All Things Red and Wonderful

Posted: February 7, 2010 in butterflies, macro photography
Tags: , , , ,

The Red Thief

A large batik spider looking web dotted with many of these spiders was spotted while out looking for butterflies.  At the first look, I thought we had come across a kind of 'social spider' something along the lines of 'social bees' which had cooperatively come together to build a huge impressive web.

But after checking on the identification of this tiny red community of spiders, it seems like they had gathered on this large web to help themselves to the buffet of hanging lunches while the owner of the 'house' was away.  The spiders' regular habitat are the webs of other spiders.   

Ref: Joseph Koh's Guide to Common Singapore Spiders


Red Eyes Staring In The Dark

The Coconut Skipper belongs to the family of Hesperiidae and has two huge goggly eyes beset in its furry face, a typical feature of the butterflies in this family.  The Coconut Skipper is usually found in forest shade and typically rockets up into the air when the flash light hits it.  This happens so fast that all you get is a half of a butterfly disappearing over the top of the frame.

Considering their shady habitat and their habit of flying around with huge bursts of speed, their large eyes are probably so as to help them see better.  Although why some of them are favoured with such beguilingly blood red jewel eyes is not known.  An experiment done on the swallowtail has shown that the eyes are not actually black as superfically seen with the human eye, but a mixture of deep pink, pale pink and yellow.  So who knows whether those eyes are as red as they seem.  Read The Butterfly's Coloured Spectables here.  See all the different variations of butterfly eyes here.


The Red Flash Of Sunset

A senior photographer opened my eyes to an oft-overlooked butterfly over the weekend when he pointed out a butterfly whose drab undersides looked beguilingly like one of the often encountered members of Lycaeninae.

But come evening and sunset and suddenly 'Open Sesame!', males of this species sit around prettily, spreading open their drab wings and vie with the setting sun, competing red with red.

That is, if the males would let each other rest long enough to do so.  Territorial in behaviour, each male will chase other males away from his perch until you get a nice brouhaha of 3 or 4 males zipping around like fighter planes, nose diving and rocketing into each other with great speed.

Females are drab and brown in contrast to the males. Because of this and also because they don't dog-fight each other, they are harder to spot in the foliage.

Read more about it here.


The Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker

After I'd stopped 'birding' around with my Sigma 500mm, I'd not seen this bird for about a year until now.  By chance, while wandering around the melastoma bushes.

That being said, it seems the bird is not uncommon, having been spotted even in urban parks.  The first time I saw it about a year back was in Labrador park in a very open spaced area in a short sparse bush near a park bench. 

It makes a very noticeable rough clicking sound which will make any macro photographer want to investigate.  Its movement also makes it easy to spot, flitting quickly from branch to branch.

Females are drab with only a red vent.  Click here for photos of female as well as nesting behaviour.


Humpin' Blow flies

And if this invasion of fly privacy still isn't close up enough to satisfy your curiosity of these death-seeking blood-eyed creatures, check out this fun site with a microscopic lens that allows you to see different parts of a fly real up close!  It definitely helps if you still can't figure out where the halter (a distinguishing feature of the Order Diptera) is. 

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  1. Emjay says:

    What a lovely series of photos. LOL – the flies making out! They look sort of serious about it.

  2. haha… yeah don't they? all bug-eyed serious about it. 😛 must be thinking about the whole backlog of dead flesh not tended to while they are taking time to do this. 😀

  3. Waterbaby says:

    Welcome. p.s. you've been missed at my blog.

  4. .. Seldom.. It is possible to tell, this exception 🙂

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