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Malaysia Natural History Report - March 2012

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by moloch, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

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    Greetings,

    I have just returned from a month-long trip to Malaysia with three friends from the US. This was their first visit to Southeast Asia so I was their "guide" who helped them find and identify birds and other animals. All of the guys are retired biologists who worked for the US government. Ted has been a friend from high school days in southern California. We used to herp/bird in the US and Mexico in the '70s and '80s. More recently, Ted has gone on herp trips with me here in Australia to the Peruvian Amazon a couple of years ago. Bruce and I met while we were grad students at Texas A&M. Bill was a birding friend of Ted's who I had not met before.

    Our itinerary included Taman Negara, Mt. Kinabalu/Poring/Rafflesia Centre in Sabah, Kubah and Permai in Sarawak, Kuala Selangor and finally Fraser's Hill.

    We had a wonderful time and saw an excellent variety of animals. The entire trip proceeded smoothly and we had no problems at all with the internet bookings. Here is a map that highlights the sites that we visited.
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    This will be a big post that I will add to over the next week or so. I decided to begin with Fraser's Hill since we found more snakes here than anywhere else. We spent four nights on the hill and had mixed weather with a couple of nice, sunny days but also a couple of cool, wet days that were poor for most animals. Butterfly diversity and density was much lower this year than what I experienced last July.

    Here are a few shots of Fraser's Hill and the surrounding habitat. Fraser's Hill is situated at about 1500m in elevation. This area is one of my favourite sites in Malaysia and is always a fun place to visit. My friends loved the birds here since they tended to be large, colourful and not nearly as shy as the lowland rainforest species. We did not encounter anything unusual but had good looks at Red-headed Trogons, Fire-tufted Barbets, Long-tailed Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Silver-eared Mesia, Verditer Flycatcher, Hill Blue Flycatchers, Blue Nuthatches, Black-and-Crimson Orioles and many others.


    Ted's photo of the clock tower.
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    Ted's photo of the Pekan Bunglo where we stayed. The owners are the same but they changed management companies. Now, there is someone at reception every day and they have an excellent cook on site. Of course, the cost has gone up since last July.
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    Here is a shot of typical habitat along the Telekom Loop road. This road commenced near our bungalow and was about a 6km return walk. It was a great place for birding and also produced a few interesting butterflies. I've also seen interesting snakes here on prior trips but none this year.
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    Gap area. The Gap is about 8km down the road from Fraser's Hill. It is roughly at 900m elevation. This old rest house was beautiful in its day but it has been abandoned for a number of years now. It really is a shame since it is a lovely old building and located in a wonderful place mid-way between Kuala Kubu Bharu and Raub. It also is good birding with lower hill forest species that are not present up at Fraser's Hill.
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    We birded this area near the Gap on a couple of occasions. One of the highlights here was watching an enormous Wreathed Hornbill fly out from the trees above us. The wing beats were noisy and sounded much like ripping cloth. The bird circled a few times, worked its way out over the gully in front of us, then folded its wings and went into a vertical dive. It plummeted past us and then finally opened its wings again far below. It spiralled a couple of times and then disappeared into a fruiting tree. The performance reminded us of a scene out of Avatar and we all watched this in awe. Another highlight here was a sighting of the rare and near endemic Yellow-vented Green Pigeon.
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    Green-crested Dragon (Bronchochela cristatella). Bruce and Ted found this dragon in bamboo near the Gap. Bruce used his binoculars to "digiscope" the shot.
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    Draco sp. It landed in a tree along the creek while we were searching for a Bay Woodpecker that had flown across the trail.
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    Blue Malaysian Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus). These are gorgeous elapids. I've found two DORs now but still not a live animal. The guys found another DOR on the night after I left so Fraser's Hill seems to be a good place for the species.
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    Peninsula Pit Viper (Popeia furcata). Ted and I found this on the new road between Fraser's Hill and the Gap. It was a lovely viper that would certainly blend well when it was at rest in a shrub or tree. When agitated, this viper rapidly shook its red tail much like a rattlesnake.
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    Green Tree Racer (Elaphe prasina). Another DOR. We found this a short distance up the Gap along the old road to Fraser's Hill.
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    Malayan Green Whip Snake (Ahaetulla mycterizans). The snake was alive but it was fatally injured by a car. Two of us were walking about 50m apart along the road below the Gap and the snake had attempted to cross but was struck by a passing car. Neither of us saw it happen.
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    Green Cat Snake (Boiga cyanea). It was nice to see this big Boiga on the road below the Gap.
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    I spent a fair amount of my time chasing butterflies. Fraser's Hill is a famous place in Malaysia for its butterflies and moths. Besides working the hill itself, I also headed down to lower elevation forests below the Gap. One site was 4km from the bottom of the new road and at 750m elevation. This was an excellent location for butterflies on my trip in July 2011. Unfortunately, I only saw a few on this visit. I spent a fair bit of time mixing up the smelly shrimp paste mixture (belachan) that was attractive to the butterflies. Our car smelled interesting due to the "exotic" fragrance of rancid prawns and rotting bananas.
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    This site was about 8km from the bottom of the new road to the Gap and at 515m elevation. This was the site where I photographed a Constable last year, a stunning species. Again, numbers were low but this is where I found one of my favourites, an Asian Leaf Butterfly.
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    Jeriau Falls area was one of the best places to photograph puddling butterflies near Fraser's Hill. Numbers and diversity were much lower this year than what I encountered in July 2011.
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    Blues
    1. Sky Blue (Jamides caeruleus)
    2. Jamides sp., possibly J. zebra
    3. Udara dilecta
    4. Sunbeam (Curetis sp.)
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    Pierids
    1. Chocolate Albatross (Appias lyncida)
    2. Plain Puffin (Appias indra)
    3. Banded Puffin (Appias pandione)
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    Lesser Gull (Cepora nadina)
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    Red-spot Sawtooth (Prioneris philonome)
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    Malayan Owl (Neorina lowii). Attracted to shrimp paste bait at Jeriau Falls. This was a giant satyrinae that resembles the black swallowtails in size and shape.
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    Bushbrowns are numerous in the dark understorey of the forest.
    1. White-bar Bushbrown (Mycalesis anaxias)
    2. Red Bush Brown (Mycalesis oroatis)
    3. Pallid Faun (Melanocyma faunula). My first encounter with this species. I saw two along the river between the car park and Jeriau Falls.
    4. Dark Evening Brown (Melanitis phedima)
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    Assyrians are beautiful butterflies. They tend to be continuously on the move and flit from leaf to leaf.
    1. Royal Assyrian (Terinos terpander)
    2. Royal Assyrian (Terinos terpander)
    3. Terinos atlita
    4. Terinos atlita
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    Common Mapwing (Cyrestis maenalis)
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    Nymphs
    1. Common Mapwing (Cyrestis maenalis)
    2. Common Nawab (Polyura athamas)
    3. Neptis cliniodes
    4. Tanaecia munda
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    1. Grey Count (Tanaecia lepidea)
    2. Knight (Lebadea martha)
    3. Cirrochroa tyche
    4. a day-active moth
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    Black-tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea). These butterflies were the most common in the forest interior where there was fallen fruit.
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    Courtesan and Circe
    1. Courtesan (Euripus nyctelius)
    2. Courtesan (Euripus nyctelius)
    3. Circe (Hestina mimetica). The females are mimics of the distasteful Yellow-glassy Tigers (Danaiids, monarch-relatives)
    4. Circe (Hestina mimetica)
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    Asian Leaf Butterfly (Kallima limborgii). One of my favourites with perfect camouflage when the wings are closed. It was a large butterfly. This one was attracted to the "melting bananas" that I put out as bait.
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    Crows (Danaiids)
    1. Purple-brand King Crow (Euploea eunice)
    2. Purple-brand King Crow (Euploea eunice)
    3. Striped Blue Crow (Euploea mulciber)
    4. Striped Blue Crow (Euploea mulciber)
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    Tigers (Danaiids)
    1. Chocolate Tiger (Parantica melaneus)
    2. Chocolate Tiger (Parantica melaneus)
    3. Chocolate Tiger (Parantica melaneus)
    4. Smaller Wood Nymph (Ideopsis gaura)
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    Red Helen (Papilio helenus). Common near Jeriau Falls. These were a really lovely species.
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    Veined Jay (Graphium chironides). Swallowtails in the genus Graphium are abundant in southeast Asia. I saw many other species but this was my first G. chironides. I only encountered a single individual.
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    Skippers
    1. Pygmy Scrub-hopper (Aeromachus pygmaeus)
    2. Starry Bob (Iambrix stellifer)
    3. Violet Awl (Hasora leucospila)
    4. Banded Flat (Celaenorrhinus ladana)
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    Moths
    1. Urapteroides astheniata - Uraniidae
    2. unknown.
    3. Glyphodes caesalis - Crambidae
    4. Euplocia memblaria (a female) - Erebidae
    5. Cossidae, possibly a Xyleutes sp.
    6. unknown.
    7. unknown.
    8. unknown.
    9. Lymantia narindra - Lymantriinae
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    Saturniids
    Edward's Atlas Moth (Archaeoattacus edwardsii). This was a huge moth that I initially misidentified as "the" Atlas Moth. Edward's is not quite so robust and the wing span is slightly less that the Atlas Moth, the largest of all moths.
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    Golden Emperor Moth (Loepa sikkima). What a stunning species! I only saw one before sunrise on my final morning at Fraser's Hill.
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    I always search for these primitive trapdoors, Liphistius malayanus, on a road cut not far from the Pekan Bunglo. These spiders have plates on their abdomens. If I passed a stem of grass across their trip wires at night, they would "explode" out of their burrows. The speed and the force of impact were startling and it was hard not to jump back. The spiders were big and only slightly smaller than Tarantulas.
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    Tarantulas were numerous on road cuts around the Telekom Loop. Some were much more colourful than the following. One was particularly bright orange with deep blue legs ... "pretty" for a spider.
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    Siamang were common by call but hard to see. Bruce spotted this giant Gibbon while we were birding about halfway between Fraser's Hill and the Gap.
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    White-thighed Langur were common at Fraser's Hill.
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    Ted and I found this lampyrid while we were night-driving. The green, glowing spots were conspicuous. These were big insects, about 4cm in length.
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    ... next will be Kuala Selangor
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. tarcan

