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Nikoi Island's Micro World Day 1

Nikoi Island [ Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 ]

I had the opportunity to do an arthropod survey in Nikoi Island, a private resort island located 8km east of Bintan. It is a beautiful little island (probably about 400-500m from east to west), but the little patch of undisturbed forest has never been observed up close. Exploring the unknown could reveal many interesting bugs, but we could also return home with nothing. Nevertheless, we proceeded with much anticipation!

To find out more about Nikoi Island, visit their website or Facebook page. It takes just 2.5 hours from Singapore to reach Nikoi Island (1 hour on ferry, 1 hour on taxi, 20 minutes on private ferry).

Behind the scenes photos courtesy of James and my Galaxy S4. :)

  1. The initial journey on the private cab in Bintan seemed uneventful, with hardly any cars on the road.

  2. neIMG_0651
  3. We requested for a quick stop when we passed by a traditional fishing village

  4. 20130615_112615
  5. Sunning the fish

  6. neIMG_0659
  7. View of the private jetty that brings us to Nikoi Island!

  8. 20130615_114907
  9. Only 2 of us boarding the boat. It was that private.

  10. 20130615_115134
  11. Bye bye Bintan!

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  13. How the boat looks from inside. Very comfortable but we couldn't sit still

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  15. Nikoi Island in sight!

  16. neIMG_0671
  17. Approaching the little jetty

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  19. They had these to cycle our luggage to the rooms

  20. neIMG_0680
  21. Had a glimpse of level 1 of our cabin - these are the owners' rooms so if you are looking to stay at Nikoi, your rooms should look way more awesome!

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  23. The most important part of the room... given that we are going to be trudging through the greenery :)

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  25. Checked out the toiletries :P

  26. Signal Fly (Platystomatidae) - DSC_6312
  27. Saw a Signal Fly (Platystomatidae) taking a breather and I took a warm-up shot of the beautiful eyes

  28. neIMG_0683
  29. Before our first jungle walk, we went to the dining area to have our lunch

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  31. James didn't take much prawns.. so these were all mine!!!

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  33. Documenting the food. The owner of the island, Andrew was seated just behind James.

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  35. Looks pretty clean, but its macro, we can find bugs anywhere!

  36. Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) - DSC_6313
  37. If you spot some whitish little bugs scurrying around on the sand, it is likely to be this Wolf Spider (Lycosidae)

  38. Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) - DSC_6316
  39. There were also many Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae) hovering about, these guys are fast!! Interestingly, we showed the photos to some of the staff who had worked there for many years, but none have observed them up close yet!

  40. Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) - DSC_6320
  41. Only managed a few shots before the Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) flew off

  42. neIMG_0691
  43. Checking out some of the tiny spiders along the sandy path

  44. Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) - DSC_6328
  45. And it's a Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) tending to her spiderlings!

  46. Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) - DSC_6335
  47. The Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) is typically brightly coloured with a hairy abdomen

  48. Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) - DSC_6337
  49. The spiderlings of the Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) looked quite cute!

  50. Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_6356
  51. James found another bunch of Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae) babies

  52. Pointed Palmfly larva (Elymnias penanga) - DSC_6360
  53. Pointed Palmfly larva (Elymnias penanga) Many guests probably noticed the butterflies, but not the caterpillars.

  54. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_6365
  55. Looked under the leaves, and found a lovely green Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) carrying her eggs

  56. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_6372
  57. Even when disturbed, she does not leave her eggs easily

  58. Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_6376
  59. The Jumping Spiders (Salticidae) seem rather common here, but most were very small!

  60. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6387
  61. We found many Feather-Legged Spiders (Uloboridae) on the plants. These spiders may tend to congregate or exhibit social behavior.

  62. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6402
  63. This Crab Spider (Thomisidae) was seated very comfortably under a leaf. Almost impossible to spot it without looking really hard.

