Tag Archives: mushroom

First Flock Session

Hello everyone! The Drongos have had their first guiding for our expanding flock! Due to stormy weather, our guiding session was pushed back for half an hour. Because we started a bit late, we did not manage to see as many animals as we did previously. However, it was still a very fruitful session with the flock picking up many new and fascinating stories about the trail!

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Jac, the ponytailed one in blue, was our official guide. Though hoarse from all her work in the zoo, she was enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable throughout the trail!

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These thick, woody Lianas can commonly be seen weaving through the gaps of trees. They are commonly referred to as Tarzan’s vines as you can very well imagine him swinging through the forest using one of these. OOOAAAOOOOO!

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The recent wet spell seems to have resulted in a great mushroom boom, and we certainly saw a pretty big variety today! They sprouted almost everywhere: from amongst the leaf litter to rotting logs. We are not quite sure what the exact species of these shrooms are but it is better to not to pick or eat any mushrooms growing in the wild. Some mushrooms can be very poisonous (even if they look pretty familiar or tasty), so try not to eat and random mushrooms you find outside your supermarket!

Branded Imperial (Eooxylides tharis distanti)

This Branded Imperial Butterfly (Eooxylides tharis distanti) was spotted perching picturesquely on the stem, allowing for this wonderful shot. It is a rather common sight and can be seen in gardens and parks all around Singapore.

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This Hairy Clidemia (Clidemia hirta)might be a common sight along the roads of Singapore but did you know that it is an alien species? It actually originates from the American Neotropics (Mexico to Paraguay) and has invaded three continents including Africa! Its nickname, Koster’s Curse, is well-founded as it is known to grow in dense thickets and smother hence outcompeting native vegetation.

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This winged fruit is from a Diterocarp (Greek for two-winged fruit)tree, likely belonging to the Seraya genus. It’s three wings help disperse the fruits so that it would not compete with the parent tree for resources such as water and sunlight. It was great fun watching these fruits spinning down like helicopters! Moreover, these tall trees are known to be keystone species, it’s effects far outweighs its abundance, serving as a home for mammals and providing food for them. Isn’t it cool how such little seeds are so important?

Golden silk orb spider

A Golden silk orb-weaver (Nephila pilipes) was seen hanging by sidewalk, a common sight in most nature reserves in Singapore. Surprisingly, the Golden within the name does not refer the bright yellow strips on the spider but how some threads in their web glimmer like gold in sunlight.

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The Rattan (Myrialepis paradox) looks forbidding with its spiky bark but more people are familiar with it when the spikes are gone. After all, it is from this plant when our parents commonly get their canes from!

Sweat Bees (Nomia sp.)

This Halictidae (Nomia sp.) or more commonly known as Sweat Bee, seems intent on gathering nectar from this Sendudok (Melastoma malabathricum). Its nickname is apt as these bees are known to be attracted to perspiration.

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It was a fun, informative and wet session spent together with the flock! Do look out for our next exploits with our new flock and hopefully more sightings of animals!

Credit for the brilliant photos: Aw Jeanice, Judy Goh and Jac Chua

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Petai Trail Recce

Hey everybody! We are the BES Petai Trail team (name pending) and we are happy to report that our first recce of the petai trail along MacRitchie Reservoir was while wet, was also very fruitful. The Petai Trail is a boardwalk that explores an intriguing area of jungle that sits right next to the reservoir itself, and is home to a variety of very interesting plants and animals. The trail itself is located 0.5km from the main MacRitchie reservoir visitor center and is a fairly easy walk. As we are still exploring the area and developing our stories to tell, please enjoy these photos we took on our first trip for now!

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We found quite a few of these shiny beetles (Colasposoma auripenne) hiding among the plants. This particular one is sitting between the leaves of a Hairy Clidemia (Clidemia hirta).

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A Wagler’s Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus walgleri) was found curled up in a bush near the boardwalk. These snakes are some of the most common in Southeast Asia and is considered venomous, although this species is generally not very aggressive. However, that does not mean that it is safe to touch; as with all other wildlife, one should always admire snakes from a distance, and not provoke them!

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This Blue Malayan Coral Snake (Calliophis Bivergatis) is one of our most venomous local snakes, and has been known to eat other snakes as well! Don’t worry though, staying on the boardwalk means that the snakes was largely unhindered by our presence, and simply slithered away without even bothering to take a second look at us.

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This Many-Lined Sun Skink (Eutropis multifasciata) was pretty well camouflaged in the leaf litter. These skinks are quite common in many parts of Singapore, and can be found in both primary and secondary forest and can sometimes be found in parks.

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The lovely view of the reservoir from the trail!

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The recent spate of rain has resulted in quite a few mushrooms popping up all over the place and can be found on a variety of things, from rotting logs to dead leaves. We are not too sure what kind of mushroom this is, but it sure has some nice gill ridges.

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This fabulous unidentified cricket is posing on a Singapore Rhodendron (Melastoma malabathricum), which is also commonly known as Sendudok. This plant is considered medicinal by a variety of cultures across Southeast Asia, but is often called a noxious weed in the US. 

 

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The Leaf Litter Plant (Agrostistachys longifolia) is an understory plant with leaves that grow in a spiral, that tends to catch fallen leaves, thus earning itself such an odd name. The plant directly absorbs nutrients from the decomposing leaves trapped in its own leaf spiral, enabling it to grow quickly in the undergrowth.

Well, that’s all for now. Look out for our next misadventure soon, featuring the Toddycats as we do our second recce of the trail!