Thursday, May 08, 2008

1st May 2008: Ulu Paip

Not a birding trip, more of a family day out, but we saw a number of interesting bits and pieces!

While having breakfast by the roadside, we noticed a number of white damselflies swarming around a lotus flower. We identified them as Copera marginipes. This one is a juvenile.

And here's an adult. Let me know if I've misidentified these please!

This is the waterfall we always head for. There's a nice pool at the base where the kids can play, and we always seem to have it to ourselves!

We found two juvenile Hillstream Soft-shelled Turtles (Dogania subplana for short!) and caught this one to have a closer look.

The neck was as long as its body and it was quite an impressive climber!

After we released it, it continued to hang around on the offchance of any titbits we might throw to it!

We found this dragonfly larva when it tried to take a bite out of my wife's leg! I was amazed to learn that dragonflies spend by far the largest part of their lives in this larval form - up to 4 years or more, compared to only around 2 months as a winged adult.

One more damsel - this time Prodasineura laidlawii. The one I'd really like to see is Mortonagrion arthuri. My book (the wonderful "Dragonflies of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore") provides the following intriguing detail: "known from a single discoloured specimen from a garden in Butterworth, collected by Arthur Wheeler at the age of four." I can just picture Grandpa Wheeler at the age of 85 telling his grandchildren - "Eee, when I was four years old I found a new dragonfly for science." "Sure you did Grandpa!"

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