    tarcan Arachnoking Old Timer

    very nice, can't wait for the rest!
     
  3. wow looks like u had quite an adventure.
     
  4. Lopez

    Lopez Arachnoking Old Timer

    Great pictures! The tarantula looks like a Coremiocnemis sp.
     
  5. syndicate

    syndicate Arachnoemperor Old Timer

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    Excellent photos thanks for sharing!I agree with Leon above the tarantula is definitely a Coremiocnemis species.Most likely Coremiocnemis hoggi!
    -Chris
     
  6. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

    Leon/Chris, would the more brightly coloured tarantula also be this species? Do they vary in colour by age/sex? These tarantulas are numerous at Fraser's Hill.


    I forgot to post photos of what I think to be a Speckle-bellied Keelback (Rhabdophis chrysargus) that I found near Jeriau Falls. It was hunting along the creek so I imagine that it was looking for frogs.
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    This one had large eyes so I assume that it must be a diurnal hunter.
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    Regards,
    David

    ---------- Post added 04-15-2012 at 12:20 PM ----------

    I thought that I would add these shots from Kuala Lumpur and a nearby area before moving to other sites. Last June, I was fortuante to participate on a butterfly survey of the Maliau Basin in Sabah. I met a number of Malaysian and Singaporean photographers. Two of the guys, Derrick and Kurt, live in KL and they kindly offered to take me out for a day. We headed out on an old road that eventually ends up in the Genting Highlands. We stopped at a park in old second growth woodland along a creek. It was great to see these guys again and an area that they like to work. Both are superb macro photographers. Kurt finds Great Anglehead Dragons (Gonocephalus grandis) along the creek and he wanted to show me these.

    The day was a good one and I saw a number of reptiles as well as a few butterflies. The weather was not bad in the early morning but it clouded over at noon and we experienced an incredible thunderstorm in the mid-afternoon. The tropical deluge lasted an hour or so.

    Habitat, home of the dragons.
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    Here are some of the animals. Kurt found the gorgeous male Great Anglehead Dragon early in the morning. It was resting perhaps 5m up in a tree along the creek. Unfortuantely, the light was poor and the animal never came down to lower levels where I could obtain better shots.
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    We also saw a number of females. Look at the length of the tail. It was incredibly long and looked vine-like.
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    This Black-throated Draco (Draco melanopogon) smacked onto a tree trunk. It then flashed its dewlap a few times.
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    I'm not certain but I think this to be an Earless Lizard (Aphaniotus fuscus).
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    I saw and adult and juvenile Green Crested Dragons (Bronchocela cristatella).
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    Skinks were common along the creek. I think that these were Many-lined Sun-Skinks (Mabuya multifasciata).
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    This little bronzeback was working the thickets near the creek. Elsewhere, this was identified as a Haas's Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis haasi). I originally thought it to be a Common Bronzeback (D. pictus).
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    I put out shrimp paste bait (belachan) along this creek. It did not take long for a few butterflies to arrive.
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    One of the prettiest was the Five-barred Swallowtail (Pathysa antiphates):
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    A few Common Bluebottles (Graphium sarpedon) also visited the bait. These are small, tail-less swallowtails.
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    1. Chocolate Albatross (Apias lyncida)
    2. Fluffy Tit (Zeltus etolus)
    3. Ypthima horsfieldii
    4. Forest White (Phrissura aegis)
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    I really like these large, bizarre beetles. I think it to be a Trilobite Beetle in the family Lycidae.
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    Here is Ted's shot of the beautiful KLCC Building (Petronas Towers). My friends and I stayed nearby due to an early morning bus to Taman Negara.
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    Regards,
    David
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    My friends and I headed to Sabah after our stay at Taman Negara. We spent about 8 days in the the Mt. Kinabalu area. We stayed at the Kinabalu Pine Resort in Kundasang which turned out to be quite nice and well situated. From the resort, it was a short drive to the Kinabalu NP headquarters, about a 40 minute drive to Poring Hot Springs or about 1.5 hours out to the Rafflesia Centre. We alternated between these sites depending upon the local weather conditions.

    Mt. Kinabalu is a scenic place. It is a big mountain so it was quite astounding to see how quickly some people are able to ascend to the summit (less than 3 hours!). We only worked the area from the park headquarters to the trail head of the summit track. Some of the guys walked for a few hours on the Mempening, Liwagu and Silau-Silau tracks where they found a number of interesting birds. The best for me was a Fruithunter, a species that I missed on my first trip to southeast Asia in 1990.

    Here are a few shots of the mountain.
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    We often drove to one of the higher lookouts in the morning and watched for birds. The upper forests were rather quiet. We found Indigo Flycatchers, Sunda Bush Warblers, Golden-naped Barbets, Sunda Laughing-Thrush, Sunda Treepies, Little Pied Flycatchers, Scarlet (Temmink's) Sunbirds, Mountain Leaf Warblers, Mountain Imperial Pigeons, Little Cuckoo Doves, various swifts and others.
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    My birding friends, (L->R): Bruce, Bill and Ted.
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    Rhododendrons were numerous in the park. I read that Kinabalu is home to about 25 species of these colourful plants. My favourite was Low's Rhododendron with its massive clusters of yellow flowers. The one below was photographed near the start of the summit trail.
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    Here are shots of the habitat along some of the trails. I did glimpse skinks but encountered no snakes. There are three species of vipers in the park but they seemed to be difficult to find. Habitat like this was good for birds and I found White-browed Shortwings, Sunda/Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Borean Whistlers, Chesnut-crowned Warblers, /Yellow-breasted/Mountain Leaf Warblers, Sunda Treepies and others in such places.
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    Trilobite Beetles (Duliticola sp.) were fairly common along Silau-Silau Creek and the botanic gardens near the headquarters of Mt. Kinabalu. These were big and beautiful beetles. According to the net, these would be females. They certainly had an odd shape with a massive body but a tiny head.
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    Silau-Silau Creek was a good place to see Sunda Whistling-Thrushes, another Bornean endemic.
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    It also was the home to an interesting family of fish. I saw all of these with a little searching of the pools. I only managed photos of Glaniopsis denudata.
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    Flowers
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    We also drove from the Kinabalu Pine Resort to the Poring Hot Springs area on a few occasions. The hot springs was a busy place with bus loads of tourists. Most soaked in the pools or went on the canopy walk. Only a few ventured into the forest. Poring had a butterfly garden that was excellent for birds. It was planted with numerous mint-looking plants that attracted a variety of butterflies. There also was a sulphurous stream that flowed through the garden. A few butterflies puddled in places along it.
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    Langanan Falls. I climbed to the falls on one of the visits to Poring Hot Springs. The falls are about a 2 hour walk up a steep hillside. This area is famous among birders for a couple of difficult Bornean endemics, the Blue-banded Pitta and Hose's Broadbill. I had no luck with those rare species but I did see many other interesting species. Butterflies, however, were a little disappointing due to weather conditions. It was sunny when I started the climb but clouds closed in and it began to rain when I reached the falls.

    This Flame Ginger was flowering right on trail to Langanan Falls.
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    Here is a shot of the wet forest along the trail to Langanan Falls.
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    Langanan Falls
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    I think that this is one of the water skinks in the genus Sphenomorphus. There are a number of similar skinks in Sabah and I am not certain as to the identity. This was was standing on a rock just below the first waterfall on the Langanan Falls track, Poring Hot Springs.
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    Ted's photo of an Olive Tree Skink (Dasia olivacea at Poring Hot Springs.
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    We found this DOR Striped Coral Snake (Calliophis intestinalis) right at our accomodation near Kundasang. The ventral surface of this little snake was brightly coloured.
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    The Rafflesia Centre was the third site in the area that we visited. It actually was not all that far from Kinabalu but the roads were poor, traffic heavy and the transit was slow. The forests at the Rafflesia Centre were thick and tall. The understorey was unusually dark even in the middle of the day. This was a top place for the Bornean endemic birds and other species. We saw Bornean Leafbirds, Bornean Bulbuls, Bornean Barbets, Mountain Barbets, Pygmy White-eyes, White-fronted Falconet, Long-tailed Broadbill, Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babblers, Black-sided Flowerpeckers, Bornean Spiderhunters, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Rufous-tailed Jungle Flycatcher, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Sunda Laughingthrush and many others. On one of the visits, we saw more species between 4 and 5 (closing time) than at any other time on the trip. The weather was good and sunny. Birds seemed to move to the edge of the forest near the headquarters to sun before disappearing back in the forest.
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    Bruce and Ted busy scanning for birds in the nearby forest.
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    Mossy-nest Swiftlet and Crimson-winged Woodpecker.
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    These were the first Rafflesia flowers that I have ever seen. Of course, these were one of the highlights of the trip. To see these, we had to hire a guide to take us about 45 minutes down a steep slope to the location where they were flowering. This was the second largest species of Rafflesia.
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    1. Forest Quaker (Pithecops corvus) were common along the creeks near the park headquarters of Mt. Kinabalu
    2. Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra). Several seen along the lower portion of the Langanan Falls trails
    3. Common Three-Ring (Ypthima pandocus). These were common along the Langanan Falls trail
    4. Common Three-Ring (Ypthima pandocus).
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    Bushbrowns were common satyrinae in Asian forests. I saw several of the many potential species.
    1. Mycalesis marginata. These Bornean endmics were numerous near the park headquarters. They were wary and tended to perch several meters above the ground
    2. Mycalesis marginata.
    3. Mycalesis janardana baluna. This one was found along the Langanan Falls trail.
    4. Mycalesis orseis. This and others were observed in the orchid garden of Poring Hot Springs.
    5. This Mycalesis kina was huge. I found it along the track at the Rafflesia Centre. When first observed, I thought that it was a Faun due to the dark colour and large size. I was surprised when I was close enough for photos to see that it was a bush-brown.
    6. Orsotriaena medus. One near the orchid garden at Poring Hot Springs
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    I think that all three of the Lethe are Bornean endemics.
    1. Lethe perimede. This pretty Lethe dropped to the road near the summit track one morning. It was the only individual of the species that I observed.
    2. Lethe delila. Only seen once in a bamboo thicket near the headquarters of Mt. Kinabalu.
    3. Lethe darena. I saw one of these along the Mempening Track. It had a fair amount of orange-brown on the upperwings. This was a fairly large butterfly
    4. Erites argentina. One was found at the orchid garden of Poring Hot Springs.
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    1. Ragadina makuta were common along the Langanan Falls trail
    2. An interesting one was Ragadia annulata. I saw several of these at the upper trail head to the Silau-Silau Track. They always landed several meters up in trees so good photos were not possible
    3. Common Faun (Faunis gracilis). Several observed along the track to Langanan Falls, Poring Hot Springs.
    4. Common Faun (Faunis gracilis).
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    1. Dark Jungle Glory (Thaumantis noureddin chartra). I saw a few of these in the orchid garden of Poring Hot Springs and another at the Rafflesia Centre. All of them had this unusual reddish-brown colour.
    2. Palm King (Amathusia phidippus). This crepuscular butterly was attracted to the lights of the ticket office at Poring Hot Springs.
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    Malayan Owls are giant satyrinae that resemble swallowtails.
    1. Malayan Owl Butterfly (Neorina lowii).
    2. Malayan Owl Butterfly (Neorina lowii).
    3. Black-and-White Helen (Papilio nephelus). Photographed at the orchid garden of Poring Hot Springs.
    4. Chilasa paradoxa telesicles. This swallowtail is a mimic of the distasteful crows (Danaiids). This one was puddling in the butterfly garden but it was in an area where I was not allowed to walk. I therefore could not get close to it for photos
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    Butterflies like this are a common sight in Malaysia. There are many similar species of a couple of genera with this wing pattern.
    1. Studded Sargeant (Athyma asura). Found on the walkway in the buttefly garden of Poring Hot Springs. I think it to be this species due to the black-centred white spots on the outer upper wings.
    2. Studded Sargeant (Athyma asura)
    3. Clear Sailor (Neptis nata)
    4. Common Sailor (Neptis hylas)
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    1. Black-tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea). Common at Poring Hot Springs and the Rafflesia Centre.
    2. Black-tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea).
    3. Baron (Tanacea iapis). Only one of this interesting species was seen at the Rafflesia Centre.
    4. Blue Begum (Prothoe franck). Only one of this interesting species was seen at the Rafflesia Centre.
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    1. Clipper (Parthenos sylvia). Numerous in the butterfly garden of Poring Hot Springs.
    2. Malayan Eggfly (Hypolimnas anomala). A few were seen at the butterfly gardens of Poring Hot Springs.
    3. Vagrant (Vagrans egista). A few were seen near the headquarters of Mt. Kinabalu
    4. Jester (Symbrenthia hippoclus) Several seen in the butterfly garden area of Poring Hot Springs.
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    This Blue Knight (Kaniska canace) was really special. Look at the strange texture on the underwings. The upperwings were black with a diagonal blue stripe. These are related to Commas and Question Marks in the northern hemisphere.
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    1. Amnosia decora. I saw two of these Bornean endemics along the Langanan Falls track.
    2. Amnosia decora.
    3. Kinabalu White-banded Count (Tanaecia amisa). This is another Kinabalu endemic.
    4. Kinabalu White-banded Count (Tanaecia amisa)
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    Danaiids
    1. Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris). Poring Hot Springs
    2. Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris).
    3. Yellow Glassy Tiger (Parantica aspasia). This Bornean race had very little yellow when compared with those from the peninsula. This one was found at the Rafflesia Centre.
    4. Plain Tiger (Danaus genutia). Poring Hot Springs
    [​IMG]


