Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spiders & Insects Galore at Kranji & Sungei Buloh

A bunch of nature bloggers - CH, SY, JL, JH, ST, JS, and I decided to go to Kranji Nature Trail and Sungei Buloh today. While the area is more well-known for its mangroves, the arthropods stole the limelight today, and we saw lots of interesting spiders and insects!

This leafhopper used to be one of my favourite insects when I was a kid living in the kampong. Somehow found them to look really cute. Leafhoppers feed on plant sap and thus are usually considered pests.

Thought this orange crab spider looked like it's doing taichi... They usually have two pairs of bigger front legs, and move side-ways like crabs. Instead of using webs, they normally hunt for food with their front legs.

Can you spot the two butterflies among the dead leaves? We saw plenty of butterflies today, but I only managed to get better photos for these two.

There were lots of dragonflies along the Kranji Nature Trail too! Dragonflies normally hunt for smaller insects like mosquitoes in flight.

I think this is probably the nymph of a katydid... (Update: Heard from Luan Keng that this is a cricket nymph. Thanks Luan Keng!)

There were quite a few damselflies too! Unlike their close relatives the dragonflies, damselflies hold their wings vertically at rest. Dragonflies hold their wings horizontally at rest.

This jumping spider kept jumping onto our cameras as we tried to take pictures of it.

Captured this shot as I thought it looks quite cute, with the grasshopper resting on the snail.

Stink bugs, otherwise also called shield bugs, have glands in their thorax which produce a foul smelling liquid to deter potential predators.

We were quite lucky to see an atlas moth, which is also considered to be the largest moths in the world in terms of total wing surface area.

We also saw a spider carrying her egg sac. Have no idea what type of spider this is though :P

We found another jumping spider on the mangrove boardwalk at Sungei Buloh. Another round of photo-taking, with the spider jumping from one camera to another...

We always managed to find many dragonflies resting on water plants at the small pond near the entrance to the reserve.

Found this planthopper and a little green-coloured fly (on the right) resting on a climber surrounded with several threads of spider web. The spider was just nearby. Hmm... I really wonder how did they managed to get pass the web, and will they be able to leave safely without providing additional nourishment for the spider...

Think this is a shield bug, though I'm not really sure. Maybe some insect experts out there can advise? (Update: Luan Keng advised that this is the nymph of a shield bug. Thanks again!)

Anyway, we were really lucky that it didn't rain when we were having our walk. And even luckier that JS drove, and so we were sheltered from the heavy rain when it started pouring later :P

All in all, it was a great trip with a bunch of fun-loving volunteers :)

No comments: