Celebrating an Early Christmas at Dairy Farm!

13 March 2011

5:45am. Rain – lots of it. And the type that looked like it would last the entire day! Not gonna stop us from marching into the muddy trails in search for bugs…! lol

During this trip, the entire groupy gathered around a caterpillar. An extremely beautiful one that’s not too too common – the larva of an Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana). It’s unique outgrowing “bristles” reminded us of a Christmas tree, and most caterpillars that looked like this had been called the Christmas Cat. As usual, I volunteered to be the last to shoot, and hogged this fella for quite a while.

Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana) - DSC_3917#1 Munching done, now going up and down the stalk in search of more food!

Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana) - DSC_3921#2 View of it’s bottom

Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana) - DSC_3934#3 Side view

Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana) - DSC_3945#4 Side view while letting you peek at it’s grubby legs

Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana) - DSC_3947#5 Another view of it’s bottom

Horace Tan from the Butterfly Circle has an excellent article documenting the life history of the archduke here:

And here are the other subjects of the day… not that much less important!

While waiting for the rest, I chanced upon this golden orange robberfly hanging from a leaf.

Robberfly (Asilidae) - DSC_3767#6 Robberfly

It flew away after a few shots, and I found this bug right above! Looks like a hairy little assassin bug.

Broad-Headed Bug (Alydidae) - DSC_3793#7 Assassin Bug

Broad-Headed Bug (Alydidae) - DSC_3801#8 Head shot. One of my flashes refused to fire!! argh

Darkling Beetle (Tenebrionidae) - DSC_3831#9 Horned back bug. Not it’s exact name, but we gave it this name due to the 2 horns on it’s back. Anyone with the exact ID? Quite a common sight in Singapore.

Darkling Beetle (Tenebrionidae) - DSC_3840#10 Closer view of it’s face

Spiny Back Orb Weaver (Gasteracantha sp.) - DSC_3847#11 A blur blur view of the Hasselt’s Spiny Orbweaver (Gasteracantha hasseltii). Should be a male? Very small compared to the usual yellow version:

Hasselt's Spiny Back Orb Weaver (Gasteracantha hasselti) - DSC_5441#12 Female Hasselt’s Spiny Orbweaver

Next was this pair of cute crab spiders. Both female. Not lesbian since they refused to touch each other while scrambling around on the flower. lol.

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_3884#12 You take your corner.. I take my corner!!

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_3895#13 Not talking to you… hmmpf!!!

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_3901#14 *sniff your butt*

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_3966#15 Last shot of the day – a female crab spider devouring a fly/wasp/flying ant?

The complete albums can be viewed here and here.




Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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