Venturing Beyond NTU

26 March 2011
A night walk led by Victor into the vegetation right at the gates of NTU (Nanyang Technological University) in search of tiger beetles! Thousands of students have probably passed that route almost daily, but few knew of the trail…

I had a quiet night, doing more of a KLKK while pointing out subjects to others. Most of the time, the bugs flew away before I had a chance to shoot, so it was more of a weight lifting session and what most of us would call… TCSS (talk cock sing song la…)

Word of caution to those who wish to explore the area…. the mosquitoes leave a long lasting itch from their bites! I had the itch for almost a full week before it subsided, and the scars are still there. Some even had bites on the butt (don’t ask me how!).

Ornamental Tree Trunk Spider (Herennia ornatissima) - DSC_4758#1 First subject of the night — the Ornamental Tree-Trunk Spider (herennia ornatissima). Obviously, it was found on a tree trunk, and busy devouring a prey which I can’t really identify. The bottom of the abdomen shows a bright orange, rarely seen!

Ornamental Tree Trunk Spider (Herennia ornatissima) - DSC_4766#2 The typical view of the Ornamental Tree-Trunk Spider. Everyone crowded around our first subject!

Barklice (Psocoptera) - DSC_4768#3 From afar… these looked like a patch of orange-coloured maggots!

Barklice (Psocoptera) - DSC_4776#4 On closer inspection, they were the babies of some bug… kindly identified as Barklice (Cerastipsocus venosus) by jio.

Squash Bugs? (Coreidae) - DSC_4779#5 I used to think that any bug with a long mouth part was an assassin bug… but am doubting it now. Are these assassins?

The rest of the photo are of Tiger Beetles. There were only 2 species spotted. One was the common Japanese Tiger Beetle, and the other was unidentified but known to us as the bronze Tiger Beetle.

Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) - DSC_4790#6 Here’s the bronze guy! Much smaller than the Japanese Tiger Beetle in the last pic.

Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) - DSC_4797#7 View from the other side. What’s the difference?? lol

Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) - DSC_4793#8 Head shot of the bronze coloured Tiger Beetle

Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) - DSC_4819#9 Final shot belonged to the Japanese Tiger Beetle, larger than the bronze one. Took this hand-held, uncropped.

The complete album can be viewed here.
  1. Reply

    Federick Ho

    2 April 2011

    Beautiful shot of the Ornamental Tree-Trunk Spider – I have not encountered it before. Is it rare ?

  2. Reply

    Nicky Bay

    2 April 2011

    Hi Frederick!

    It is not rare, less common than a Huntsman so you need to keep a keen lookout on tree trunks — that's where they are found. Good luck finding it! 🙂

  3. Reply


    3 April 2011

    #4: Those are Barklice, Cerastipsocus venosus. They feed on fungus and lichen on trees. Had found them also in the same NTU grounds before.

  4. Reply


    9 April 2011

    Your photos are stunning and I enjoy all your updates! Since moving to Singapore, I've gotten better at spotting various kinds of wildlife, especially snakes and lizards, but I'm afraid my insect-spotting skills still aren't up to par. You always seem to find an interesting creepy crawly!

  5. Reply

    Nicky Bay

    11 April 2011

    Thanks! Updated with credits. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the updates! Insect spotting depends on luck and it helped a lot by going out in groups. 6 pairs of eyes are always better than 1! 🙂



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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