Singapore’s Hidden Treasures – A 2015 Collection

30 December 2015

If you had ever traveled to Singapore, or even lived in Singapore, you would probably have missed seeing most of what I’m about to show here. This is a collection of some of the memorable photographs that I’ve taken of the tiny creatures in Singapore in 2015 (not necessarily the best shots). I do have many more shots of bizarre creatures from the past years, so you could check out my 2012, 2013 and 2014 collections if you enjoyed this post.

2015 is the year when I took a break from my full-time job and did a lot more macro trips. On top of 1 or 2 weekly field trips, I did the world’s first review of the 1:1 wide angle macro lens, started Borneo Bootcamp and co-instructored in BugShot Belize, and traveled across the globe to explore the Peruvian Amazon.

Do also check out my other 2015 roundup posts for each country that I’ve visited:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my macro photography buddies who have ventured the trails with me every week, inspiring us with non-stop innovation to their equipment, and selflessly sharing whatever they found, ensuring that everyone got their shots. Thanks Melvyn, Victor, David, Chris, James, Seawei and Andrew — all these photos would not have been possible without you all. Cheers!

p/s: Some rare and flamboyant subjects that I shot in Singapore this year have been omitted from this list intentionally to prevent overcrowding/intrusion to their habitat. I might share some time in the future instead.

    Araneidae – Orb Weaver Spiders

    Orb weaver spider (Araneus perpolitus) - DSC_9763
  1. Orb weaver spider (Araneus perpolitus)

    A vulnerable moment as the orb weaver makes its final push out of its exoskeleton. The legs appear in a fresh tone of green at this moment, and turns brown shortly after it emerges fully. This spider is currently placed as Singa perpolita but is likely to be transferred to Araneus.

  2. Trashline orb web spider (Cyclosa sp.) - DSC_7774
  3. Trashline orb web spider (Cyclosa sp.)

    The trashline stabilimentum of Cyclosa is typically just a single line, but this was my first encounter with expanding stabilimentum in multiple directions in the central catchment reserve. Read the earlier article: Spider Creates Fake Spider Using Trash.

  4. Bird dropping spider (Cyrtarachne sp.) - DSC_6546
  5. Bird dropping spider (Cyrtarachne sp.)

    A surprise find when checking out an urban park in the east. I found 3 of them in the same area!

  6. Red tent spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) - DSC_1963
  7. Red tent spider (Cyrtophora unicolor)

    A very common spider in Singapore, but rarely photographed in full within its web. The red tent spider weaves a large 3-dimensional web and positions a dead leaf in the middle of the web where it hides underneath, coming out only to collect any trapped prey.

  8. Wrap-around spider (Talthybia sp.) - DSC_9622
  9. Wrap-around spider (Talthybia sp.)

    A master of camouflage, this orb weaver is able to wrap itself around most branches to appear like a part of it.

  10. Orb weaver spider (Eriovixia laglaizei) - DSC_0594
  11. Orb weaver spider (Eriovixia laglaizei)

    A goal that I have for the following year is to take a good shot of the silk being spun from an orb weaver. This is what I had from a night’s attempt. Hope to do better!

  12. Spiny orb web spider (Gasteracantha sp.) - DSC_9451
  13. Spiny orb web spider (Gasteracantha sp.)

    A stunning species usually found weaving silk above our heads as they grow bigger. Despite the seemingly strong spines, please refrain from handling it with your hand as I’ve seen specimens with broken spines before.

  14. Spiny back orb weaver (Gasteracantha sp.) - DSC_1227
  15. Spiny orb web spider (Gasteracantha sp.)

    Similar to the Gasteracantha above but with posterior spines absent and longer median spines. The enchanting fluorescence is a result of exposure to ultraviolet light.

  16. Black orb web spider (Neogea nocticolor) - ESC_0096
  17. Black orb web spider (Neogea nocticolor)

    This spider is famed for its majestic stabilimentum and I have been searching for a fully woven web for years. This is just a partial stabilimentum and I really hope to see the complete one soon!

  18. Black orb web spider (Neogea nocticolor) - ESC_0106
  19. Black orb web spider (Neogea nocticolor)

    Look closer, and you would notice that she has a suitor waiting on the other side of the orb web!

  20. Clubionidae – Sac Spiders

    Sac spider (Clubionidae) - DSC_9536
  21. Sac spider (Clubionidae)

    When all we see are common subjects, we had to think of different ways to photograph them. Blasting light through this sac spider hiding underneath a sheet of silk reveals the spider’s outline and even the coxa within the cephalothorax!

  22. Deinopidae – Net-casting Spiders

    Net-casting spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_9748
  23. Net-casting spider (Deinopis sp.)

    Classic ogre-face shot of the net-casting spider – the huge anterior median eyes allow it to easily detect prey movement. Really difficult to get a shot of it with the net, as it would normally be facing a leaf beneath it.

