15/2014 – Mandai Nature Trail (13 April 2014)

My last visit to Mandai Nature Trail on 16 Mar 2014 was best remembered as the return of a heavy showers after a historical 27-day dry spell in Singapore! Because of that, Allan did not manage to see the well-known Mandai’s pristine forest stream.

My visit here today with Allan & Hazel was a last minutes arrangement and therefore I could not get Yan Leong to join us. I did not invite Ronnie this time as I needed to leave early at 10.30 am to attend Qing Ming Festival in the afternoon.

I was there earlier at 7 am. The Bidens pilosa flowers on the left hand side were all neatly removed probably by the maintenance guys. However, there were still plenty of them in full bloom on the right side. I was not surprised to spot a white crab spider heaving breakfast but I did not expect to see a wolf spider as its prey. This is one of the most ferocious crab spiders that I ever saw tearing the wolf spider’s leg apart!

(Crab spider preying on Wolf spider)

(Crab spider preying on Wolf spider)

An uncommon species of crab spider was spotted not too far away waiting patiently for its breakfast. Looking at the number of crab spiders spotted during the last 2 outings, this has to be one of the best places to shoot crab spiders.

(Crab spider waiting for its breakfast)

(Crab spider waiting for its breakfast)

The surrounding vegetation was a little wet and I was glad to photograph a Leaf-footed bug nymph with dews.

(Leaf-footed Bug)

(Leaf-footed Bug)

(Leaf-footed bug nymph)

(Leaf-footed bug nymph)

There was an attractive looking male Crimson Dropwing nearby. Mature male is deep pink in colour and therefore easily noticeable from the green surrounding.

(Crimson Dropwing, Male)

(Crimson Dropwing, Male)

A closing look at it revealed eye-catching dew drops at the side of its thorax. This is the first time that I saw its forelegs are pink in colour too.

IMG_2396

At about 9.30 am, we moved towards the forested area where the pristine forest stream is located. Many damselflies such as Yellow Featherlegs, Grey Spite, Blue Spite, Orange Spite, etc., were spotted but most of them were very active and difficult to shoot. I only manage to get a record shot of a pair of mating Grey Spite.

(Mating Grey Spite)

(Mating Grey Spite)

Two female Golden Gems were found perching high up in the branches. I managed to guide one down to have a record shot of it. Strangely, males which are usually more common than females, were no where to be found.

(Golden Gem, female)

(Golden Gem, female)

We called it a day at 10.30 am.

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