    Skippers
    1. Large Snow Flat (Tagiades gana)
    2. Pied Flat (Tagiades japetus)
    3. Notocrypta pria
    4. Koruthaialos frena
    [​IMG]


    Skippers
    1. Banded Angle (Odontoptilum pygela). This skipper mimics bird droppings.
    2. Celaenorrhinus dhanada lativittus
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    This skipper is an interesting one. Its distribution skips peninsular Malaysia but it is found on Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah. Creteus cyrina cyrina.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Mt. Kinabalu was the most productive site on the trip for moths. These were diverse and it seemed that we rarely saw two of the same species. The following species was huge and colourful.
    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of odd and nicely patterned moths. Both were large.
    1. unknown
    2. Netria viridescens (male) - Notodontidae
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    "Scorpion" Moth (Dudusa vethi borneesis). Notodontidae. This strange moth would flick the furry tip of the abdomen forward like a scorpion.
    [​IMG]


    Moths
    1. Barsine lucibilis or closely related - Arctiinae
    2. Problepsis borneamagna - Geometridae
    3. Trabala sp. - Lasiocampidae
    4. Spilosoma grogane or close relative
    [​IMG]
     
  8. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    Interesting species. Anuga rotunda - Eutelidae
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Moths
    1. unknown
    2. unknown
    3. unknown
    4. Ischyja hagenii - Catocalinae
    5. unknown
    6. unknown
    7. unknown
    8. unknown
    9. unknown
    [​IMG]

    These moths were leaf-like. The first one below was huge. It was on the base of a shelter at night and I walked around it for several minutes before I realized that it was a moth. It really looked like a big dead leaf.
    1. Anthelidae sp. - Anthelidae
    2. Hypopyra lactipex - Catocalinae
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    Moths
    1. unknown
    2. unknown
    3. unknown
    4. Eoophyla nigripilasa. Crambidae
    [​IMG]

    Moths
    1. Crambidae
    2. unknown
    3. Cossidae
    4. Xyleutes sp. Cossidae
    [​IMG]

    Moths
    1. unknown
    2. unknown
    3. A Geometrid - possibly a Eucyclodes sp.
    4. unknown
    [​IMG]


    Moths. Strange one that would rear back on its wings and then kick its legs at me. I don't know how this could help much with a predator but it was odd behaviour.
    1. unknown
    2. unknown
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Moths
    1. unknown
    2. Syntypisis sp.
    3. unknown
    4. unknown
    [​IMG]


    Lyssa
    [​IMG]


    This phasmid was huge.
    [​IMG]


    Strange Caterpillar
    [​IMG]


    Beetles with powerful mandibles.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Stag and Tiger Beetle
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    We visited Sarawak for five nights before returning to the peninsula. We split our stay between Kubah NP (3 nights) and Permai Beach Resort (2 nights). Both were lovely but Kubah was my favourite due to its tall forest and diverse animal life.

    One of the highlights of our visit to Kuching was meeting the one and only Hans. Those of you who participate on FieldHerpForum will no doubt know of Hans and his hilarious posts. He has several underway at the moment including this one with an incredible Red-headed Krait: Field Herp Forum • View topic - Borneo Dispatches #34: Bungarus flaviceps (Red-headed Krait)

    Hans was every bit as enthusiastic in person as he is on the forums. Hans greeted us at the airport, escorted us out to Kubah and then helped us with areas to work at night. Hans and Hans jr also joined us on a night walk. We all enjoyed a lovely meal (spicy Tom Yum soup) back in Kuching. Hans was an excellent host and I hope that I can reciprocate someday here in Australia.
    [​IMG]


    Kubah has featured in many FHF posts recently now that Hans has moved to Kuching. Frogshot on FHF also had photos of a huge variety of frogs and snakes in one of his posts last year (see: Field Herp Forum • View topic - Kubah national park -Sarawak).


