VENUS LOOP - 20/July/2021

Since I had some time during the public holiday for Hari Raya, I decided to pay a quick visit to Venus loop. Upon entering the trail, I was immediately drawn to a large Stink Bug (Dalpada sp) resting on a vine leaf.


After a round of photographing the stink bug, I proceeded with my walk, and came across a rotten tree stump, with many nests of termites within it. On this same tree was a cool-looking "Hammerhead fly" (Themara sp). It allowed me to get pretty close for some decent shots.


After this fly, there were no more insects observed until I arrived at my favourite area - "the clearing". The first tree on the right when approaching the clearing has been dead for some time, and fungus has been growing in abundance on it. Among the usual Omadius Clerid beetles on that tree, I noticed several smaller Cleridae, belonging to the genus Stigmatium.


In addition, there was a large group of Carabids of the subtribe Pericalina on the same tree. These look similar to genus Dolichoctis but have notable differences of a wider pronotum, and head that does not stick out as much.


Just as I was about to reluctantly leave the "magic" tree and continue on my walk, I caught sight of several tiny black rods from the corner of my eye. Upon closer inspection, they turned out to be Histerids of genus Trypeticus. They are members of the tunnel-crawling community and were found very low down on the dead, standing tree.




Right after this delay, I set off yet again, only to be halted in my tracks by the sighting of this Longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae). This pretty beetle is Ostedes perakensis.


Dorsal View (Sort of)


Anterior



On a small plant past the clearing, I managed to spot one of these shiny beetles resting on the stem. It belongs to a terrestrial genus of Long-toed Water beetles (Dryopididae), Sostea sp. They are rather common in this area, but are often overlooked, due to their small size (about 3mm).


Right after turning a corner, I noticed a small log by the side of the path, and was pleased to find a Hister beetle in plain view on it. This one belongs to the tribe Platysomatini.




After this encounter, I decided to check the time and quickly realised I had already spent an hour in the forest. Hence, I decided to turn back and check out the "clearing" once more before I left. While retracing my steps, I found this tiny weevil, Demimaea bakeri, moving about on a leaf. These bear a strong resemblance to miniature elephants, in my opinion!


Finding myself in "the clearing" for the second time that day, I made a beeline for the magic tree and was not disappointed. Several other beetles had shown up, among which, this Coptodera


sp (Carabidae), which had probably come out to hunt for food.


Furthermore, several of these "butt-plug" beetles (Curculionidae: Platypodinae) had started coming out of their holes for the night. They use their flat backsides to block the entrance of holes in the wood when they are inside them.


Straying from the tree once again, I found a common Anthribid (Habrissus cf omadioides) on a rotting log and decided to get a shot of it, due to the brownish slime molds in the background making for an interestingly composed photo.


Another Platypodinae was also found nearby, resting on a plant and clutching onto its leaves tightly.


When I was done photographing the above beetle, I decided to scour the plant thoroughly for more beetles. My search proved successful, as to my joy, I located a colourful Tenebrionid, sleeping on a small branch between leaves. This is one of the species of Pseudonautes, a genus from my favourite beetle family (Tenebrionidae).


Anterior

Lateral


To round off the trip, I found an Earwig and yet another Platypodinae running about on a dying tree near the exit.


Since my last post, I have been busy with other commitments as well as on improving the lighting of my shots (which has significantly improved, thanks to David Ball), I will make sure to keep up the blogs and, the next one will be on a follow-up trip to Windsor which took place 2 weeks later. This marks the end of this blog post, see you on the next adventure :)

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