at the host plants inside the forests, which is not very accessible. But they will move out when the plants along the forest edges flower.

Humming Bird Moth at USR
I have been always wanting to get this Humming Bird Moth on my sensors. They were also attracted to the nectar of the Sycygium flowers.

Early this month a row of Syzygium spp at the Upper Seletar Reservoir Park bloomed. I was lucky to see a proliferation of rare Awls, Snow Flats and Skippers that were not normally seen outside the forests. To top it all we had a rare mango moth to end the season. I had a total of eleven lifers thanks to the help from so many butterfly experts I met there. Here are some of the butterflies and insects we managed to get on our sensors during those few mornings.

Robberfly at USR
This Robber fFy was found inside the trails of the Seletar Forest.


Common Snow Flat at USR
Common Snow Flat is a sun loving butterfly and likes to bask with opened wings

Brown Awl at USR
Brown Awls were out in force on all the days when we were there.

Ultra Snow Flat at USR
You can only see small white specks zipping around. They are the Snow Flats. The Ultra has more markings at the base of the hind wings.

Malay Lascar at USR
Malayan Lascar is very similar to the Common Lascar but are less common. Do comes down to the ground to feed.

Tree Flitter at USR
Tree Flitter, a small skipper is not easily seen. Spotted by Chan Yiu Nam.

Pale Mottle at USR
Pale Mottle likes underside of leaves that are infested with Asphids. Like the ants they are attracted to the secretions of the Asphids.

Common Posy at USR
Common Posy looks like the Branded Imperial but has more black Stripes on its hind wings. Often returns to the same sun lit spot. 

Darky Plushblue at USR
Darky Plushblue was the rarest butt seen during the past few days, thanks to the Kim Keang’s sharp eyes 

Cruiser at USR
A low perspective of a uncommon Cruiser. Loves to feed on excrement and dead animals.

Hoary Palmer at USR
This fairly large Skipper, the Hoary Palmer was really friendly and stayed around for all of us to get our shots. The heighten White hind wings are good id features.


The Purple Duke is the only butterfly in its genus found here and Malaysia. When disturbed it will zipped away and hide at the underside of leaves with folded wings.

Male Form Gardineri Baron
Unfortunately this is not the White-tipped Baron that Lena Chow saw the day before. It is a male Form Gardineri Baron.

Malayan Snow Flat
Malayan Snow Flat is rarer than the look alike Ultra. This was pointed out to me by by Khew Sin Khoon.

White Banded Awl
The White Banded Awl should have a more colorful name. When the hind wings catch the sunlight, you can see the purplish sheen on it like in this photo.


Acknowledgement: I like to thank Lim Kim Keang, Khew Sin Khoon, Yong Yik Shih, Lena Chow and Chan Yiu Nam for showing me these butterflies and how to identify them. 

Reference: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Singapore. Gan Cheong Weei and Simon Chan. A Guide to the Common Butterflies of Singapore. Steven Neo. Butterfly Circle Butterflies Checklist.