    Here are a few shots of Kubah National Park from the road to Kuching:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The park has both hostels as well as chalets. The chalets were good value when the costs were split among the four of us.
    [​IMG]


    Here is a shot of the guys doing some intensive birding (Bruce, Bill and Ted). This spot near our chalet was close to a couple of fruiting trees that attracted lots of birds such as Red-throated and Red-crowned Barbets.
    [​IMG]



    These Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes ampullaria) were numerous in some parts of the park.
    [​IMG]

    Hans showed us several areas with these plants and told us how this species was one that fed on fallen leaves.
    [​IMG]




    There were several trails in the park but the best was a fairly short walk to a waterfall. The trail descended through forest with lots of big trees with buttressed roots.
    [​IMG]

    Strangler Fig
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Aroids were numerous in damp areas along the way:
    [​IMG]


    Habitat:
    [​IMG]


    This was the waterfall at the end of the 1.6km walk. It was a good place for butterflies and also some interesting frogs.
    [​IMG]

    These frogs (Staurois guttatus) would occasionally open their toe pads and wave their feet. The skin between the toes was bright blue so this signal was visible from a distance.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    The highlight to my friends and I was this Wallace's Flying Frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus). Hans kindly held this frog which he had found a couple of days earlier so that we could see and photograph it. What an amazing frog it was with these enormous toe pads.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Hans also found two of these Asian Leaf Frog (Megophrys nasuta). These were amazing looking frogs that blend so well with the leaf litter.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Frogs are difficult. I found this link that helps but am not certain about my identifications:
    Frogs of Borneo


    These Polypedates otilophis were common at the frog pond.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Mahogany Frogs (Hylarana lactuosa) were a nice looking species that we found near the frog pond at night.
    [​IMG]

    Harlequin Frog?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hylarana raniceps?
    [​IMG]


    Meristogenys sp.?
    [​IMG]


    Ted saw this draco land and managed a few shots of it. I am not certain but think that it may be a Draco cornutus. It certainly was a colourful one. As normal, it extended its dewlap a few times after landing.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) were common around our chalet at night.
    [​IMG]


    Groved Bent-toed Gecko (Crytodactylus pubisulcus)? were only seen a few times in the forest.
    [​IMG]


    It was odd to me to see crabs in freshwater streams. These were fairly numerous at night. I also saw plenty of barb-like fish in a small creek.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    Lycaenidae
    1. Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra), a local Bornean race
    2. Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra)
    3. Branded Imperial (Eooxylides tharis)
    4. Green Imperial (Manto hypoleuca)
    [​IMG]


    This little Streaked Blue Brilliant (Simiskina pheretia) met its end in the canopy above the trail to the waterfall. I saw the turquoise flash on the path and stopped to see the source. Too bad that it was only a fragment of the beautiful butterfly, one that I have never seen. The species is seldom seen and is considered rare but probably spends its life high up in the tree tops.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    1. Blue Pierrot (Discolampa ethion)
    2. Malay Sunbeam (Curetis santana)
    3. Allotinus horsfieldi
    4. Allotinus strigatus
    [​IMG]

    pierids
    1. Eurema tilaha
    2. One of the numerous Grass-yellows (Eurema sp.). There are several similar species in Borneo. I think this to be E. hecabe but can't be certain.
    3. Lesser Gull (Cepora iudith)
    4. Lesser Gull (Cepora iudith)
    [​IMG]

    skippers
    1. Tagiades lavatus
    2. Notocrypta clavata
    3. Athyma reta.
    4. Malayan Lascar (Lasippa tiga)
    [​IMG]


    This Saturn (Zeuxidia amethystus) was a big butterfly with blue on the upper wings. There are several relatives in the area and these all remind me of the Owl butterflies (Caligo sp.) of the neotropics. Like the Owls, they often land on tree trunks and are attracted to rotting banana bait.
    [​IMG]

    1. I only saw a single Jungle Glory (Thaumantis odana).
    2. Faunis kirata
    3. Faunis stomphax. This Faun is a Bornean endemic.
    4. Faunis gracilis, but an oddly-marked individual. It is possible that this is an undescribed species or at least a new race since it is so different to F. gracilis found elsewhere.
    [​IMG]


    1. Royal Assyrian (Terinos terpander terpander). These are gorgeous butterflies. The race in Borneo looks different to those in peninsular Malaysia. In the latter, the uppersurface of the lower wing has white spots and does not have the orange band of the Bornean race.
    2. Royal Assyrian (Terinos terpander terpander).
    3. One of the Barons (Tanaecia aruna)
    4. Barons (Tanaecia aruna)
    [​IMG]


    1. Cruisers (Vindula dejone) are large, colourful butterflies. These were common in the lowland/foothill areas that we visited. This species is widespread and also found in the wet tropics of Australia.
    2. Cruisers (Vindula dejone)
    3. This Maplet (Chersonesia rharia) visited the bait that I applied below the waterfall.
    4. Commander (Moduza procris)
    [​IMG]


    Harlequins (Rhiodininae)
    1. Laxita teneta, a Bornean endemic
    2. Laxita teneta
    3. Malay Red Harlequin (Paralaxita damajanti)
    4. Zemeros emesoides
    [​IMG]


    Blue Helen (Papilio prexaspes) were common near the waterfall. These were lovely, large swallowtails.
    [​IMG]


    More Papilionids:
    1. Banded Swallowtail (Papilio demolion). I found this on a night walk and for once, the swallowtail was not in constant movement.
    2. Five-bar Swallowtail (Pathysa antiphates). These are beautiful, common swallowtails that respond well to shrimp paste bait.
    3. Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpdeon). A common, widely distributed species that is also found in eastern Australia.
    4. This Graphium (Paranticopsis) ramaceus was another swallowtail that mimicked a distasteful crow (Danaiinae)
    [​IMG]


    Kubah was a great place for phasmids. My friends and I found this one while on a night walk. It was huge and had rigid spines.
    [​IMG]

    1. This was a large phasmid with a black spike on its head.
    2. I think this to be a member of genus Marmessoidea. These phasmids are active and wary. The readily fly when approached and their wings are rose-coloured.
    3. This phasmid was perfectly camouflaged. We initially thought that it was a twig that had fallen on top of a shrub. It look out of place and on closer inspection, we found it to be a well disguised phasmid.
    4. Another shot of the sping phasmid.
    [​IMG]

    Here is another shot of the "cone-headed" phasmid. It was an odd-looking beast.
    [​IMG]


    Pill Millipedes (family Glomeridae) were numerous along the track to the waterfall.

    Ted's photo.
    [​IMG]

    They could curl up like this and were roughly the size of a golf ball.
    [​IMG]


    Moths were diverse. The first two below were colourful and strange.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    More moths that visited our chalet at night.
    [​IMG]


    This moth was stickingly patterned. I found it while on a night walk and relocated it again on the fruits of a cauliforous fig.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    We found this tiny scorpion near the frog pond.
    [​IMG]


    Black-naped Monarch
    [​IMG]


    Bruce attempted to digiscope this bird. The photo was bad but those of you who know birds will understand the significance of this find. Blue-banded Pittas are a Bornean endemic and one of the most difficult birds to actually see. It took the guys three hours to track down the bird and have a view of a few seconds.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. moymoy

    moymoy Arachnopeon

    nice finds! The little scorpion looks like Liocheles Australasiae :)
     
  11. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    Thanks, moymoy. I have a big scorpion in this post that needs identification.

