Saturday, March 20, 2010

Singapore insects

[19-March 2010]--  One of my preconceived notions about Singapore was that since it is located in the tropics, there would be many (and large) creepy insects to deal with. That hasn't been the case. Since we haven't gone out into the "bush" of Malaysia, or other more rural areas just yet, this may be premature, but to date there haven't been many insects to report.  During our preview trip, we saw a couple of dead cockroaches at a couple of prospective apartment rentals.  Note-- we didn't rent either of these apartments!  There has been virtually nothing at the apartment we did rent, aside from some mosquitoes (and that's OK with us both).  As a fly fisherman (note the title of this blog) I have taken notice of the insects we have run into, for some future fishing expedition requiring a forgery of the critters, using fur, feathers, and a hook.
The insects that have been about are mostly colorful, and noisy.  The trees near our apartment (and the rest of Singapore for that matter) are loud with the sounds of cicadas, although these guys are elusive-- I have not seen one, only heard them.  They are deafening.  There are also a plentiful flight of butterflies, particularly all yellow and all black colored varieties.  I haven't been able to get any good pictures of these.  At the ceramics studio, I caught this picture of a beautiful red damsel fly.

Red damsel fly

Some of the insects that I have seen are quite large.  Fortunately they have been found outdoors, and not in.  Here are some examples:

I saw this grasshopper near our apartment swimming pool--  he is about 4 inches long (and quite dead).  This is the only one I have seen-- they don't appear to swarm about in quantities (thankfully) as we see in Idaho and other areas. En masse (and alive) these would make for a frightening science fiction film, or a cause of deforestation.

A little difficult to see in this picture, but there is a very large spider in the center of this web.  The spider body is about the size of a U.S. nickel, with the legs + body about the size of a silver dollar.  One day on my walk about, I noticed a very large tree leaf (about the size of a dinner plate) that appeared to be suspended in mid- air.  It was caught in one of these nuclear spider webs.  Giant arachnids-- creepy!

Levitation?  This tree leaf appeared to be suspended in air, trapped by a large spider web.  If it could hold this large leaf (quite heavy, actually) I didn't want to find out if it could trap and hold humans, e.g. me.

Singapore garden snails-- they can be pretty large

They also come in purple-- oops-- actually this is a fine Chinese glass sculpture that Elaine acquired.  The snail has some significance in Chinese culture.

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