Recce Trip to Mandai T15 Trail: Blog #5 – 26/3/2021

On that Thursday, I had decided to go to the Mandai T15 trail, as I had heard about the place from a friend recently. I also wanted to go to get some footage for a project I have been working on. On the way to the trail, I saw many long blades of grass with water droplets on them, and decided to photograph some of them, as it looks quite artistic.

Coming back to wildlife, I chanced upon a cute looking gecko on the railings near the entrance to the path. This little fellow has not yet been identified, so I would appreciate any assistance on its ID. Thanks!

Moving into the start of the trail, I found most people’s nightmare sitting calmly on a leaf – a 2 inch Giant Forest Cockroach! This guy had beautiful brownish colouration.

Moving further into the path, I saw a large moth fluttering about, and when it settled down, it turned out to be a purple beauty! This is a Burnet Moth, and it is the first time I have encountered this particular species.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of something shining in the beam of my UV light. it turned out to be a scorpion, however, I could not manage to get a shot of it, due to its skittish behaviour. While waiting for it to come out of hiding, I found a Huntsman spider on the same log.

Eventually, I got tired of waiting, and moved on. There were many pairs of these darkling beetles, as per usual in a forested area. I was too lazy to get many shots of them, and so only took a pair of them.

Next, I decided to take a record shot of one of the Harvestmen lurking in the crevices on the tree barks. To my surprise, the photo turned out pretty great! Harvestmen (Order Opiliones) are Arachnids, distantly related to spiders. They, however, from a distance, to the untrained eye, bear a large resemblance to spiders.

There were plenty of these snails around, and I thought this was a cool photo, with the fungi and all around the subject, so I spared a minute to take this shot.

Just past the area where the track intersects with a track used by the army (locked gate separates the two paths), I found these Scarab Beetles of the Tribe Sericini munching on the leaves of a small plant, growing on a dead tree stump.

On the same tree stump, there was a smallish Longhorn Beetle which was inconspicuously boring a hole into the wood.

Right then, I saw a luminous mushroom. It had a beautiful glow in the dark! However, to get near enough to photograph it I would need to demolish many spiderwebs and I was not inclined to do so, so I decided to give it a pass. Instead, I opted to take this curious looking Assassin bug of the genus Sastrapada.

It was getting late, and we decided to turn back towards the car. On a large tree, I happened to catch sight of a Darkling Beetle. I was in a rush, and so only got some poor shots.

A pretty Grasshopper (Unidentified) was also spotted on a leaf, which had large holes in it, presumably caused by this guy and his kind.

On the way back, I checked the rotting branch the scorpion had been on earlier, and to my pleasant surprise, it had moved out into the open! It turned out to be the Bark Scorpion, Lychas scutilus. certainly a pretty creature!

As I had not gotten any shots of the luminous mushroom earlier mentioned, I was delighted to find another in a much more accessible spot this time! It is a Green Pepe, a type of Bonnet Mushroom (Genus Mycena). It was tough to get a shot in the dark, and I had to focus stack a few images together to get the end product shown by yours truly!

It was an apt ending to a marvellous night, and although I was not meticulously searching for insects, and trying to get a feel of the place instead, I still managed to find many strange and bizarre creatures! The place seems promising, and I will likely visit the spot again in the near future!






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