  64. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6407
  65. The crab spider typically has exceptionally long fore legs

  66. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6410
  67. A closer look at the Crab Spider's face

  68. Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_6412
  69. Another tiny Jumping Spider (Salticidae)

  70. Orb WebSpider (Araneidae) - DSC_6418
  71. A male Orb Web Spider (Araneidae)

  72. Orb WebSpider (Araneidae) - DSC_6419
  73. The male Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) is typically much smaller than the female, with a shorter life span too

  74. Orb WebSpider (Araneidae) - DSC_6423
  75. A black Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) that looked like a black dot under a leaf

  76. Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_6428
  77. Found a freshly hatched brood of Daddy-Long-Legs Spiderlings! (Pholcidae)

  78. Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_6431
  79. The mother of the cute little brood. Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae)

  80. Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_6437
  81. The Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae) tends to flatten it's body on the leaf surface when at rest, probably to hide itself.

  82. Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_6442
  83. That's how cute some of the Jumping Spiders (Salticidae) can be!

  84. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6447
  85. A Crab Spider (Thomisidae) climbed onto my finger!

  86. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6449
  87. Placed the Crab Spider (Thomisidae) back onto the leaf

  88. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6454
  89. One of the many Feather-Legged Spiders (Uloboridae)

  90. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6458
  91. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae)

  92. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6462
  93. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae)

  94. Eucharitid Wasp (Eucharitidae) - DSC_6469
  95. Found a Eucharitid Wasp (Eucharitidae) with combed antenna, but it didn't stay long enough for me to take more shots!

  96. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6470
  97. Spot the 2 Feather-Legged Spiders (Uloboridae) in this picture!

  98. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6471
  99. When the Feather-Legged Spiders (Uloboridae) were closer together

  100. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6472
  101. Maybe the one on the left is female, and the other a male, but we couldn't confirm as they may not be fully mature yet.

  102. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6480
  103. Closer look at the Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae)

  104. Feather-Legged Spider (Uloboridae) - DSC_6493
  105. Most were found dangling on their web

  106. Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes) - DSC_6497
  107. A young Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes) which seems to mimic bird droppings

  108. Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes) - DSC_6502
  109. Almost fully grown Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes)

  110. Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes) - DSC_6515
  111. The head of the Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes) has patterns to mimic eyes of a larger bug to scare away some potential predators

  112. Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes) - DSC_6521
  113. View of the full body of the Common Mormon larva (Papilio polytes)

  114. Big-Jawed Spider (Tetragnathidae) - DSC_6524
  115. Big-Jawed Spider (Tetragnathidae), quite a common sight here as well.

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  117. That's James peering around for bugs

  118. Nephilengys sp. - DSC_6529
  119. Nephilengys sp., often found on tree trunks or crevices of rocks

  120. Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) - DSC_6531
  121. The Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) has 2 extended spinnerets that earned its name

  122. Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) - DSC_6546
  123. The most unexpected find of the day was this Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) which we found in a small clearing full of golden orb weavers. It typically hides in burrows, so arachnophobes need not fear meeting up with them.

  124. Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) - DSC_6556
  125. Full view of the Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae)

  126. Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) - DSC_6573
  127. It was surprising to find this Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) because it does not balloon (i.e. air travel) and they could either be on this island since long long ago, or brought in via timber or plants?

  128. Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) - DSC_6584
  129. Lovely specimen of the Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) indeed

  130. Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) - DSC_6589
  131. The eyes of the Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) rest on a raised area on the carapace

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  133. The Tube Trapdoor Spider actually stopped on a leaf long enough for me to carry it for closeup shots!

  134. The day walk was not too bad, with the Tube Trapdoor Spider as our star find. After a quick dinner, we were out in the wild again!

    Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) - DSC_6610
  135. As night falls, we found a number of Scoliid Wasps (Scoliidae) sleeping on twigs

  136. Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) - DSC_6614
  137. The Scoliid Wasps (Scoliidae) were so deep in sleep that I could go that close to them!