  24. Hersiliidae – Two-tailed Spiders

    Two-tailed spiders (Hersiliidae) - DSC_9512
  25. Two-tailed spiders (Hersiliidae)

    This pair appeared to be engaging in courtship, so I didn’t go too close to disrupt their night. Their elongated spinnerets can do an awesome job of wrapping up prey in a matter of seconds!

  26. Mimetidae – Pirate Spiders

    Pirate spider (Mimetidae) preying on psechrid spider (Psechrus sp.) - DSC_9279
  27. Pirate spider (Mimetidae) preying on Lace-sheet weaver (Psechrus sp.)

    First time seeing the pirate with prey! The pirate spider is known to attack other spiders with a hunting pattern similar to that of Portia, but we’ve yet to see it in action. This is the closest we’ve got!

  28. Nemesiidae – Tube Dwelling Spiders

    Tube trapdoor spider (Damarchus workmani) - DSC_6274
  29. Tube dwelling spider (Damarchus workmani)

    Often called “tube trapdoor spider” but I’ve never seen it build any trapdoor at their burrows. This is a mature male wandering around in search of a mate, illuminated with ultraviolet.

  30. Nephilidae – Golden Orb Weaver Spiders

    Golden orb web spider (Nephila sp.) - DSC_6055
  31. Golden orb weaver spider (Nephila sp.)

    Typical scene of a female golden orb weaver emerging from her moult, with multiple males waiting for an opportunity to mate while the female is in her vulnerable state.

  32. Golden orb web spider (Nephila pilipes) - DSC_1052
  33. Golden orb weaver spider (Nephila pilipes)

    A relatively young female golden orb weaver resting under a leaf as her web had been destroyed by the torrential rain. When she matures, the carapace would bear a much darker colour.

  34. Ocyroceratidae – Long-legged Spiders

    Long-legged spider (Ocyroceratidae) - DSC_1334b
  35. Long-legged spider (Ocyroceratidae)

    Looks like any daddy-long-legs spider? This family of spiders has spectacular purple iridescence on the legs!

  36. Oxyopidae – Lynx Spiders

    Lynx spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_0435
  37. Lynx spider (Oxyopidae)

    Classic example that I would use to illustrate a bright, colourful background to complement the subject. This spider typically suspends her egg sac on a single strand of silk beneath leaves.

  38. Lynx spider (Oxyopidae) - DSC_8058
  39. Lynx spider (Oxyopidae)

    The patterns on this lynx were incredibly striking. It was a really tiny but stood still enough for us to get decent shots.

  40. Lynx spider (Oxyopes sp.) preying on damselfly - DSC_6487
  41. Lynx spider (Oxyopes sp.) preying on damselfly

    Damselflies are known to be quick and voracious hunters, so it is pretty rare to see a young lynx taking on a damselfly.

  42. Pholcidae – Daddy-long-legs Spiders

    Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_9838
  43. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae)

    Just before hatching, we could see the spiderling eyes and legs on the surface of the eggs.

  44. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcus atrigularis) - DSC_5895_magnify
  45. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcus atrigularis)

    Very common spider, but observing the mature male up close would reveal a pair of eye stalks and little thorns at the tip!

  46. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_9828b
  47. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae)

    Clusters of pholcid spiderlings always look awesome due to the length of their legs.

  48. Pisauridae – Nursery Web Spiders

    Nursery web spider (Pisauridae) - DSC_9619
  49. Nursery web spider (Pisauridae)

    This is the typical nursery web of a pisaurid. Might be mistaken for a lynx spider at times, but those are roving hunters and won’t weave such webs!

  50. Psechridae – Lace-Sheet Weaver Spiders

    Psechrid spider (Fecenia sp.) - DSC_1137
  51. Pseudo orb weaver spider (Fecenia sp.)

    Spiders in this genus hide in rolled leaves positioned in the middle of their orb web. It has characteristically long and hairy legs that can cover its entire body when at rest.

  52. Salticidae – Jumping Spiders

    SG50 Jumping Spiders of Singapore
  53. SG50 Jumping Spiders of Singapore

    In celebration of the nation’s 50th birthday and with all the SG50 hullabaloo going around, I did an SG50 commemorative poster featuring 50 jumping spider portraits of Singapore. You can still purchase the poster here.

  54. Jumping spider (Epeus sp.) - DSC_8345
  55. Jumping spider (Epeus sp.)

    One of the most common jumping spiders in Singapore. This is a scene of potential courtship with the male on the left, and female on the right. Seen several salticid pairs on the same leaf before, but never seen them in action. Wonder why?

  56. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_8617
  57. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    This large salticid has exceptionally long, straight chelicerae.

  58. Jumping spider (Salticidae) preying on Comb-footed spider (Argyrodes sp.) - DSC_8855
  59. Jumping spider (Salticidae) preying on Comb-footed spider (Argyrodes sp.)

