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A Congregation of Tiger Beetles

After the earlier shoot at Admiralty Park, I went home to pack some stuff before heading out again, and eventually ending up at Rifle Range Road for a night shoot. Found several tiger beetles in this trip, together with several other exotic species (at least to us). Unfortunately I missed out on some of the subjects, so here I am presenting yet again... the Tiger Beetles!! I have an earlier post about Tiger Beetles and their crazy running speed: The Fastest Running Land Animal on Earth.

Tiger Beetles are known to be the fastest land running animals, but when night falls, they are like sleeping babies and may not budge even if you touched them. The unique part of this trip was focused on a single plant, where quite a number of tiger beetles gathered. Each was busy stoning in their own corner/leaf while others got on to their favorite past time. (see pictures below for details)

Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae) - DSC_5162 #1 Many were shooting subjects with natural light in the day, so here I am doodling around with my first pair of tiger beetles for the night, with unnatural light! (my torch)

Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae) - DSC_5135 #2 Here's the couple in action with flash. The male was not as active and chose intense vibration (as I saw it) in spurts, while the female occasionally offered to make the first move.

Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae) - DSC_5201 #3 Reached the plant with the village of tiger beetles, and some were already getting busy with their favorite past time. Those who did not have a mate could only watch the action....

Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae) - DSC_5208 #4 Actually from this shot, it looked more like 2 of the spectators lining up to get into the action!

Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae) - DSC_5214 #5 Since the paparazzi was already here, everyone lined up for a head shot! :)

So that was the little plant with the tiger beetles. There were several others on the other leaves, but this leaf had the most interesting action going on. lol

Zooming in to the other findings of the night...!

Daddy Long Legs (Pholcidae) - DSC_5087 #6 Leaf-Dwelling Daddy-Long-Leg (Uthina atrigularis) carrying eggs wrapped in a few strands of silk, with it's jaws.

Crane Fly (Tipulidae) - DSC_5168 #7 A beautiful yellow/orange Cranefly

Ground Beetles (Carabidae) - DSC_5234 #8 Mating ground beetles, found scampering on a log

Ground Beetles (Carabidae) - DSC_5237 #9 The duo turned around and gave me a big SMILE!! :)

Plain Nawab butterfly (Polyura hebe plautus) - DSC_5263 #10 Lava of the Plain Nawab butterfly (Polyura hebe plautus), also known to us as the Dragon King Caterpillar. Butterfly Circle has an excellent article documenting the life cycle of this beautiful jewel: Life History of the Plain Nawab

Fungus Weevil (Anthribidae) - DSC_5301 #11 A large, but odd-looking weevil. Can't really identify the different weevils yet. Anyone with help?

House Centipede (Scutigeridae) - DSC_5319 #12 Japanese House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata) found resting under a leaf. The Japanese called it Gejigeji. Would you be happy to see this in your house? They are actually harmless creatures, and could be beneficial in your home as they feed on typical house pests such as flies, silverfish, termites, bedbugs, cockroaches, ants, etc!! Won't you give it a second chance? :P

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_5324 #13 A huge Brown Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda venatoria sp) carrying it's egg sac with it's jaws.

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_5342 #14 A closer look from the side revealed that the egg had already opened and the little spiderlings are sprawling out!

Longhorn Beetle (Epepeotes luscus) - DSC_5348 #15 The others kept calling my name while shooting this Longhorn Beetle. I used a picture of this as my avatar in other photography forums :P

While staring hard into the bushes, I heard the others shouting out for me about the presence of a viper. I lugged my ding dong setup over the root-strewn path to find this beautiful juvenile Wagler's Pit Viper resting on a leaf, patiently waiting for unsuspecting prey. Victor had been standing beside it and discovered it before trampling over the venomous snake. Due to it's highly venomous potential, everyone else volunteered me to take the shot, for I had the longest lens to keep a safe distance! lol. My earlier encounter with this snake was in Dairy Farm Park: Wagler's Pit Viper spotted!

Wagler's Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_5287 #16 The viper hissing at no one... probably curious about our presence. The tongue is blue! Poison?

Wagler's Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_5289 #17 Close-up on it's face. The "pit" of the viper is right in front of it's eyes, used to sense tiny temperature changes.

Wagler's Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_5296 #18 View from above, the viper is easily identified by the broad triangular head

If you do see this viper around, please do not approach it. Well for that matter, this rule should apply to all snakes unless you are very familiar with them and are sure that they are harmless.

The complete album can be viewed here.

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