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Secret Garden - Tarantula and Scorpion kids

Just when we thought we had covered every square inch of Admiralty Park, the regulars decided to venture onto a patch of thick vegetation covered by a dense canopy of trees. They called it the secret garden. Looks like a pot of wonderful unknown macro opportunities no? :P

It turned out that the vegetation got too thick at times and we did not know what we were stepping into. Knowing that a black spitting cobra lurked in the park did not help much either. The trip was hence a short one, venturing only a short distance before some moths kept fluttering in front of our faces, seemingly attracted to our lights.

Just a few steps into the cove, we were welcomed by the scorpion mama herding a pack of kids on her back. It hid within a hollow trunk peering out at us while we explored the area. While the rest took pictures of the other scorpions, I looked lower at the tarantula just a few meters away.

Tarantula (Theraphosidae) - DSC_8853 #1 Hiding deep within a bark crevice, this shy tarantula covers its face as I approached

Tarantula (Theraphosidae) - DSC_8887 #2 Really very shy, this was the most it would show of its face. It ran off shortly after being irritated by my torch lights. :P

Anyone knows the exact species of this guy?

We invited the scorpion mother out and it took a happy run around the tree bark. The kids appear to be almost ready to venture into the world on their own, so you probably won't see this scene around here much longer.

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8903 #3 Record shot of the kids clinging onto the mother's back

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8932 #4 We came face-to-face. Actually the mother's face was covered partially by some of the little ones.

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8955 #5 Well since we're already here, might as well take more pics!!

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8961 #6 Close up on the mother. How many eyes does a scorpion have? Have you ever noticed the row of 3 tiny eyes on each side?

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8982 #7 Ok we started to get more exotic, knowing that scorpions glow under UV light, we switched off our torches and shone rays of UV on it. Sure enough, the mother lit up, but it seemed that the young did not have such properties on their shells yet. Not wanting the kids to feel left out in this picture, I flicked on the IR torch as well to make sure they got into the portrait!

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8993 #8 Notice the difference in luminence between the mother and its young

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8994 #9 Close up. Notice the additional sets of eyes?

Scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_9011 #10 Attempting some back-lit effect. FAIL!! lol

Well, thats all for now. The secret garden holds much promise, as I'm sure there are different subjects to discover in the day as compared to our sightings at night. It is extremely humid and windless in there due to the thick vegetation, so lots of water is necessary!

The complete album can be viewed here.

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