    This salticid was helping a Nephila to clear out the kleptoparasites on its web. For those who don’t know what’s going on, the prey is a spider that steals food from the web of other spiders – most often seen on the webs of golden orb weavers.

  60. Jumping spider's exoskeleton (Salticidae) - DSC_9546
  61. Jumping spider’s exoskeleton (Salticidae)

    Amazing how exoskeletons can look so perfectly intact.

  62. Jumping spider (Salticidae) preying on Two-tailed spider (Hersiliidae) - DSC_7379
  63. Jumping spider (Salticidae) preying on Two-tailed spider (Hersiliidae)

    The male hersiliid was no match for the salticid!

  64. Jumping spider (Cosmophasis sp.) - DSC_4742
  65. Jumping spider (Cosmophasis sp.)

    A curious looking Cosmophasis often known for its thick “eye brows”.

  66. Ant-mimic jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_9354
  67. Ant-mimic jumping spider (Salticidae)

    This ant-mimic salticid has beautiful green and blue scales on its legs and carapace, looks very different from Myrmarachne.

  68. Jumping spider (Portia sp.) - DSC_8532
  69. Jumping spider (Portia sp.)

    The famous spider hunter is an excellent subject for portraits, although the white-moustache will tend to over-expose.

  70. Jumping spider mother with babies (Viciria sp.) - DSC_8141
  71. Jumping spider (Viciria sp.)

    Adorable little family as the mother watches over her spiderlings.

  72. Scytodidae – Spitting Spiders

    Spitting spider with egg sac (Scytodidae) - DSC_0972
  73. Spitting spider with egg sac (Scytodidae)

    Lighting up this spitting spider from below allowed the eggs in the egg sac to show up, resulting in a captivating scene.

  74. Spitting spider (Scytodidae) - DSC_0871
  75. Spitting spider (Scytodidae)

    A slightly later stage with the spiderlings hatched and moulted, this scene depicts the mother oblivious to her scurrying babies.

  76. Sparassidae – Huntsman Spiders

    Huntsman spider with spiderlings (Pandercetes sp.) - DSC_1430
  77. Huntsman spider with spiderlings (Pandercetes sp.)

    A “glittery” scene of fluorescing huntsman spiderlings surrounding their mother.

  78. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp.) - DSC_7346
  79. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp.)

    Lighted from behind, the large orange Heteropoda strikes an eerie mood while clutching onto her precious egg sac.

  80. Huntsman spider (Pandercetes sp.) - DSC_9674b
  81. Huntsman spider (Pandercetes sp.)

    Mixing in various lighting methods resulted in this surreal and brilliantly coloured scene of a rare Pandercetes.

  82. Tetragnathidae – Big-jawed Spiders

    Red-blue big-jawed spider (Opadometa sp.) - DSC_7708
  83. Red-blue big-jawed spider (Opadometa sp.)

    Probably the most vivid species of this family, and possibly the first time recorded in Singapore. Unfortunately this was already extremely weak and almost unable to stand on its own.

  84. Big-jawed spider (Tylorida ventralis) - DSC_8926
  85. Big-jawed spider (Tylorida ventralis)

    Arguably the most common spider in our parks!

  86. Theridiidae – Comb-footed Spiders

    Comb-footed spider (Chrysso sp.) - DSC_1507
  87. Comb-footed spider (Chrysso sp.)

    The see-through abdomen and legs of this Chrysso made it a potential candidate for back-lighting.

  88. Comb-footed spider (Anelosimus sp.) - DSC_2000
  89. Comb-footed spider (Anelosimus sp.)

    Found in our local mangroves, this seemingly inconspicuous theridiid is seldom photographed.

  90. Mirror spider (Twaitesia sp.) - DSC_7609
  91. Mirror spider (Thwaitesia sp.)

    The mirror spider made its rounds on the internet almost 2 years ago after I highlighted its ability to expand its silvery abdominal “plates” when at rest, forming a completely reflective surface on the abdomen.

  92. Mirror spider (Twaitesia sp.) - DSC_7581
  93. Mirror spider (Thwaitesia sp.)

    View from the rear shows the expanded “plates”. Read more in my earlier post Transformation of the Mirror Spider.

  94. Comb-footed spider (Dipoena sp.) - DSC_7783
  95. Comb-footed spider (Dipoena sp.)

    Most others photograph this spider genus under a leaf. First time witnessing it in the process of wrapping up its prey while dangling on a strand of silk.

  96. Comb-footed spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_2611_compare
  97. Comb-footed spider (Theridiidae)

    This theridiid may appear bland-looking at first glance, but it appears to have an extensible abdomen! This phenomenon does not appear to be documented.

  98. Comb-footed spider (Theridiidae) - DSC_6832
  99. Comb-footed spider (Theridiidae)

    The typical scene of a captured ant by a Janula, this time illuminated with lighting from behind.