    After Kuching, my friends and I headed over to Permai Beach Resort also near Kuching. This is the site where Hans Jr. almost stepped on a 16' Reticulated Python. We hoped to do the same but alas, did not see a snake. I did find an interesting turtle though and have photos below.

    Permai was a pretty place:
    [​IMG]


    We stayed in this 6-bed cabin:
    [​IMG]


    Hans stopped by for an afternoon of herping. We did not find much but it was nice to walk around the area and have a chat with Hans about his time in Taiwan and now Kuching.
    [​IMG]


    There were a number of nearby islands and my birding friends hired a boat to take them there. They hoped to see frigatebirds and terns that nest on the island but unfortunately it was not the correct season.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The did see a Proboscis Monkey and found one of the more uncommon birds in Malaysia, a Lesser Adjutant Stork:
    [​IMG]


    Looks like Oz does not have a monopoly of these dangerous creatures. The guys did not see any but heard that they lived in mangroves around the island.
    [​IMG]


    The reptilian highlight for me was this small turtle that I found at the base of a waterfall. It was a colourful species and I think it to be a Hillside Soft-shelled Turtle (Dogania subplana).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    These pretty little toe-waving frogs were numerous at the fall. Staurois guttatus.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I found one of these frogs at night along a creek. I think that it is a Limnonectes sp. but am not certain.
    [​IMG]


    Hylarana megalonesa?
    [​IMG]


    Unknown:
    [​IMG]


    I saw one of these odd, long-legged toads. I think that it is Ansonia leptopus but am not certain.
    [​IMG]


    This gecko looks quite distinctive but I cannot identify it. The spiny tail suggest a Hemidactylus but none of those in my books really look like this large gecko.
    [​IMG]


    Permai was not a good place for butterflies and I saw/photo'ed only a few.

    Xanthotaenia busiris, a large and nicely marked satyrinae:
    [​IMG]

    1. Dark Jungle Glory (Thaumantis noureddin)
    2. Marquis (Bassarona dunya). These were huge nymphalids that were fairly common at Permai.
    3. Neptis omeroda
    4. Great Mormon (Papilio memnon)
    [​IMG]


    Stange and colourful fruit:
    [​IMG]


    This was one of the largest spiders that I have seen. It appeared to be a giant huntsman of some sort. I could not make out what it was holding (eating?):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Large Orb Weaver:
    [​IMG]


    Tarantula on a stream bank at night:
    [​IMG]


    Black Scorpion on the trunk of a rainforest tree:
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    Our month-long trip to Malaysia actually began with a week at Taman Negara. Taman Negara is such a wonderful park with an extensive trail system and wilderness areas. I've seen a large number of birds here over the years and I wanted to show my friends some of these. However, this year birding and walking in general was difficult due to the muddy trails. Taman Negara received a big dump of rain the week before we arrived and then thundershowers on most afternoons/nights. This resulted in trails that were ankle deep with mud. Leeches frolicked in these conditions and my ankles were covered with bites by the end of the week. I think that the greenhouse-like conditions were initially a little overwhelming to my friends who had just arrived in Malaysia from a cold northern winter.

    The boat trip up/down the Tembeling River was fairly quiet with regards to birds this year. We did see a number of raptors but no hornbills and few other birds. Still, the trip is a lovely one and is far more scenic than the drive through oil palm plantations to Kuala Tahan. Raptor sightings included Blyth's Hawk-Eagles, Changeable Hawk-Eagles and Crested Serpent Eagles. Kingfishers were surprisingly scarce perhaps because of the muddy waters.

    Here is where we caught the boat from Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Mutiara Resort. I always stay here since the resort borders on the national park.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Chalet where we stayed:
    [​IMG]


    We visited Lata Berkoh once. The boat trip up the Tahan River is always beautiful. This year, the lower portion of the Tahan River was muddy and water levels were high. Up at Lata Berkoh, the water was clear and stained with tannins. Forested slopes make a huge difference to the amount of erosion that occurs after a rain.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ... more Lata Berkoh shots. I love to visit this area and it is usually good for puddling butterflies.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Clouded Monitor (Varanus bengalensis). These were numerous in the accommodation area of the resort. Ted found one that lived in the roof of one of the nearby chalets.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Skinks were seen at times. I think that these were female Many-lined Sun Skinks (Mabuya multifasciata).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Green Crested Dragon (Bronhocela cristatella)
    [​IMG]


    Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus)
    [​IMG]



    Long-banded Silverline (Spindasis lohita). I only saw one this year and it was on the stream bed near Lata Berkoh.
    [​IMG]



    Lycaenide
    1. Straight-line Pierrot (Caleta roxus)
    2. Elbowed Pierrot (Caleta elna)
    3. Common Pierrot (Castalius rosimon)
    4. Ciliate Blue (Anthene emolus)
    [​IMG]


    Lycaenidae
    1. Arhopola hypomuta
    2. Arhopola hypomuta
    3. Jamides sp.
    4. Fluffy Tit (Zeltus amasa)
    [​IMG]


    Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra). These were fairly common blues that often perched on top of ginger leaves along the edge of trails. They were pugnacious little guys and often chased other butterflies that flew near their perch.
    [​IMG]


    Pieridae
    1. Eurema simulatrix
    2. Eurema simulatrix
    3. Eurema ada. This was a tiny species of grass-yellow.
    4. Tree Yellow (Gandaca harina distanti)
    [​IMG]



    Pieridae
    1. Common Albatross (Appias albina). Very few were seen this year.
    2. Chocolate Albatross (Appias lyncida). Very few were seen this year.
    3. Lesser Gull (Cepora iudith). I saw these a few times along the Tahan River Trail. They responded well to shrimp paste bait.
    4. Saletara liberia. Only one seen this year along the Tahan River Trail.
    [​IMG]


    Satyrinae
    1. Erites elegans. These were medium-sized, elegant butterflies that remained dark places within the forest interior.
    2. Ragadia makuta. Similar habitats to the Erites.
    3. Coelites euptychioides. I only saw one of these near a cauliforous fig that was fruiting and dropping fruits. A number of other butterflies were also seen here including archdukes, barons and various satyrinae.
    4. Coelites epiminthia. I saw these occasionally deep in the forest.
    [​IMG]


    Satyrinae
    1. Ypthima horsefieldii
    2. Common Four Ring (Ypthima huebneri)
    3. Mycalesis maianeas
    4. Erites elegans.
    [​IMG]


    Satyrinae
    1. Xanthotaenia busiris
    2. Xanthotaenia busiris
    3. Marquis (Bassarona dunya).
    4. Marquis (Bassarona dunya).
    [​IMG]


