Friday, 30 April 2010

The Adult Damselfly

Several months ago, I had featured an immature damselfly of the species Echo modesta (read it here).

Soon after that, I have been back exploring in the same area in the forest, again and again, to look for this damselfly and hoping to find the adult.  And I did.



The above photo shows an adult male damselfly of the species Echo modesta of the family Calopterygidae, which can be easily recognized by the large, distinctive, seemingly incandescent white patch on its head. 

He is certainly good looking!

However, this damselfly seems to be rather shy of people and kept flying away to hide.  Or, to phrase it correctly, it is probably wary of me as it is not often that people would venture there and I was the intruder after all.

Anyway, I am hoping to get a photo of the female one of these days.



Thursday, 29 April 2010

Libellulidae - Aethriamanta brevipennis

Red Rules!


That's right!  Another red dragonfly!

This is the Aethriamanta brevipennis of the family Libellulidae.  It is easier to tell this red dragonfly apart from most of the other red dragonflies because of its smaller size, as it has hindwing length of only 24.5mm.

Looking closely at its wings, you will notice that it has a dark patch at the hindwing base and it also has rather open wing venation compared to the other medium-sized red dragonflies.  According to the Pocket Guide, this species is rare and local in this region, so I am lucky to have come across this little red dragonfly.



Again, I had spotted only this one individual perched in the fields.

It is hard to dismiss red or to not like red, isnt it?

I'm a fan!



Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Storming Up!

It's been storming up in the afternoons!

The showers are short and sweet.

And it does cool things down a bit...


Yet... after the the long dry spell.

All plants and creatures big and small,

Are rejoicing!



Monday, 26 April 2010

Pick Of The Day!

A mating pair of the Prodasineura laidlawii in tandem.

I had just missed catching them in wheel position, so that will be my quest for another day.  



Saturday, 24 April 2010

Picks of The Week!

Prodasineura laidlawii, a mating pair in tandem.


Nymphs of the Flatid Leaf Bug clustered on a twig to feed on the plant sap.


A male Phalanta phalantha (The Small Leopard) hidden among leaf foliage.




Zeltis amasa (The Fluffy Tit) perched on a leaf.


A Digger Wasp - am glad it didn't take too much interest in me!


Cows butting heads early in the morning.


I kept my distance across the road.  The way this guy was looking at me, I thought he might even be thinking of butting my head next?



Libellulidae - Urothemis signata

Red! Red! Red!

I was not imagining things after all when I thought the one and only red dragonfly buzzing around among the many golden Crocothemis servilia was not the male of the same species.

And then I thought that perhaps it was the Rhodothemis rufa but it seemed somewhat different in the way it looked when it was buzzing around.

Once I got close enough to take a few photos and have a good look, I was quite elated when I realised it really is another species of red dragonfly.  What a surprising find!



This red dragonfly is the Urothemis signata of the family Libellulidae.  It has hindwing length of 35mm and its wings are more pointed, with very open venation and dark brown patch at the base, all of which are distinguishable features compared to other red dragonflies of similar size.



Although it was still quite early in the morning, this dragonfly was already getting into the obelisk stance.  I thought it was because the dragonfly should know better and that it was going to be another hot day.  As it turns out, this is a behaviour trait of this species and it is often found resting in bright sunlight, in the obelisk position.

Don't you just love all that red!



Thursday, 22 April 2010

Dragonflies Again!

Came across a whole lot of dragonflies while I was out kayaking in the mangroves the other day.  And this time I could identify them.

What a joy!

There must have been a dozen or so of the Rhyothemis obsolescens hovering around in the canopy in that small tributary.  It was quite mesmerizing just to watch them.  And this is the first time I have seen so many of this species in one place, all dancing in the wind!

Also, there was one other dragonfly that was hanging on a twig on another mangrove tree nearby.

This dragonfly was really large, robust-looking, greenish in colour and had racquet-like appendages.  With its large size, it is actually very attractive and rather beautiful.  And its colours were quite amazing!

I was lucky to get a good look at it though I do not have a photo, and have identified it to be the Anax guttatus of the family Aeshnidae. which has hindwing length of 54mm.

About time to update my checklist...



The Dual Carriageway

A section of one of only two dual carriageways in Langkawi.

This one stretches from Kuah town in the south-east to the airport on the west side and took 4-5 years for its construction to complete.   Although the distance is barely 25km, it takes about 25 minutes to get from one end to the other because there are so many traffic stops in between, which account for about two thirds of all traffic junctions on the island!

Go figure!



Wednesday, 21 April 2010



Pick of The Day!


If you know me, you would know that I am not a "flower person"!

And though I have worn leis and flowers on many occasions, it would not be my personal choice for an adornment.

But, flowers being flowers, all creations of nature are beautiful and amazing!

Also, no, I did not pick these frangipanis and place them there; this is as I found them when I walked by early in the morning... 



Tuesday, 20 April 2010

This Morning...


It was pouring cats and dogs at 3am in the morning but the rain had stopped way before daybreak. 

It was not the most spectacular sunrise. 

Still, it makes for a beautiful dawn and an interesting sky. 

Looking east there's the sunrise coming up but over on the western shores, it was storming up...



The way I see it... "This Morning".