  100. Twig-like comb-footed spider (Ariamnes sp.) - ESC_0045
  101. Comb-footed twig spider (Ariamnes sp.)

    The red twig spider seems to grow to a much longer length than its green counterpart. Glad to see it again!

  102. Thomisidae – Crab Spiders

    Crab spider (Platythomisus sp.) - DSC_2254
  103. Crab spider (Platythomisus sp.)

    While many have seen the eight-spotted crab spider, this variant has yet to be identified. Looks like it was made of plastic and soft gel.

  104. Crab spider (Thomisus sp.) preying on Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_7121
  105. Crab spider (Thomisus sp.) preying on Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Size isn’t really an issue for ambush predators like the crab spider, who willingly takes on prey of any size.

  106. Crab spider (Camaricus maugei) - DSC_7324
  107. Crab spider (Camaricus maugei)

    Ambush is set up and ready with the predator perched in the middle of the flower.

  108. Trachelidae – Sac Spiders

    Sac spiders (Utivarachna sp.) - DSC_9207
  109. Sac spiders (Utivarachna sp.)

    Utivarachna had been moved from Corinnidae to Trachelidae in 2014 by Ramírez. Recognized by the lateral invagination (infolding) just behind the ocular region. Also my first time seeing a pair in courtship!
  110. Zodariidae – Ground Spiders

    Ground spider (Zodariidae) - DSC_8153
  111. Ground spider (Zodariidae)

    Common zodariid, probably a male Mallinella with raised palps.

  112. Schizomida – Shorttail Whipscorpions

    Shorttail whipscorpion (Hubbardiidae) - DSC_5589
  113. Shorttail whipscorpion (Hubbardiidae)

    Had seen these incredibly skittish runners on fallen logs before, but always lost them before taking any pictures. This would be a first!

  114. Scorpiones – Scorpions

    Pseudoscorpion on bark scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_0993
  115. Bark scorpion (Lychas scutilus) with Pseudoscorpion (Pseudoscorpionida)

    Looks like just a very common scorpion at first glance, but look closer and you might notice a pseudoscorpion clutching tightly onto the scorpion’s pincer.

  116. Scorpion (Chaerilus sp.) - DSC_1109
  117. Scorpion (Chaerilus sp. – ID by Gerardo Contreras)

    Not your common scorpion. Found in a fallen log and extremely skittish.

  118. Amblypygi – Tailless Whip Scorpions

    Tailless whip scorpion (Amblpygi) - DSC_2206b
  119. Tailless whip scorpion (Amblpygi)

    These amblypygids are less than 1cm wide, and usually found underneath rocks. Can never get tired of taking close ups of the red spiky palps. Unfortunately I have not gotten any of them identified yet.

  120. Opiliones – Harvestmen

    Harvestman (Opiliones) - DSC_6973
  121. Harvestman (Opiliones)

    Skipped many harvestmen this year, stopping only for unique angles and lighting.

  122. Pseudoscorpionida – Pseudoscorpions

    Pseudoscorpion (Pseudoscorpionida) - DSC_6439
  123. Pseudoscorpion (Pseudoscorpionida)

    We found a tree with numerous pseudoscorpions. Tapping around revealed this mother-to-be carrying a load of eggs under her abdomen!

  124. Pseudoscorpion pincing an ant - DSC_9261
  125. Pseudoscorpion (Pseudoscorpionida) pincing an ant

    Despite their small size, pseudoscorpions appear to possess immense strength. We have seen it pincing tightly on other ferocious arthropods, such as this ant and a mantis.

  126. Coleoptera – Beetles

    Longhorn beetle (Cerosterna sp.) - DSC_5316
  127. Longhorn beetle (Cerosterna sp.)

    A great subject for ultraviolet photography due to the large compound eyes.

  128. Longhorn beetle (Chloridolum sp.?) - DSC_8292b
  129. Longhorn beetle (Chloridolum sp.)

    First time seeing this metallic green longhorn beetle found in the central catchment reserve.

  130. Longhorn beetle (Chlorophorus annularis) - DSC_8190
  131. Longhorn beetle (Chlorophorus annularis)

    Also the first time seeing this longhorn beetle in Singapore.

  132. Stingless bee mimicking longhorn beetle (Pectinocallimus sp.) - DSC_0701
  133. Stingless bee mimicking longhorn beetle (Pectinocallimus sp.)

    An extremely rare beetle that mimics a stingless bee. This fragile species has an extremely short adult lifespan which made this sighting even more precious.

  134. Checkered beetle (Cleridae) - DSC_7329
  135. Checkered beetle (Cleridae)

    Checkered beetles are not common in Singapore but some do frequent certain trees. This particular specimen was found under a leaf.

  136. Fungus weevil (Anthribidae) - DSC_7894
  137. Fungus weevil (Anthribidae)

    Anthribids are pretty common here, but this makes the list for the deep orange tone.