    Malayan Owl, a large swallowtail-like satyrinae.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Harlequins
    1. Malay Red Harlequin (Paralaxita damajanti). I saw four of these pretty little butterflies. These were very active and often flitted from leaf to leaf.
    2. Malay Red Harlequin (Paralaxita damajanti)
    3. Malay Red Harlequin (Paralaxita damajanti)
    4. Harlequin (Taxila haquinus). Only one seen. Look at the strange, long-snouted weevil in front of the butterfly.
    [​IMG]


    Morphinae -- In the past, these butterflies were grouped into family Amathusidae. Now, the family has now been dropped and the butterflies have been grouped into a subfamily of the Morphos.
    Malay Jungle Glory (Thaumantis odona). This is a lovely species with purple upper wings. The butterfly was attracted to over-ripe banana bait that I left in the forest.
    [​IMG]


    Morphinae
    1. Tufted Jungle King (Thauria aliris)
    2. Tufted Jungle King (Thauria aliris)
    3. Dark Blue Jungle Glory (Thaumantis klugius)
    4. Dark Blue Jungle Glory (Thaumantis klugius)
    [​IMG]


    The Tufted Jungle Kings seemed to feed from these fallen flowers that scented the area.
    [​IMG]


    Morphinae
    1. Zeuxidia doubledayii.
    2. This Zeuxidia doubledayii was feeding on over-ripe bananas with a Dark Blue Jungle Glory (Thaumantis klugius).
    3. Saturn (Zeuxidia amethystus). Saturns are very similar to Z. doubledayii but have larger spots on the wing.
    4. Great Saturn (Zeuxidia aurelius). This deep forest butterfly was found near Lata Berkoh. Most of the upper wings were a lovely sky blue and a tiny bit of colour can be seen in through a hole in the wing.
    5. Great Saturn (Zeuxidia aurelius).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Great Saturn had been feeding on this huge fallen fruit:
    [​IMG]


    Koh-I-Noor (Amathuxidia amythaon dilucida). This large butterfly was another member of Morphinae. I saw two of these. One visited fallen star-fruits (carambola) near our chalet and the other was attacted to the rotting banana bait that I placed in the forest.
    [​IMG]


    Fauns
    1. Faunis gracilis
    2. Common Faun (Faunis canens)
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Glorious Begum (Agatasa calydonia). I often walked the 3km from the Mutiara Resort to Tabing Hide. Although not far, it was a slow walk due to several deep gullies that must be traversed. By the time that I reached the hide, my shirt would always be wet with perspiration. I would then cross the creek below the hide, walk upstream for a 100m or so and then go for a swim. It was always so nice with clear, cool water and a feeling of being far from civilization. I never saw anyone in the area. There also were many colourful barbs and loaches in the deeper pools.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Once while I cooled down down in the creek, I saw a large butterfly with what appeared to be white upperwings approaching.
    It landed on a shrub near me and I was thrilled to see that it was one of these rarities. The second shot below shows the habitat where I observed the butterfly. These are one of the most beautiful of the Asian nymphalids and were initially found and described by Alfred Wallace:

    "I was one afternoon walking along a favourite road through the forest, with my gun, when I saw a butterfly on the ground. It was large, handsome and quite new to me, and I got close to it before it flew away. I then observed that it had been settling on the dung of some carnivorous animal."

    "Thinking that it might return to the same spot, I next day after breakfast took my net, and as I approached the place was delighted to see the same butterfly sitting on the same piece of dung, and succeeded in capturing it. It was an entirely new species of great beauty. I never saw another specimen of it, and it was only after 12 years had elapsed that a second individual reached this country ( England ) from the north-western part of Borneo."


    [​IMG]



    The trail in one area that I passed on the visit to the hide was littered with these fallen fruits that looked a little like mangosteens. These invariably attacted a number of butterflies including three species of Archdukes, Marquis, Malayan Owls, Fauns and other satyrinae.
    [​IMG]

    On one visit, I stopped some distance away and scanned the trail to see what might be feeding on the fallen fruits. I saw all of the usuals but then spotted this incredible butterfly, a Blue Begum (Prothoe franck)! This species was another that was high on my wish list so I was very happy to encounter it. What a gorgeous butterfly with its unusal greens, blues and violets. I was able to move within 2m of it but its head was usually obscured by the fruit. It flew and quickly disappeared from sight when I attempted to move around it on the trail.

    Blue Begum (Prothoe franck).
    [​IMG]



    1. Commander (Moduza procris)
    2. Jacintha Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina jacintha)
    3. Malay Baron (Euthalia monina)
    4. Common Lascar (Pantoporia hordonia)
    [​IMG]


    Archdukes were often seen along the trails in the forest, especially where there were rotting fruits. I saw three of these similar species. The differences are subtle but noticeable on careful examination.
    1. Black-tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea). Male.
    2. Black-tipped Archduke (Lexias dirtea). female. The tips of the antennae were dark.
    3. Archduke (Lexias pardalis) female. Archdukes had pale-tipped antennae. The male looks similar to the male Black-tipped Archduke.
    4. Yellow Archduke (Lexias canescens). The spotting on the wings differs from the above two species. Also, the males of this species look like the females.
    [​IMG]



    1. Grey Sailor (Neptis leucoporos)
    2. Maplet (Chersonesia rahria)
    3. Blue-glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris). A member of Danainae (same as Monarchs).
    4. Yellow-glassy Tiger (Parantica aspasia). A member of Danainae (same as Monarchs).
    [​IMG]


    Maps
    1. Marbled Map (Cyrestis cocles). Was attracted to the sweaty strap of my binoculars.
    2. Little Map (Cyrestis themire). This was by far the most numerous map in the forest. It usually landed with wings open on the undersurface of leaves.
    3. Little Map (Cyrestis themire).
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    Common Clubtail (Atrophaneura coon). These gorgeous swallowtails were seen on a number of occasions. This one seemed too cool to fly early one morning. It was not sunny but the temps were in the mid-20s with high humidity.
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    Swallowtails
    1. Common Clubtail (Atrophaneura coon).
    2.Common Clubtail (Atrophaneura coon).
    3. Common Jay (Graphium doson). This is one of the many species of Graphium that live at Taman Negara. These are tail-less swallowtails.
    4. Common Mormon (Papilio polytes)
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    I only saw one of these big Malayan Zebra (Pathysa delessertii). They are a large tail-less swallowtail.
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    This Common Awl (Zeuxidia amethystus) was stunning in good light. It visited us in the Tahan Hide just as it was getting light one morning. Awls seem to be crepuscular.
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    • Like Like x 1
  13. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    Skippers
    1. Yellow-banded Awl (Hasora schoenherr)
    2. Tree Flitter (Hyarotis adrastus)
    3. Pyroneura derna
    4.
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    Skippers
    1. Koruthaialos rubecula
    2. Ancistroides gemmifer
    3. Caltoris cormasa
    4. Celaenorrhinus ficulnea
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    1. A nicely coloured Ichneumon wasp.
    2. A strange, cockroach that lived near bamboo thickets.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Spider
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    This was a nicely shaped and coloured fungus.
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    Strange flower with stiff flowerparts. The plastic-like texture reminded me of Banksia here in Australia.
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    Muntjac or Barking Deer. This was a tame one that lived around the resort.
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    Bearded Pigs were numerous. This is Ted's shot of one in the clearing near Tahan Hide.
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    ... these seemed to be the most abundant animal in the forest! Leeches were everywhere at Taman Negara. I fed them often.
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. moymoy

    moymoy Arachnopeon

    I love your job. *drools*

    The big scorpion should be a Heterometrus sp. Possibly longimanus or spinifer tho I
    don't have any clue on their locality.

