Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pleasant Walk at Ubin with Fellow Volunteers

It's been a while since I had a walk at Pulau Ubin, and hence when Alan organised a walk for Ubin volunteers, I decided to take part.

And during the walk, surprise surprise! The Gymnanthera oblonga was flowering!!! I had been hoping to get photos of the flowers for years! This back mangrove plant is critically endangered in Singapore, though it is rather wide spread on Ubin. I have seen it once on Semakau as well.

There were even some opened seed pods, with the feathery seeds that are dispersed by wind. This was also my first time seeing the seeds of Gymnanthera oblonga!

Here's another look at the flower again with some flower buds. There were lots of Weaver Ants on the plant though. Guess I will go Ubin again another day to properly check if the other Gymnanthera oblonga on the other parts of the island are flowering or fruiting, just to get more photos.

Another blooming plant I saw was the Lenggadai (Bruguiera parviflora).

The Teruntum merah (Lumnitzera littorea) has pretty little red flowers in bunches.

The catkin of the Buta-buta (Excoecaria agallocha), otherwise known as 'Blind-your-eyes" due to its toxic sap.

The female flower of the Nipah Palm (Nypa fruticans) is like a yellow ball.

Fruiting plants include the Seashore Nutmeg (Knema globularia), with its yellow fruits that split open to reveal the red flesh when they are ripe.

And the Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris), which also had lots of Weaver Ants on its fruits.

I did not take many photos of animals this time round, as it was really hot and many animals were just hiding from the heat.

The Black Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa latipes) is one of the biggest bees in the world.

Not sure what bee or wasp is this (the lazy me will once again wait for the kind-hearted souls to help me), but it's really pretty with the metallic greenish blue exoskeleton. Update: Thanks James for the info. After checking the various actual size photos for the details, it should be a cuckoo wasp (family Chrysididae) :)

A moth which looked really weak - not sure if it just emerged from its cocoon not too long ago, or was it attacked by some predator before this.

A very pretty and colourful caterpillar which I saw near the mangrove area.

Two species of monitor lizards can be found on Pulau Ubin, and this was the smaller Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus).

And here's a juvenile Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) hiding in a burrow. To distinguish between the two species just look at the nostrils - for the Malayan Water Monitor, they are located nearer to the tip of the snout.

And lastly, a swallow - not sure which species is this as well.


James K said...

Wasp in flight shot is awesome. Maybe cuckoo wasp or sweat bee?

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Thanks James! It's not very sharp at bigger sizes though. Haha...

Wee Foong said...

Hi Ron,

The caterpillar is that of a Studded Sergeant butterfly (Athyma asura
idita). Nice photos.