  138. Fungus weevil (Anthribidae) - DSC_9118
  139. Fungus weevil (Anthribidae)

    The evil looking ultraman-eyes are typical of many anthribids, but the antennae of this are lined with long hairs as well.

  140. Fungus weevil (Choraginae) - DSC_6194
  141. Fungus weevil (Choraginae)

    Most probably missed out by others, as this tiny little dot turned out to be a super adorable anthribid as well.

  142. Spiky leaf beetle (Dactylispa sp.) - DSC_1603
  143. Spiky leaf beetle (Dactylispa sp.)

    Some awesomely spiky leaf beetles could also be spotted in the foliage as well.

  144. Curry leaf tortoise beetle (Silana farinosa) - DSC_7459
  145. Curry leaf tortoise beetle (Silana farinosa)

    And then there’s the occasional tortoise beetle trying to give me directions.

  146. Leaf beetles (Arcastes biplagiata) - DSC_7486
  147. Leaf beetles (Arcastes biplagiata)

    A charming pair of leaf beetles making out in a sunny morning. Female walked around but the male stood firmly anchored with her.

  148. Click beetle (Pachyderes apicalis?) - DSC_7994
  149. Click beetle (Pachyderes apicalis?)

    A gorgeous click beetle with enlarged pronotum, found together with the remaining patch of lantern bugs in Singapore.

  150. Stag beetle (Aegus sp.) - DSC_8163
  151. Stag beetle (Aegus sp.)

    First time seeing a local lucanid. This male was found with several other females inside a crevice at the base of a tree. Tinge of ultraviolet thrown in to light up the eyes.

  152. Darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) - DSC_8756
  153. Darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae)

    This darkling beetle had captivating colours and an even more alluring twin humps!

  154. Darkling beetle (Stenochiinae) - DSC_6235
  155. Darkling beetle (Stenochiinae)

    Incidentally, these darkling beetles do not look as cool when lighted with a point light source. Using a large and even lighting allowed the colours of the entire beetle to show up.

  156. Ground beetle (Catascopus sp.) - DSC_6197
  157. Ground beetle (Catascopus sp.)

    The resident of many fallen logs of our forests, always a delight to photograph for the brilliant colours.

  158. Handsome fungus beetles (Endomychidae) - DSC_6812
  159. Handsome fungus beetles (Endomychidae)

    Not often seen, this pair of endomychids had interesting dual protrusions on their elytra. The female didn’t seem too bothered with the mites running around!

  160. Hymenoptera – Bees, Wasps, Ants

    Parasitoid wasp (Scelioninae) on shield bug eggs - DSC_5401
  161. Parasitoid wasp (Scelioninae) on shield bug eggs

    This minuscule parasitoid wasp was poking around the patch of shield bug eggs. Not sure if she had already laid her eggs in them?

  162. Velvet ant (Mutillidae) - DSC_7879
  163. Velvet ant (Mutillidae)

    We’ve seen the female velvet ant many times, but this is my first sighting of the male! A female was also spotted nearby but he didn’t approach her. Next step would be to find a mating pair..

  164. Eucharitid wasp (Stilbula sp.) - DSC_1714
  165. Eucharitid wasp (Stilbula sp.)

    Eucharitids tend to be very tiny, but cooperative subjects and extremely tolerant towards clumsy photographers.

  166. Eucharitid wasp (Eucharitidae) - DSC_1414
  167. Eucharitid wasp (Eucharitidae)

    Another eucharitid with a waist to die for.

  168. Potter wasp (Eumeninae) - DSC_8335
  169. Potter wasp (Eumeninae)

    A slightly different view of a sleeping potter wasp.

  170. Cuckoo bee (Thyreus sp.) - DSC_8703
  171. Cuckoo bee (Thyreus sp.)

    Our favorite sleeping cuckoo bee – this was a teeny bit yellowed but still a lovely sleeping beauty.

  172. Blue ant (Echinopla striata?) - DSC_8914
  173. Blue ant (Echinopla striata?)

    Surprise find of the night. We often ignore the little ants scurrying around, only to find that some were actually blue!

  174. Braconid wasp (Braconidae) - DSC_5318
  175. Braconid wasp (Braconidae)

    Lucky shot for me as this braconid was only ovipositing for less than a minute before it went around tapping on a fallen log again. Wonder what beetle larvae could be underneath?

  176. Eupelmid wasp (Eupelmidae) - DSC_5373
  177. Eupelmid wasp (Eupelmidae)

    Freakishly small and skittish wasp, but mind-blowing when viewed up close. The true flying jewel!

  178. Hemiptera – True Bugs

    Giant shield bugs (Tessaratomidae) - DSC_6619
  179. Giant shield bugs (Tessaratomidae)

    These shield bug nymphs had been sighted in various colours, but this is the first time finding 3 with traffic light colours together!

  180. Deltocephaline leafhopper (Penthimia sp.) - DSC_7143
  181. Deltocephaline leafhopper (Penthimia sp.)

    Cute platypus-ish leafhopper, first sighting as well!