    The wild boars are cool (pardon me, they look tasty too!) and so are the invertebrates!

    Keep it coming! You got yourself a patron for this wonderful thread.
     
  15. Thank you for sharing these great pics!
     
  16. CHLee

    CHLee Arachnoknight

    the Boiga cyanea is actually a black headed cat-snake (Boiga nigriceps)
     
  17. moloch

    moloch Arachnoknight

    Thanks for the correction, CHLee. Looks like name "Black-headed" is not always appropriate either. It was a big, lovely Boiga. Do you see many in Penang?


    Here is the final installment of my report.

    Elsewhere, I was asked about why the Asian butterflies usually land with closed rather than open wings. It does seem that the Asian butterflies tend to keep their wings closed for much of the time. Early morning is the best time to catch them with open wings although some species will do this at other times of the day. Ted took the photo of the Fluffy Tit with open wings in the early afternoon on a grey day. I've seen Fluffy Tits many times but always like the first photo below. When Ted first showed me the pic, I thought at first that he must have found something rare since it looked so different to anything that I knew. I suppose that these tropical butterflies don't need to sun much because it is always hot and humid.
    Fluffy Tit (Zeltus etolus)
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Here are habitat shots from the Kuala Selangor area. We visited this site for two days and spent most of the time in Taman Alam Reserve. This reserve is a wetland area that also protects mangroves so is home to a whole host of birds/herps that we did not see elsewhere. The reserve has a number of man-made ponds and borders on a mangrove-lined river and coastline. I last visited this area in the late 1998 and was amazed at how much woody growth had invaded the swamp. It now was hard to see many of the waterbirds that were formerly easy to find like Water Cocks, Cinnamon Bitterns, Yellow Bitterns and others. While at Kuala Selangor, we also headed up the coast one afternoon to look for waders and also to visit the rice fields near Sekichan, another good area for birds.

    Here are a few habitat shots of Taman Alam.
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    There was a levy around the ponds and this was good for birding. Unfortunately, the gate at the reserve was locked at night so we could not get in for a night walk. There must have been some herps here around the flooded areas.
    [​IMG]


    1. White-throated Kingfisher are beautiful and common kingfishers. They seem to be at home in the forest as well as near water. This one was hunting in the rice fields.
    2. Oriental Pied Hornbill. Hornbills are always one of the avian highlights in Malaysia. This small species is one of the frequently seen. We found this one and its mate around a few trees in the middle of a rice plantation.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Grey Herons were common birds at Taman Alam. These are the equivalent of Great Blue Herons in North America.
    [​IMG]


    Ted and I went night driving on roads through the rice fields. We saw a huge number of frogs but only this since DOR water snake. I am not certain but think that it may be a Puff-faced Water Snake (Homalopsis buccata). I think that I can see faint broad bands on the body. Any ideas?
    [​IMG]
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    Water Monitors (Varanus salvator) were abundant at Kuala Selangor. I often saw them swimming in the canals or walking along the levy.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    Kuala Selangor has quite a long walkway through the mangroves. In the old days, this was built from wood but the termites enjoyed this and the walkway never lasted long. Now, a concrete walkway has been built. It is a great way to see the mangrove specialists and we found Greater Goldenbacks, Common Goldenbacks, Sunda Woodpeckers, Great Tits, Mangrove Whistlers, Mangrove Blue Flycatchers, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Trillers, Ashy Minivets and others.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The boardwalk was also a good place for Olive Tree Skinks (Dasia olivacea). These were sometimes seen running along the rails of the boardwalk. It turned out that we were not the only ones to notice this ... something else was also watching.
    [​IMG]


    This Mangrove Pit Viper (Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus) had taken up an ambush position just above the rail. Ted spotted it after the other two guys of our group had walked right by the snake. The snake did not move. Ted took photos and found me a couple of hours later just before closing time (7pm). I ran back to the boardwalk and soon found the snake still in the ambush position.
    [​IMG]


    This must be the skink's worst nightmare:
    [​IMG]


    More shots of the viper. It was completely docile until I moved it slightly for better photos. After that, it was agitated and would strike at me often.
    [​IMG]
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    I quite like the red eyes of this arboreal viper.
    [​IMG]



    The boardwalk was a good place to see these strange fish that spend much of the time feeding on the muck out of the water.

    Mudskippers:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    There are three species of Fiddler Crabs in the reserve according to a sign that we read. One of the species was incredibly coloured. I've never seen a bright blue crab before. They were really colourful.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Long-tailed Macaques were abundant in the reserve. Here are a few shots.
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    I saw a funny interaction with a group of Silver Leaf Monkeys. They wanted to cross the bridge by travelling along the rail. Unfortunately, there was a problem Long-tailed Macaque also on the rail and it would not move. The Solution was to walk up and then leap over the macaque. Soon, they had all passed it and continued on their way.
    [​IMG]


    Silver Leaf Monkeys were common in the reserve. Their babies have bright orange fur.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    1. Jacinthe Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina jacintha)
    2, Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei). female.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    1. Tawny Coasters (Acraea violae) were common in grassy areas.
    2. Tawny Coasters (Acraea violae)
    3. Tawny Coasters (Acraea violae)
    4. Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris macrina)
    [​IMG]

    Tigers
    1. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
    2. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
    3. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
    4. Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)
    5. Black-veined Tiger (Danaus melanippus)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    We also visited a mudflat on the coast north of Kuala Selangor. No herps here but it was good for the palearctic waders.
    [​IMG]


    Well, that is all of my photos from this trip. We certainly had a great time and saw so many interesting animals. My friends and I spotted about 300 species of birds and I found nearly 300 of the 1200 species of butterflies. We were all happy with the outcome and enjoyed the trip. Hopefully, I will return again in a year or two.

    Regards,
    David
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. Absolutely spectacular. After seeing the depredation and destroyed watershed of Thailand for years I am so envious of the preserves of Malaysia. BTW, your huntsman was carrying an egg sack under her tummy.
     
  19. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor

    3,519
    3,576
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    Germany
    Awesome pictures, beautiful habitats and animals! Thanks you so much for sharing.
     
  20. VinceG

    VinceG Arachnobaron

    Really nice pictures and great finds! I'd love to go to Malaysia one of these days, it's simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!