Tawau Hills Day 5

11 March 2015

Tawau Hills 2015: [ Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 ]

The final day was short. So short that I decided to pack my equipment early in the morning, not expecting anything to turn up. Despite telling myself that I would not shoot, some unique subjects turned up at the cabins and I just couldn’t resist! If you are considering for the Macro Photography Bootcamp, there are only 2 rooms left so do register early if you are interested! If you had already emailed but have not received any reply, please email me again, you should receive a reply within half a day!

Again, thanks to Dennis, Nick, Amber, Jeff and Ambo for the many interesting finds, just wished we could stay longer!

This time, they came to us

My equipment were already packed neatly into the bags, but the rest had to find rhino beetles in the toilets, a bark mantis on our neighbour’s slippers, and a bizarre moss katydid that Jeff found while walking to our cabins!

    Rhino beetle (Dynastinae) - DSC_5397
  1. Rhino beetle (Dynastinae)

    This rhino beetle was still at our cabins in the morning, so we moved it out to the tree buttresses. What you see in the background… is not where we stayed. 😛

  2. Rhino beetle (Dynastinae) - DSC_5418
  3. Rhino beetle (Dynastinae)

    Turning to the other side, we can see the rooms that we stayed in, 5 rooms on each side of the building.

  4. Rhino beetle (Dynastinae) - DSC_5424
  5. Rhino beetle (Dynastinae)

    Tried different angles with the 15mm but there was limited space to move about.

  6. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5438
  7. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    This bark mantis appeared on our Sabahan neighbour’s slippers over the night. Attracted to… the smell?

  8. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5440
  9. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    Lateral view shows it trying to maintain a flat posture.

  10. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5442
  11. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    Saying hi to the face!

  12. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5453
  13. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    This time, it didn’t want to stay low.

  14. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5474
  15. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    Since it was a bark mantis, we returned it to one of the nearby trees.

  16. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5479
  17. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    Still busily grooming itself!

  18. Bark mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_5482
  19. Bark mantis (Mantodea)

    Maybe it was the wrong tree? Didn’t look too camouflagy.

  20. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5469
  21. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Jeff came by to check on us, and found this amazingly cryptic katydid.

  22. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5470
  23. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Lateral view. Unfortunately, it seemed severely injured and could not walk nor jump on its own.

  24. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5495
  25. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Close up on the face.

  26. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5505
  27. Moss katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Interestingly, it tried to walk and fell into this position, matching the white patch!

  28. Rhino beetles mating (Dynastinae) - DSC_5521
  29. Rhino beetles mating (Dynastinae)

    Just before we left, our friendly male beetle had found his girlfriend, happily making out just beside our cabins. I had already kept my lenses and flashes, so this was shot with just the 15mm.

  30. When our car was exiting the gate, Jeff saw another giant rhino beetle walking around on the grass. We could only suck our thumbs and move on as we were running behind schedule for our flight!

    Behind the Scenes

    Here are some random photos from my mobile phone, and some courtesy of Dennis, Amber and Nick. If any of you have violent objections to any of the photos shown here, please let me know. 🙂

  31. Departure at Kuala Lumpur

  32. IMG_20150307_151423
  33. Arrival at Tawau Airport, a really small airport!

  34. IMG_20150307_162902
  35. Supermarket at Tawau Town where we got our groceries

  36. IMG_20150307_180718
  37. Going bananas at the wet market

  38. IMG_20150308_083711
  39. Morning scene before breakfast. Shot from my mobile phone. =D

  40. IMG_20150309_122645
  41. Tallest tropical tree in the world at 88m high! Did we see it? No idea…

  42. 11051104_10153107054918908_242762506_n
  43. Shooting the giant pill millipede that appeared on the gravel.

  44. IMG_20150309_101701
  45. Checking out the size of the pill millipede when it curled up.

  46. 11063240_10153110074628908_960981405_n
  47. The really shaky bridge

  48. 13471_10205996824936524_4986379494759634855_n
  49. Pyrops sidereus at eye-level!

  50. 1508110_10206004418086348_4237357713785207595_n
  51. THREE Pyrops whiteheadi at knee-level moments before they all disappeared. 😛

  52. IMG_20150308_121048
  53. Shot of the shield bug nymph on my camera, such a beautiful subject did not need any post processing!

  54. IMG_20150309_155542
  55. Drying our clothes behind the cabin while the sun was still out.

  56. IMG_20150310_140202
  57. This tree must really be GOOD!

  58. IMG_20150310_154507
  59. Shooting the mating stick insects.

  60. IMG_20150310_210620
  61. Size comparison of my hand with the giant river toad.

  62. 11064973_961724637172284_1420215237_o
  63. Our only group photo in the field, found a large tree to pose with

  64. 11064345_961724723838942_1891264686_o
  65. Found a tick on Nick’s head, must shoot!

  66. 11051189_10153118139728908_1438950078_n
  67. Just before leaving Tawau Hills, we grabbed Jeff for a group photo!

The complete album for this day’s findings can be viewed on Flickr.

5 days did not seem enough. But for the sake of our health and sleepless nights, I think it is just nice to experience the fauna of Tawau Hills. Would I be back? My flight for the next trip has already been booked. 🙂

Remember to check out the other posts for this trip from the links below! If you are interested in the smaller wildlife of Borneo with the guide of experienced macro photographers, check out the upcoming Borneo Bootcamp. It is not to be missed!

Tawau Hills 2015: [ Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 ]




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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