  182. Bug nymph - DSC_6328
  183. Bug nymph

    No idea what this is, but it looked like a little jelly bean.

  184. Planthopper nymph (Fulgoromorpha) - DSC_8301
  185. Planthopper nymph (Fulgoromorpha)

    The bizarre waxy tails of planthopper nymphs appear to come in a myriad of forms.

  186. Derbid planthopper (Derbidae) - DSC_9683
  187. Derbid planthopper (Derbidae)

    With such intense colours and patterned wings, this derbid should be high on a macro photographer’s wish list.

  188. Net-winged planthopper (Dichoptera sp.) - DSC_9325
  189. Net-winged planthopper (Dichoptera sp. – ID by Jerome Constant)

    This large planthopper is sometimes mistaken for a cicada.

  190. Planthopper nymph (Fulgoridae) - DSC_7460
  191. Planthopper nymph (Fulgoridae)

    I’ve always questioned what the adult of this fulgorid looked like. Anyone has any clues? Seen it quite often, so I took a different approach this time.

  192. Lantern bug (Pyrops oculatus) - DSC_7950b
  193. Lantern bug (Pyrops oculatus)

    Only lantern bug that I’ve ever seen in Singapore. Appears to be seasonal. This was over 3 meters above ground and shot from a distance.

  194. Scale insect (Drosicha sp.) - DSC_9096
  195. Scale insect (Drosicha sp.)

    These scale insects are extremely slow flyers. Next on my wish list would be to shoot it in flight. I did have some in-flight shots before but they were lacking in sharpness.

  196. Scale insect (Paralecanium sp.) - DSC_1488
  197. Scale insect (Paralecanium sp.)

    Why do so many people question whether aliens exist when we have this?

  198. Thread-legged assassin bug (Emasinae) - DSC_0897
  199. Thread-legged assassin bug (Emesinae)

    Thread-legged assassin bugs may appear to be fragile, but they are quite adept at capturing prey. Guess what the prey is?

  200. Ant-snatching assassin bug (Acanthaspis sp.) - DSC_0954
  201. Ant-snatching assassin bug (Acanthaspis sp.)

    The classic corpse-pile on the back of an ant-snatching assassin bug doesn’t get any more brutal. Helped a bit with the folks filming Wild City episode 3, do look out for it! For more on these gruesome assassins, read my earlier post: Gruesome Tactics of an Ant-Snatching Assassin Bug. My next goal would be to film or photograph the act of stacking the ants. Apparently, the stacking is done from the bottom and not the top!

  202. Plant bug (Miridae) - DSC_9206
  203. Plant bug (Miridae)

    Seen occasionally, the eyes of this mirid is distinctly heightened.

  204. Shield-backed bug (Scutelleridae) - DSC_1243
  205. Shield-backed bug (Scutelleridae)

    This is still a nymph, but due to the “metallic” body, many are mistaking it to be a beetle.

  206. Treehopper (Membracidae) - DSC_8264
  207. Treehopper (Membracidae)

    Another tiny speck that revealed a strange network of red nodules on its wing veins.

  208. Orthoptera – Katydids, Grasshoppers, Crickets

    Raspy cricket (Gryllacrididae) - DSC_2449b
  209. Raspy cricket (Gryllacrididae)

    An all time favorite would be a back-lit shot of a moulting cricket with wings freshly pumped out. The additional colours are a bonus!

  210. Katydid nymph (Lipotactes maculatus) with mites - DSC_7833
  211. Katydid nymph (Lipotactes maculatus) with mites

    This poor cricket was covered with mites. They probably had been sucking on the cricket for some time as some were already quite fat.

  212. Cricket (Gryllidae) - DSC_5442b
  213. Cricket (Gryllidae)

    Unconventional view of a cricket when I was testing the Venus 15mm wide angle macro lens.

  214. Leaf-mimic katydid ovipositing (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_7629
  215. Leaf-mimic katydid ovipositing (Onomarchus sp.)

    Ultraviolet brings out the veins on the wings of this leaf-mimic katydid beautifully.

  216. Katydid (Onomarchus sp.) - DSC_7672
  217. Leaf-mimic katydid ovipositing (Onomarchus sp.)

    Since it was ovipositing, I had the opportunity to try a wide angle view at night. This was shot with the Sigma 15mm fisheye lens, and the lights in the background belonged to my friends who ignored my calls to stay out of frame. Turned out nicer than I imagined!

  218. Katydid nymph (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_7708
  219. Katydid nymph (Tettigoniidae)

    Just a nymph or fresh from moult?

  220. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_9438
  221. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Bit of backlighting and ultraviolet to highlight the wing veins.

  222. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) with Pseudoscorpion - DSC_5153
  223. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) with Pseudoscorpion

    Katydids are excellent subjects for back lighting as many allow light to pass through parts of its body. In this scene, a bonus pseudoscorpion was pincing the katydid’s front leg.