This Morning...

Gunung Raya is on the left, in the background.

Monday, 19 April 2010

It Was Worth The Wait!

What a morning!

I was out of the house before the twilight hours and did not get home again till six hours later.  And, no, I do not have another sunrise photo to boot but I have had a field day with birds and dragonflies.  Even the cows had put on a head-butting show for me!

The truth is that I had intended to get more photos of the dawn skies but it just did not happen.  Not that the sky was not pretty this morning but I wanted to check out another location and it was the wrong choice.  Anyway, that spurred me to move on to other sites and it was a step in the right direction for the rest of the morning.  Lucky!

After checking out a few ponds and found to my dismay that the dragonflies seem to be sleeping in, I spent a fair bit of time birdwatching instead.  And it was great!  But the birds and the cows would be for another story and that can wait till another day.

What I am excited about is the dragonfly that I finally did identify today.  I have mentioned this red dragonfly before in one of my earlier ramblings.

Anyway, there were two different species that I saw this morning that I have yet to identify for the Langkawi checklist.  But I scored one.  Both are rather large dragonflies, one is red and the other is brown.  Both were patrolling a big area in the padi fields, their paths sometimes intersect, but they were not bothered about each other.  And both were flying up and down and around everywhere quite relentlessly.  From time to time, they would disappear from the fields but I could not see where they had gone to perch.

I found a shady spot and sat to watch the dragonflies.  After a long wait, the large, red dragonfly finally did perch on a twig high up in a tree next to me and I was in a mad, mad scramble to get the right setting on my camera to shoot it.  I was not the most successful, but I did get one photo.  Lucky, again!



This mysterious red dragonfly is the Tramea transmarina of the family Libellulidae.  It is a large dragonfly with the male having hindwing length of 43mm and recognised by the dark patch at the base of its hindwing.  The Pocket Guide says that this species is widespread in tropical Asia. 

It also says that the female has brown abdomen... so that makes me wonder?

So far, this is only the second time I have seen this dragonfly and I had spotted just two individuals this morning so it does not seem to be a common species to me, or at least not locally abundant here.  Add to that, the last one was eaten up by a Bee-eater!

And, actually, I do have another photo of the morning sky...




Sunday, 18 April 2010



Since I got up early this morning, I thought I'd go catch that witching hour at twilight.  But then I got caught up with some other stuff instead and was a bit too late.....

Nevertheless, I did catch the good sol breaking through over the hills and caught the morning's first rays on my face.



The highway early this morning.





The skies at dawn.









The sun rising behind Gunung Raya...


...and then caught behind some clouds.







Early morning haze in the hills beyond the padi fields.








And, finally... blue skies over Langkawi.


This is bliss.....




Saturday, 17 April 2010


"You're wolfing down your food."

A friend pointed out to me one afternoon when I was having a late lunch.  Most people would find this hard to believe as they know me to be a slow eater and I am always chewing my food.  But I was so hungry that day, I was really shoving "fried mee hoon" into my mouth.  And I was practically just swallowing them.  I didn't care if I was eating like a hog. 

Or perhaps it might be apt to say I was eating like a dragonfly?

Here's a look at feeding time for these dragonflies and damselflies and a few other insects...


The Orthetrum sabina wolfing down its meal of another dragonfly, of the Crocothemis spp.




The Brachythemis contaminata, a male, had caught a damselfly and the first thing it did was chomp off its head.











A female Brachythemis contaminata feeding on a damselfly of the Pseudagrion spp.
















The Ischnura senegalensis subduing another dragonfly, the Agriocnemis femina, to secure it for its meal.










A damselfly, the Pseudagrion microcephalum, feeding on a spider it had caught.










And here's a spider feeding on a damselfly of the Ischnura spp.









Another damselfly, the Pseudagrion microcephalum, that had fallen prey to a spider.









A robber fly feeding on a blow fly



Monday, 12 April 2010

Bits & Pieces

Cross-section of a fallen tree, cut and cleared from the walk path.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Healing Powers of Nature

There is nothing like a bit of a walk and a lot of nature for some healing powers to kick off the feelings of lethargy or restlessness and to uplift the spirits.

Initially I had thought I would just sweat it out going up the 4287 steps to the top of Gunung Raya.  In the end, nature prevailed and I took a slower-paced walk mid-way up the 881m mountain.  Along the way, I took the time to listen to the symphonies of the forest; of birds chirping and cicadas singing, I immersed myself in the greenery of the surroundings, feasted my eyes on everything that I could feast on and breathed in lungfuls of fresh air.

I came back refreshed. 

Being close to nature always work wonders in healing the mind, body and soul.



The buttress roots of a rainforest tree.













A fig tree that towered over me.  Figs are a source of food for birds and primates.






The green canopy.











Green leaves of a young plant and young shoots of a tree.


















Beautiful, lush white fungi.








A Lucilia Blow Fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae)








A plant bug.









Also spotted several Dusky Leaf Langgurs, a Great Hornbill and a snake, though I could not identify it as yet.  It was about 30-35cm in length and its diameter about the same size or smaller than my little finger.  The head section is an orangey-reddish colour that extended down about a third of its length.  The rest of its body is a bronze-brown colour.  Again, no snake photos!