  138. Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) - DSC_6616
  139. This is the typical sleeping position I guess

  140. Cryptic Sea Star (Cryptasterina sp.) - DSC_6623
  141. We soon reached the mangroves and went down the shore to have a look. James found quite a number of Cryptic Sea Stars

  142. Cryptic Sea Star (Cryptasterina sp.) - DSC_6625
  143. The Sea Stars had different patterns

  144. Cryptic Sea Star (Cryptasterina sp.) - DSC_6630
  145. This Cryptic Sea Star is particularly unique because it has 7 legs instead of 5!!

  146. Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita sp.) - DSC_6632
  147. On our way back, there were a few Land Hermit Crabs (Coenobita sp.) walking along with us

  148. Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) - DSC_6657
  149. We went back to look at the Mesh Weaver Spider (Dictynidae) again!

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  151. We tried setting up a light trap to see what interesting bugs would come to us.. but had little luck

  152. Puppy Moth - DSC_6668
  153. A cute Puppy Moth did come visiting us though!

  154. Puppy Moth - DSC_6670
  155. The Puppy Moth has a beautiful fanned/combed antennae

  156. Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) - DSC_6675
  157. There were more Scoliid Wasps (Scoliidae)

  158. Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) - DSC_6676
  159. This Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) seemed to be cleaning it's antennae

  160. Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae) - DSC_6678
  161. Did it just wake up and see me!??!

  162. Nephilengys sp. - DSC_6696
  163. The rock surfaces had some Nephilengys sp.

  164. neIMG_0724
  165. There I am taking shots of that spider

  166. Nephilengys sp. - DSC_6698
  167. And the result!

  168. Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) - DSC_6699
  169. A very distinctly coloured Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae)

  170. Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae) - DSC_6705
  171. Beautiful Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae), quite a common sight at night

  172. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_6707
  173. Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) found a signal fly for supper!

  174. Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6709
  175. A smaller Crab Spider (Thomisidae) compared to the one we saw earlier

  176. Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) - DSC_6710
  177. This Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) had brighter colours, possibly moulted recently

  178. Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_6711
  179. Found a Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae) carrying her egg sac!

  180. Sac Spider (Clubionidae) - DSC_6717
  181. A happy Sac Spider (Clubionidae) found her meal for the night too

  182. Spitting Spider (Scytodidae) - DSC_6722
  183. James spotted some of these Spitting Spiders (Scytodidae) on a tree trunk

  184. Spitting Spider (Scytodidae) - DSC_6730
  185. The Spitting Spider (Scytodidae) spits venomous sticky mass at it's prey. How cool is that!

  186. Spitting Spider (Scytodidae) - DSC_6736
  187. Spitting Spider (Scytodidae) hanging around at the nest

  188. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_6737
  189. Male Orb Web Spider (Araneidae)

  190. Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) - DSC_6741
  191. Yet another Two-Tailed Spider (Hersiliidae) with prey. Many of these spiders are nocturnal and come out to hunt at night.

  192. Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_6742
  193. Our first Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) on the island!

  194. Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_6745
  195. Looks like it is also having a nice supper

  196. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_6747
  197. Female Orb Web Spider (Neoscona sp.). We found several variants of this genus on the island.

  198. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_6749
  199. Clearer view of the abdomen

  200. Orb Web Spider (Araneidae) - DSC_6760
  201. Close up on the eyes

  202. Nephilengys sp. - DSC_7678
  203. We brought a large Nephilengys sp. down on a white surface to document

  204. Nephilengys sp. - DSC_7680
  205. The distinct character of Nephilengys sp. would be the micro-spines on the carapace as seen in this picture!

  206. With hundreds of pictures in the first day.. we decided to get a good rest, and check out the sunrise the next day from the mangroves. Turned out that we didn't really have much time to sleep after all!! Check out the photos from Day 2 here.

Nikoi Island [ Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 ]

The complete album for Day 1 can be viewed here.

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