Sunday, February 24, 2008

Checking out Central Catchment Nature Reserve

Was thinking one of these days may have to change my blog title to include terrestrial stuff as well. Been doing so many terrestrial walks these days! :)

But will I be able to find another name which I like as much? Hmm... Anyway, went with ST, LK and a few other nature lovers to Central Catchment Nature Reserve on Sunday, and here are some of the little animals we saw.

We found this very pretty skink (Family Scincidae) near a drain. Have no idea what species it is though. Skinks are the most diverse group of lizards, with about 1,200 species in the family!

ST found this cicada (Family Cicadidae). Male cicadas have loud noisemakers on the sides of the abdominal base. They are the ones making the loud repeating noise you hear in the forest in the day.

Spotted at least two of these Coeliccia octogesima. Unlike most of the other species of damselflies that I've seen, this one held its wings apart instead of holding them together vertically. Not sure why.

Have no idea what dragonfly this is. Had a hard time getting a good shot as it kept flying around and stayed in the shade, meaning I had to use flash and thus the colour didn't come out well.

Have no idea what dragonfly this is as well. Will try to confirm the IDs and update the above 2 as soon as possible :P

Prof T was quite happy to see this jumping spider (Bathippus digitalis) I found. Seems like he hasn't seen it before. This was a rather cooperative one compared to most other jumpers I've encountered. It just stayed still most of the time and let just took as many photos as we wanted. Jumping spiders are able to jump from place to place secured by a silk tether. They also have good vision for hunting and navigating.

There were lots of little red beetles (Order Coleoptera) on the leaves too.

Found lots of harvestman (Order Opiliones), which are also known as daddy long legs. Being close relatives of the spiders (from the same family Arachnida), they also have eight legs. But unlike spiders, their two main body sections are nearly joined, and they also have no venom or silk glands.

Everyone was really excited when we found this tarantula (Family Theraphosidae)! Actually, to be precise, it found us... it climbed up LK's leg! And Prof T actually commented how come he never had such luck before. Haha. Anyway, the name tarantula comes from the town of Taranto in Southern Italy, and was originally used for an unrelated species of European spider.

After a few rounds of photo-taking, the tarantula was obviously getting impatient, and took on a defensive mode. However, this only managed to encourage more photo-taking. Anyway, this is probably a Singapore tarantula (Phlogiellus inermis).

We also found this strange caterpillar with a huge head.

And more dragonflies! This is probably a Tyriobapta torrida.

And this is a female Tyriobapta torrida.

Near a pond, we also found this pretty little green frog, probably a copper-cheeked frog (Rana chalconota).

We also found this strange caterpillar. No idea what caterpillar it is as well.

Soon, it was getting dark and we had to go.

Thanks LK for inviting us to go to this interesting trip!


益想天开 said...

wah Ron, how did you manage to take such good pictures?

haha... good work and interesting species indeed. my interest is piqued!


Ron Yeo said...

thanks for the compliment! :P

all thanks to my trusty pentax compact camera for the nice photos :)

maybe we shld organise a nature outing among the cs pple one of these days. haha