Sarawak Day 3 – Kubah National Park – Belian & Selang Trail

3 June 2012

[ Day 1 Kubah | Day 2 Gading | Day 3 Kubah | Day 4 Kubah ]

Day 3 and aching were yet to be relieved before we went on yet another trip on a slope. Belian Trail starts near the park HQ with a steep, mossy flight of steps downward. We had to tread very carefully as the moss was slippery and having both arms occupied with my tripod and gear didn’t help much. 😛 Step by step, we slowly edged downwards and managed to conquer the steps without any butts kissing the ground! 🙂

All behind the scenes shots are from Melvyn’s Sony TX5, Nicky’s Galaxy SII and David’s iPhone. Victor’s S90 was lost on the cab, and nobody knows where Ben hid his photos from his EP3.

#1 Got up early, and Victor prepared french toast for all! Managed to finish up all the eggs we bought!

#2 Some sliced cucumbers for the morning sandwich

#3 In the kitchen preparing breakfast

#4 Which monkey ate all the bananas har???

#5 Victor with his french toast and fried eggs

#6 Washing the dishes

#7 Tuna must eat tuna. LOTS OF IT

#8 One full plate for the ever hungry man

#9 Victor doing warm up shots outside the chalet before setting off

Firefly larva (Lampyridae) - DSC_9349#10 Before heading out, we found that the firefly larva was still around, and took some shots of it in daylight

Firefly larva (Lampyridae) - DSC_9355#11 Still very active! Decided to leave it alone after this shot, it didn’t seem very happy with us

Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae) - DSC_9376#12 The longhorn beetle was still at our balcony too!

Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae) - DSC_9385#13 Good morning!

#14 Start of Belian Trail before the steep descent

#15 You didn’t see the sign that we were leaning on….

#16 Initial steps, as Victor goes down step by step

#17 Quite a long flight of steps, must’ve been never-ending for Ben!

#18 Base of the first flight of steps. Looks like a place with lots of potential!

#19 Crossing the bridge that seemed like it was going to collapse

#20 Camwhoring after crossing the bridge

#21 More camwhoring

#22 Found lots of robberflies along the trail covered with overgrowth

#23 Yet another steep descent! Victor appears in the morning rays like a superhero

Trilobite Beetle (Duliticola sp.) - DSC_9421#24 Finally started shooting. Took some warmup shots with this trilobite beetle larva

Trilobite Beetle (Duliticola sp.) - DSC_9429#25 Not very active, but we can see a bit of the eye sticking out

Robberflies (Asilidae) - DSC_9442#26 Victor found this beautiful pair of mating BLUE Robberflies! They were a little skittish, but as they flew together, it was easy to trace and chase them around

Robberflies (Asilidae) - DSC_9446#27 Another top view. The sun was going in and out from behind the clouds and white balance gets screwy at times

Robberflies (Asilidae) - DSC_9495#28 Side profile of the mating robberflies

#29 Here’s a picture of me shooting the robberflies

Caterpillar - DSC_9462#30 Victor found this interesting looking caterpillar

Caterpillar - DSC_9465#31 Trying hard to get it in focus as it refused to stop moving

DSC_9481#32 Opened up the aperture to get a bright background, but DOF is much thinner

Caterpillar - DSC_9454#33 Here’s the cool part… bright green below with orange head!

Fighting Spider (Thiania bhamoensis) - DSC_9508#34 Victor’s on a roll and found this male jumping spider (Thiana sp.) with very bright metallic blue stripes!

Fighting Spider (Thiania bhamoensis) - DSC_9509#35 View of the back reveals the bright stripes. Surreal…

Fighting Spider (Thiania bhamoensis) - DSC_9515#36 Closing in for my favourite face shot!

Fighting Spider (Thiania bhamoensis) - DSC_9527#37 Closest I could get. This jumping spider loved to jump onto my lens and flash diffusers

Fighting Spider (Thiania bhamoensis) - DSC_9527#38 Another angle

Fighting Spider (Thiania bhamoensis) - DSC_9551#39 Side view. As curious as other jumping spiders, always looking up and everywhere

Jumping Spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9560#40 Melvyn showed me this jumping spider with prey, stealing a peak at my camera

Comb-footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_9593#41 Very odd looking spider. It was carrying it’s prey at the tip of it’s legs while walking around upside down!

Comb-footed Spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_9607#42 Once settled down, it would bring it’s food to it’s mouth

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9648#43 Melvyn found this pair of beautiful stick insects (Aschiphasma annulipes). I had called it the watermelon stick insects for the distinct green stripes on it’s body (it is not the official name, sorry if some of you thought it was). Amazing camouflage as we had to squint to locate it even when it was right in front of us!

#44 The sky opened and it started to pour!! Not daunted, Ben employed the help of 2 other assistants to hold 3 umbrellas for him while he took the shots of the 2 stick insects.

#45 Really a combined effort!

#46 Dunno why Nick was shooting with his towel

#47 The rest sat down to rest while waiting for the rain to stop. Looks possessed….

#48 Constipated…

#49 *sob* why rain no stop?

#50 Victor was taking a break too

#51 Ben just wouldn’t stop shooting! lol

#52 The yellow ninja turtle could not stand it anymore and went in to take close up shots

#53 Selling drinks?

#53b Rain finally stops, and we put down our umbrellas to continue shooting!

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9666#54 View of the stick insects from the side

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9672#55 Close up handheld shots as it was too difficult to setup the tripodin that position and distance

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9675#56 Still wet from the rain

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9679#57 See the watermelon? 🙂

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9694#58 Not sure who found this, but this sawfly larva has an amazingly bright blue and yellow colouration!

