Part one of two – 20/3/2021: Blog #3: A Fruitful Early Morning walk at Windsor Nature Park

I woke up early in the morning, as I had planned to go for a trip to Windsor Nature Park with the three ‘Aunties’, whose names I shall not mention. We left as early as possible, and arrived at the place at 7.05, before meeting up at the car park, which was already bustling! We decided to take the trail which led straight into the forest, instead of the mangrove boardwalk, as we were looking to increase our chances of finding interesting insects.

Upon arriving at the entrance to the trail, we chanced upon a Treehugger Dragonfly resting on the bark of a tall tree. I managed to get a close-up shot of its intricately patterned wings, before it flew off with a buzz.

There were a lot of mosquitos at the place, but pressing on, we found these tiny common Darkling Beetles, Derispia sp, mating in a crevice of the bark of a tree.

After this, we walked quickly, heading towards ‘The Clearing’, a relatively unshaded area where there are several rotting logs covered with mushrooms. Here is where you can usually find darkling beetles, fungus beetles, and all sorts of bugs. This time around, carefully scrutinising the end of a log, I found a tiny 5mm Earwig instead of the usual Darkling Beetles.

Now, there were plenty of mushrooms, and with them were many fungus beetles. But before we take a look at the beetles on the mushrooms, please take the time to admire my “collection” of mushrooms from ‘The Clearing’.

Now, as mentioned, there were plenty of Pleasing Fungus Beetles, especially on the second log to the left of the path, probably because the surroundings there were less disturbed, as it is slightly further from the trail.

Enough of the fungus beetles and back to the rest of the clearing. On the right side of the clearing was a much smaller log with many Black and White Beetle Larvae, probably that of Eumorphus sp., the Handsome Fungus Beetles.

And on a log right next to the Beetle-larva-infested-log, there was a pair of adult Eumorphus sp., probably of a different species as the larvae shown above.

At this point, we were running out of things to photograph at the clearing, so we moved on. After a while of walking, we came across some melastoma plants, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a 3mm Jewel Beetle (Habroloma sp.) on one of the leaves.

On the same plants were a few of these Chabria angulicollis Leaf Beetles. They are a very vibrant red!

Another red beetle was not too far away – a Derispia sp. Darkling Beetle. To my surprise, there were plenty of this red coloured species along the rest of the trail.

Next, one of the ‘Aunties’ spotted this tiny black insect, and it turned out to be a weevil of the genus Demimaea. It certainly looks like a miniature elephant!

After firing off our respective rounds, we were ready to set off again, only to be stopped by the sighting of another Eumorphus sp. Handsome Fungus Beetle.

Now, we were nearing the 2/3 mark of the trail – a small stream flowing under the walkway. On a Dumb Cane Plant next to the path, we caught sight of a tiny Triplax fungus beetle. Unfortunately, it flew away before I could get better shots.

Next, an earwig popped up right before we entered the last leg of the trail, which comprised more open forest. A firefly beetle also appeared, but I opted to go for the earwig instead. It was a good choice, as the firefly was of the same species as the one previously seen at Dairy Farm Nature Park.

An orangish Derispia sp. Darkling Beetle also popped up. Not sure if it is the same species as the three photographed just before this section of the trail.

On a huge tree, we found quite a few insects. First of all, another species of Derispia.

Secondly, there was also an interesting looking fly, which, I was later informed by an expert, is a type of Lauxaniid fly.

Third, yet another Darkling Beetle

And lastly, a ground cricket resting at the base of the tree.

Before we could continue towards the end of the trail, a very beautiful cricket with jade-coloured-legs was seen actively hopping from leaf to leaf of a low bush.

A leaf beetle was also resting on the underside of a large low lying leaf. Interestingly, it had a red coloured head, but unfortunately, my diffuser blocked part of the lens, and made the colour of the bottom half of the picture turn whitish. By the time I realised the mistake, the beetle had already flown off. I will probably have to adjust my diffuser so it doesn’t slip down at inopportune moments.

The last insect we found was this ‘dancing’ signal fly, showing me to the exit of the trail. At this point, we arrived at the start of the mangrove boardwalk previously mentioned. Unfortunately, due to the habitat and the number of people passing through this area, we were not able to find any interesting insects. Still glad to be able to find so many unique bugs, and Windsor Nature Park remains the best place in my opinion to go look for insects and arachnids.

– Joshua Wong





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