  224. Dead leaf grasshopper nymph (Chorotypus sp.) - ESC_0097
  225. Dead leaf grasshopper nymph (Chorotypus sp.)

    This master of a mimic masquerades as a dead leaf, complete with holes in the pronotum!

  226. Lepidoptera – Butterflies, Moths

    Psyche butterfly (Leptosia nina malayana) - DSC_7261
  227. Psyche butterfly (Leptosia nina malayana)

    This butterfly was resting quietly in the night.

  228. Multi-headed caterpillar - DSC_6918
  229. Multi-headed caterpillar

    A bizarre scene where a caterpillar keeps the exoskeleton of its head of each previous instar, creating a tower of heads! Read my earlier post on this caterpillar here: Meet the Multi-Headed Caterpillar.

  230. Stick-mimic moth (Gargetta sp.) - DSC_6229
  231. Stick-mimic moth (Gargetta sp.)

    Spotted this moth resting at the tip of a broken branch. It was a perfect camouflage when viewed from far, didn’t look like a moth at all!

  232. Moth (Lepidoptera) - DSC_8396
  233. Moth (Lepidoptera)

    Possibly an injured moth, looked oddly asymmetrical.

  234. Lymantriine moth (Arctornis sp.) - DSC_7933
  235. Lymantriine moth (Arctornis sp.)

    Freshly emerged, this lymantriine moth looked really fluffy!

  236. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8108
  237. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)

    An interesting hawkmoth larva that adjusts its folds to reveal a pair of pseudo-eyes!

  238. Caterpillar - DSC_8587
  239. Caterpillar

    Fluffy caterpillars are great for back lighting. In fact, most of my caterpillar shots would have some examples of back lighting.

  240. Caterpillar - DSC_6229
  241. Caterpillar

    A tiny one that allowed light to pass through its body.

  242. Ant-mimic caterpillar (Homodes sp.) - DSC_8298
  243. Red weaver ant mimic caterpillar (Homodes sp.)

    A truly bizarre species that mimics the red weaver ants. Perhaps they obtained protection by hanging out with the ferocious ants?

  244. Archduke larva (Lexias sp.) - DSC_5210
  245. Archduke larva (Lexias sp.)

    The classic “Christmas Tree” too!

  246. Diptera – Flies

    Fruit fly (Adrama sp.) - DSC_6292
  247. Fruit fly (Adrama sp.)

    Very common fruit fly, perhaps that’s why I have not been shooting it. Anyway, here’s a record shot!

  248. Hammerhead fly (Themara hirtipes) - DSC_8999
  249. Hammerhead fly (Themara hirtipes)

    Interesting hammerhead fly with a slight dent on its left eye.

  250. Mating gnats (Cecidomyiidae or Mycetophilidae?) - DSC_2143
  251. Mating gnats (Cecidomyiidae or Mycetophilidae?)

    Tiny little specks turned out to be mating on a leaf!

  252. Thick-headed fly (Conopidae) - DSC_8799
  253. Thick-headed fly (Conopidae)

    Initially thought to be a hoverfly, but turned out to be a new record for me!

  254. Robberfly (Asilidae) - DSC_8866
  255. Robberfly (Asilidae)

    Favorite fly among macro photographers, due to its high hit-rate of snagging prey. The leaf beetle didn’t stand a chance at all.

  256. Neuroptera – Lacewings, Owlflies, Antlions

    Scarlet lacewing (Italochrysa japonica) - DSC_6743
  257. Scarlet lacewing (Italochrysa japonica)

    Probably the most beautiful lacewing in Singapore. It has been spotted in the north-east several times, and I was lucky to see one just before leaving the park.

  258. Green lacewing (Chrysopidae) - DSC_0678
  259. Green lacewing (Chrysopidae)

    Looks like the common lacewing in our parks, but this was at least twice the size, with some dark markings on the wings.

  260. Owlfly larva (Ascalaphidae) - DSC_8744
  261. Owlfly larva (Ascalaphidae)

    An owlfly larva spotted in the day. And I always thought that they were nocturnal.

  262. Mantodea – Mantises

    Dead leaf mantis (Deroplatys sp.) - DSC_9528
  263. Dead leaf mantis (Deroplatys sp.)

    Mantids tend to give the widest variety of poses. Had to be ready at all times in case it did an epic pose.

  264. Mantis mating (Tropidomantinae) - DSC_0546
  265. Mantis mating (Tropidomantinae)

    Interestingly, this is the first time I’m seeing a mating pair of mantids in Singapore. Previous encounters had only been in Malaysia.

  266. Phasmatodea – Stick Insects

    Leaf insect (Phylliidae) - DSC_1341
  267. Leaf insect (Phylliidae)

    I did shoot many stick insects this year, but only chose this leaf insect from Sungei Buloh. The rest were just not as interesting. 🙂

  268. Blattodea – Cockroaches, Termites

    Pill cockroach (Perisphaerus sp.) - DSC_6765
  269. Pill cockroach (Perisphaerus sp.)

