12/2014 – Mandai Nature Trail (16 March 2014)

As Allan & Yan Leong were interested in the pristine stream at Mandai forest, I brought them there this morning and invited Ronnie to come along. Despite the recent dry spell, there were still lots of Bidens pilosa flowers at the side of the trail. I saw a Lynx spider sitting on one of the flowers and took some shots. Little did I know that there was a tiny crab spider hiding just nearby!

(Can you spot the tiny crab spider?)

(Can you spot the tiny crab spider?)

They Lynx spider jumped off when I tried to get a little closer. I wonder which spider has the upper hand if they happened to see each other?

As I walked further down, I saw quite a number of crab spiders, females as well as males waiting patiently on the flowers for their preys. They would grab any visiting insects.

(Another crab spider preying on visiting insects)

(Another crab spider preying on visiting insects)

I was excited to spot a slighter bigger crab spider having a bee as breakfast. Unfortunately, it sensed my present and dropped its prey.

(A relatively bigger crab spider)

(A relatively bigger crab spider)

Not too far away, they was a dead bee hanging on a flower. I could see spider web in the surrounding. Was it attacked by another crab spider?

(A dead bee hanging on a Bidens pilosa flower)

(A dead bee hanging on a Bidens pilosa flower)

As the wind blew, the bee turned and now we can see the other side of the bee.

IMG_0842

There were some common dragonflies and damselflies as we moved towards the forested area. This is a Crimson Dropwing (Trithemis Aurora), one of the most common dragonflies in Singapore and one of the easiest to photograph!

(Crimson Dropping)

(Crimson Dropwing)

This is a male Scarlet Grenadier (Lathrecista Asiatica). They were quite plentiful here.

(A male Scarlet Grenadier)

(A male Scarlet Grenadier)

A record shot of a male Yellow Featherlegs (Copera marginipes).

(A male Yellow Featherlegs)

(A male Yellow Featherlegs)

An uncommon female Orange-striped Threadtail (Prodasineura humeralis).

(An uncommon female Prodasineura humeralis)

(Female Prodasineura humeralis)

Allan spotted a rare Stick Mantis perching on a thin branch motionlessly. It was huge at about 6 inches long. It camouflaged so well that I did not notice it when I walked pass earlier. With such a big subject, I had to stand more than a metre away to get a full view shot and getting a good background was a challenge.

(Stick Mantis)

(Stick Mantis)

Let us take a closer look of this adorable creature.

IMG_1049

It started to rain at 9.35 am.  We packed up quickly and ran to the nearby shelter to keep ourselves dry. It was just nice to take a short break with drinks and biscuits. When the rain stopped at 10.15 am, we went in to reshoot the stick mantis. Fortunately it was still nearby. However, it rained again 10 minutes later. Yan Leong ran to the shelter but Allan & I chose to stay a little longer to shoot the mantis in the rain.

(Stick Mantis under the rain)

(Stick Mantis under the rain)

When the rain got heavier, we had no choice but to run to the shelter again where we met Ronnie there. The rain continued for the next 2 hours.  Knowing that it was unlikely to stop anytime, we packed up and went to Upper Thomson Road to eat the popular Ang Pang Yong Tau Fu for lunch.

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