Monday, September 30, 2013

Blue-tailed Forest Hawk, Orthetrum cf. triangulare

Probably Orthetrum cf. triangulare. Perak, Malaysia.

There are two other similar looking dragonflies namely O. cancellatum and O. glaucum. O. cancellatum has greenish eyes and black pterostigma, while O. glaucum has blue-greyish eyes.

Orthetrum cf. triangulare
Orthetrum cf. triangulare

Red Dragonfly, Neurothemis sp (Libellulidae)

Probably Neurothemis flucntuans.

Neurothemis sp
Neurothemis sp

Neurothemis sp
Neurothemis sp

Neurothemis sp
Neurothemis sp

Friday, September 27, 2013

Long-legged Fly of Genus Neurigona, Dolichopodidae

Neurigona sp
Neurigona sp (unverified)
Several of these flies were spotted on a mid-sized tree trunk at the foot hill of Bukit Larut (formerly known as Maxwell Hill), Perak, Malaysia. The tree bark seemed whitish and powdery. The body length of the fly is about 4 or 5 mm, maybe smaller. It had been observed to prey on smaller insects, where a smaller insect is sucked up on its mouth.

Neurigona sp
Neurigona sp, male (dorsal), unverified
The overall appearance also look like Sciapus sp; however, the wing shows that it is not.

Neugona sp
Neurigona sp, male
In the above picture, note the bristled foretarsus and visible genitalia, are distinctive features of a male Neurigona sp.

Neurigona sp
Neurigona sp, female
The ovipositor is a feature of the female. Female Neurigona sp lay eggs in the tree bark.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Praying Mantis, Mantodea

Green praying mantis
A Green Praying Mantis
Praying mantises are fascinating insects. They are beautiful but you may not want to see them devour a live victims as you may find the scene gross, especially when the victim is a vertebra. That prey on any life forms they can catch and hold onto with their strong and spiky arms.

They are classified in the order, Mantodea. Termites and cockroaches, despite of a different order (Blattodea), are their closest relatives.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Longhorn Beetle, Imantocera plumosa, Oliver 1792

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa (Olivier, 1792)
The longhorn beetle in the picture above is Imantocera plumosa, (Gnomini, LamiinaeCerambycidae). It was found in a tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, Perak, Malaysia.

(ID credit: Harald Schillhammer)

Look more like Imantocera penicillata in my opinion (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imantocera)

Identification document reference:
http://wallace-online.org/content/frameset?pageseq=297&itemID=WSPEC046&viewtype=text

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa (Olivier, 1792)

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa

Himantocera plumosa, antenna
Imantocera plumosa, antenna

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa

Himantocera plumosa
Imantocera plumosa


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Helopeltis sp (Miridae), Mosquito Bug.

The mosquito bug, Helopeltis sp, despite looking like a mosquito with a weird pin-like protrusion from the centre of the thorax, is a genus of Mirid bugs. They are considered pests of crops such as cocoa, tea, cashew and cotton.

Helopeltis sp, nymph
Helopeltis sp (nymph)
Helopeltis sp (adult)

Helopeltis sp (adult)
Based on personal encounters, the nymph and adult appear to be found at higher land of the tropical rain forest. Occurrence of bugs: Menora Tunnel, Maxwell Hill, and Cameron Highlands, 2013.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bird-dung Crab Spider, Phrynarachne sp. (Thomisidae)

Phrynarachne spp. look somewhat like bird dung, thus they are commonly known as Bird-dung Crab Spiders, or Bird-dropping Crab Spiders.

Phrynarachne cf. ceylonica
Phrynarachne cf. ceylonica (female)
Phrynarachne cf. ceylonica
Phrynarachne cf. ceylonica (female)
Phrynarachne cf. ceylonica
Phrynarachne cf. ceylonica (female)
Phrynarachne ceylonica is distributed from Sri Lanka to China, Taiwan, Japan (http://globalspecies.org/ntaxa/92884). I presume Malaysia is included. The spider above look very much like the species P. ceylonica but the ID is not confirmed scientifically. It was found in a lowland rain-forest in Selangor, Malaysia.

The spider is a slow-moving thomisid, prefers shaded area, and does not bite. It would actively move around though when it is being photographed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Harvestmen, Opiliones

Although harvestmen have eight legs, they are not spiders. They are in the Opiliones order, a close relative of spiders (Araneae order), both under the same class, Arachnida.

They do not have silk glands, therefore do not build web. Their legs are extremely long compared to their body.


Orange opiliones
An orange harvestman, Pahang, Malaysia.
Orange Opiliones close up
Close-up of the orange harvestman
Orange harvestman, dorsal view
Orange harvestman, lateral view
Another species, Pahang, Malaysia.
Another species, Pahang, Malaysia.




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hammer-headed tephritid, Themara maculipennis

Themara maculipennis
Themara maculipennis Westwood 1848 (ID credit: Dr Valery Korneyev)

This hammer-headed tephritid is not to be confused with the Stalk-eyed Fly of Diopsidae family where its antennas are located at the stalks near the compound eyes. Also, this should not be referred to as fruit fly, since not all Tephritid eat fruits, as pointed out by Dr Korneyev. This unique fly belongs to the Tephritidae family, Phytalmiinae subfamily, Acanthonevrini tribe.

Based on my observation, several of these, males and females, were found on the bark of a dead and damped log on the ground, in a lowland rain-forest, Selangor, Malaysia. The males would confront another male, chase the other away, and claim its territory.
In order to photograph them, you have to approach slowly and quietly. Sudden movement, noise or even flash light could scare them away. If it flies away, stay at where you are and wait for them to return. Sometimes, the fly shows an extreme quick reflex to the flash light. You may capture just be background without the fly on the photograph. If this is the case, use manual flash power or turn off i-TTL.

The following is an identification key for Tephritidae:

"The shape of the subcosta (bent sharply forward subapically and usually weaker or foldlike beyond the bend) has generally been considered the best diagnositic character for adult fruit flies, but its form varies and in some taxa, especially many species with elongate wings, it is not as sharply bent (e.g., Toxotrypana, many Phytalmiini), and in species of Tachiniscinae it is not as weak distal to the bend."
-http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/diptera/tephriti/TephRecg.htm

Tephritid identification key
Tephritid Identification Key

Themara maculipennis, lateral view
Lateral View

Themara maculipennis, perspective view
Perspective View
Themara maculipennis, head close up
Close up of the Head

Themara maculipennis, confrontation
Male Confrontation