    A cherry-red pill cockroach looked as if it were wearing shades from this angle!

  270. Myriapoda – Millipedes, Centipedes

    Millipede (Diplopoda) - DSC_9490
  271. Millipede (Diplopoda)

    This was featured in Wild City episode 2, except that the fluorescence on this millipede was much brighter. The light fluorescence was bright enough to illuminate the leaf it was on!

  272. Isopoda – Woodlice

    Woodlouse moult (Isopoda) - DSC_1121
  273. Woodlouse moult (Isopoda)

    Woodlouse fresh from its moult. Not sure which direction it was supposed to be headed though?

  274. Gastropoda – Snails

    Snail embryos - DSC_7246
  275. Snail embryos

    It was only with the curiosity of my friends that we discovered the tiny embryos within these snail eggs. Delicate, yet spellbinding.

  276. Snail (Gastropoda) - DSC_9657
  277. Snail (Gastropoda)

    This snail’s shell also showed up nicely with back lighting. The eyes are interestingly situated at the base of the tentacles.

  278. Venus 15mm Macro Test : Snail with Marina Bay Sands - DSC_2738
  279. Snail (Gastropoda)

    The very first wide angle test shot with the Venus 15mm wide angle macro lens at Marina Bay Sands.

  280. Serpentes – Snakes

    Big-eye green whip snake (Ahaetulla mycterizans) - DSC_5296
  281. Big-eye green whip snake (Ahaetulla mycterizans)

    The extremely slender whip snake grips tightly to the branch with its tail, and is able to jump a distance after forming this S-shape.

  282. Big-eye green whip snake (Ahaetulla mycterizans) - DSC_5383
  283. Big-eye green whip snake (Ahaetulla mycterizans)

    Back-lighting reveals the entire scene and the bulging eyes of the snake as well.

  284. Blue malayan coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus) - DSC_9612
  285. Blue malayan coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus)

    Just a quick record shot of the blue coral snake. This snake has the world’s longest venom glands, extending up to a third of the body from its fangs. We saw 2 of them together, but both escaped in different directions quickly when a large crowd of visitors spotted them as well.

  286. Wagler's pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_9707
  287. Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

    Found quietly sitting at the base of a tree while many joggers whisked past.

  288. Wagler's pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_0779
  289. Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

    Another beauty above our heads!

  290. Wagler's pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_0796
  291. Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

    A wide angle view including its habitat.

  292. Wagler's pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_0836
  293. Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

    Can’t help including a close up of her head!

  294. Dwarf reed snake (Pseudorabdion longiceps) - DSC_7418
  295. Dwarf reed snake (Pseudorabdion longiceps)

    First time trying back-lighting on a snake. Not too exceptional unfortunately.

  296. Fungi – Mushrooms

    Bioluminescent fungi (Filoboletus manipularis) - DSC_6836
  297. Bioluminescent fungi (Filoboletus manipularis)

    My largest bioluminescent mushroom cluster to date!

  298. Mushroom under ultraviolet - DSC_9187
  299. Mushroom under ultraviolet

    Interestingly, we also found a mushroom that fluoresces under ultraviolet. No idea what made the difference.

  300. Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_5488
  301. Fungi (Mycena illuminans?)

    Another test of the Venus 15mm wide angle macro lens.

  302. Fungi - DSC_3634_corrected
  303. Fungi

    This was shot for a review of the wide angle macro lens mentioned above. Just a simple scene at the entrance of Pasir Ris Park.

  304. Slime mold - ESC_0346b
  305. Slime mold

    Not exactly fungi, but an interesting view at slime moulds up close. They look like mini trees!

It wasn’t easy at all to shortlist these photos for 2015 as I had such a long list to start with. I do have some of the best finds from Malaysia, Indonesia, Belize and Peru as well but I’ve already done comprehensive blog posts about those and thought doing one for Singapore would be apt as a closing post for the year. 😉 In conclusion, 2015 saw many new and varied attempts at lighting the subjects, as well as new opportunities for wide angle macro with a new lens. I hope to have the opportunity to visit more exotic locations in 2016 and show more bizarre alien-world photos to everyone. Cheers to all, and have a splendid 2016!

If you’ve enjoyed this series, do check out my other 2015 roundups:

If you have any questions, please post in the comments below or contact me at [email protected].

1 Comment
  1. Reply


    1 June 2021

    You describe #148 as “not too exceptional”, which I think could be accurately applied to this snake, but your photo is amazing! As is the photo of the A. mycterizans!



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!

Copyright Notice

All images © 2008-2024 Nicky Bay unless stated otherwise. Reproduction of any content without permission is prohibited. Please read the Image Use Policy and contact [email protected] for licensing requests.

Mailing List

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.