New Tiny Findings at Mandai Track 15

16 January 2011

Haven’t been to Mandai Track 15 in a while. We ventured beyond the normal bike path, bashing through the pathless terrain for any unique finds and the morning trip had a few interesting sightings.

First up, is the usual Robberfly. Robberflies do come in several colours, while the most common ones in Singapore come in silver, black or orange. There had been sightings of blue ones, and that’s definitely on my wish list. 🙂

Robberfly (Asilidae) - DSC_1964#1 Here’s a small Robberfly feasting on a tinier fly. It kept flying off, but would return to the same location most of the time. Not very friendly to my tripod though.

Comb-Footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_1983#2 Split-Faced Silver Spider preying on a Big-Bellied Tylorida. Thanks to Allan for the IDs!

The next unique catch is the Ant-Snatching Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis petax). I had shot some of these before, but most had been hyperactive or extremely tiny, so I did not get a chance to get a good shot at it. This however, did not move much and was at least 1cm long!

These bugs attack ants for food, and toss the carcasses onto their back. The abdomen secretes sticky threads which keep the carcasses in place to form a walking nightmare for ants. Apparently, this serves as a camouflage (breaking it’s outline) and a shield against predators such as spiders.

Ant-Snatching Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis sp.) - DSC_2033b#3 Side view of the Ant-Snatching Assassin Bug. The rostrum is blocked by it’s legs and hidden underneath it’s body.

Ant-Snatching Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis sp.) - DSC_2042b#4 Top view with a closeup on the carcasses. The ants’ heads are pretty obvious here.

The next subject is a Derbid Bug. I’ve sighted several of these before and most had a deep blue sheen over it’s body. The one found today had an orange body with beautiful patterns on it’s wings. Some called it Micky Mouse because if it’s cute face – looks a little bit cross-eyed!

Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae) - DSC_2062#5 View from the back. It has 2 white spots on it’s back, not sure if it is external or part of it’s body.

Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae) - DSC_2086#6 View from the front. Cute right??

Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae) - DSC_2107#7 Side view, looks just like a plant hopper.

Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae) - DSC_2109#8 Closeup on it’s face. It’s hard to describe the expression on the face

Last subject, is a Fungus Weevil. It has a horse-like face and a beautifully patterned body. Often found on tree barks and very skittish. Only managed 1 shot before some ants arrived to chase it away 🙁

Fungus Weevil (Anthribidae) - DSC_2110#9 Fungus Weevil, around 2.2 meters above ground, used my tripod to maximum height!

Just a quick update… I’ve adjusted my rig once again… looks like this now!

Tamron 180mm with dual SB600

The complete album can be viewed 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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