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9700#59 Looks like some gummy sweet

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9718#60 Closing in on the head reveals only 1 pair of eyes. Normal caterpillars should have 6 pairs.

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9721#61 Wouldn’t stop moving, but managed to capture it while it was doing a flip

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9724#62 Front view

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9728#63 Can’t get enough of the head!

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9732#64 Still moving

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9737#65 Climbing up

Sawfly larva (Symphyta) - DSC_9749#66 And doing a lion dance for me

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9756#67 Went back to shoot the beautiful pair of stick insects again! This time with natural light and reflectors

#68 How I placed the reflectors. Can you even see the stick insects in this picture?

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9762#69 Another side view of the pair

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9769#70 Victor found another stick insect of the same species, but this time the camouflage was not as fantastic.

Stick Insect (Aschiphasma annulipes) - DSC_9777#71 Close up on the head and watermelon

Long Horned Spiny Orb Weaver (Macracantha arcuata) - DSC_9793#72 Close up of the Macracantha arcuata (previously Gasteracantha arcuata). Lazy to take a good shot as I was already very happy with earlier shots of this from Khao Yai.

Long Horned Spiny Orb Weaver (Macracantha arcuata) - DSC_9799#73 Dangling itself

We made our way back to the chalet slowly as the sun set, all ready for Victor’s famous fried rice!

#74 The chef on his way up

#75 Chef preparing the food

#76 Fried rice! But where’s the rice?

#76b Added the rice in!

#77 So much good stuff that we can’t see the rice

#78 Plating for our dinner

#79 Found the rice! Granted that we were ridiculously hungry and anything would have tasted nice, dinner was delicious! Thanks to Victor for the savoury delight!

#79b All ready to tuck in!!

#80 Me tucking in. Show no mercy.

#81 Chef has a special bowl while everyone else used a plate

#82 After dinner was dessert! Dunno how many slices of watermelon Ben had…

#83 We also prepared longan and Nata de Coco. All of which was mixed with 100 Plus. Nobody went to the toilet after that… so its safe!!

After filling ourselves silly, we picked up our gear again for our final night shoot up Selang Trail.

Pill Millipede (Zephroniidae) - DSC_9804#84 Found this pill bug at the base of the steps in front of our chalet

Stick Insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_9808#85 And a large stick insect along a concrete path

Stick Insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_9813#86 Lazy to remove the Raynox, so I just took close ups of the eyes

Earwig (Dermaptera) - DSC_9816#87 A large earwig on a tree trunk

Common Flashwing (Vestalis amethystina) - DSC_9844#88 A damselfly with really pretty blue wings. With full flash, the wings were burnt (not literally, but in a photographic sense). 🙁

Toad - DSC_9847#89 A grumpy little toad. Same as the one we shot at Rayu Trail last year

Toad - DSC_9857#90 Super grumpy

Cockroach (Blattodea) - DSC_9870#91 Victor showed me this jungle roach, saying that it had nice patterns on it’s back. I ended up trying to shoot a darth vader angle.

Cockroach (Blattodea) - DSC_9874#92 Peekaboo!

Frog - DSC_9879#93 Dirty little litter froggie

Frog - DSC_9881#94 Stretchhh!!

Stick Insects (Phasmatodea) - DSC_9889#95 Nick found this pair of mating stick insects and said it was super rare. Took a record shot of it anyway. 😛

Frog - DSC_9900#96 Just beside, a tiny frog was hiding in a crevice

Velvet Ant (Mutillidae) - DSC_9913#97 This velvet ant (a.k.a. Cow Killer) was not moving. A rare sight, as this little one would normally be running about non-stop.

Velvet Ant (Mutillidae) - DSC_9926#98 Trying to take a head shot, but it ran away after this

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_9943#99 A black huntsman spider, with empty-looking eyes

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_9951#100 Record shot from above

DSC_9953#101 A mating pair

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_9966#102 Victor found this odd shaped spider

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_9972#103 It actually has some pretty unique patterns on its abdomen

DSC_9977#104 Tiny little bug that refused to stop moving

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_9985#105 Another huntsman spider

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_9987#106 Record shot from above

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_9992#107 Full view including the legs, super reflective leaf!

Ground Spider (Zodariidae) - DSC_9997#108 Victor found this odd looking pair. Looks like a ground spider, or 2 ground spiders?? On closer inspection, I think this should be a ground spider with a forest ant.

Ground Spider (Zodariidae) - DSC_9998#109 Top view of the oddly pair. David said that he saw the forest ant walking into the path of the ground spider and got stuck there.

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0018#110 On the way back, I wanted to check out the pill roach again to see if it opened up, and noticed a weird set of blue legs!

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0027#111 A blue Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider! Could be cobalt blue but we can’t be sure as it had already lost 2 legs and looked very battled.

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0029#112 View of the sockets where the legs used to be

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0032#113 Curled up like a flower. It was very skittish and ran very fast!

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0035#114 Went into the drain and we followed

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0039#115 Finally settled down here and we were able to take quite a few shots!

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0044#116 Metallic blue beauty. Nick came down and saw some of the shots, and dismissed it as a common Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider that can easily be found in Singapore!! @.@

#117 Close up from the front

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0054#118 Awesome blue

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0063#119 With a slight change in angle, the background turned reddish

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0066#120 Side view close up

Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) - ESC_0068#121 Close up on the carapace. Very deep metallic blue. Chio chio!

After the blue Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider, we were finally satisfied and retired to the chalet for a good rest. BTW, I found a leech crawling on my camera… arghh.. luckily it was still skinny and had not taken my blood yet.

[ Day 1 Kubah | Day 2 Gading | Day 3 Kubah | Day 4 Kubah ]

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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