Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

2 February 2014 | Jewel Beetle | Endelus species | Ferns | Click Beetle |

photo Jewel beetle is from the family Buprestidae, with typical glossy metallic coloured body. I found two species of this beetle at the park nearby. Both were tiny and feed on ferns. One of them was Endelus cupido, which can be located specifically on the leaf (frond) of the fern Blechnum finlaysonianum. The tiny size made it very hard to be detected. In the picture, a curious ant was seen investigating the tiny beetle. The ant should be a Nylanderia species with body length of about 3 millimetres. Slightly longer than this ant, the beetle was only about 6 millimetres long. Another species of this tiny beetle (Endelus bakerianus) that feed on climbing ferns, (Lygodium flexuosum and Lygodium microphyllum). Endelus bakerianus is darker in colour and even smaller than Endelus cupido.

photo photo The first time that I took pictures of this host fern was in 2008. It took me a long time, almost 3 years, to be certain on its identity. Originally, I thought that it was a variant of Centipede Fern (Blechnum orientale). However, Blechnum finlaysonianum prefers to grow at the peripheral of forest where sunlight is abundant instead of inside the forest, where Blechnum orientale is normally found. After ruling out Blechnum orientale, I suspected that it might be Dwarf Tree Fern (Blechnum gibbum). But, Blechnum gibbum has a short stem which is missing in Blechnum finlaysonianum. Like the other 2 Blechnum species, the sporangia (spore producing bodies) of Blechnum finlaysonianum is position in a strip located on the main vein (costa) at the underside of the frond. photo photo

Separately, I welcome the first wild visitor to my home in 2014 on the second day of Lunar New year (1 February), a large Click Beetle (Family: Elateridae) of about 4 centimetres long. It flew into my living room close to midnight. Other creatures had come by over the years, but this was the first Click Beetle.

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