Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

15 June 2014 | Wild Visitors to My Home|

[Note: There will be no post next week (22 June) as I will be overseas during that weekend.]

In the month of May, I received at least 10 uninvited visitors from the wild neighbourhood. Most of them dropped by in the late evening. Two of them, the giant moth (Lyssa zampa) and a mud-nest building wasp (Delta emarginatum) had already been featured in my nature short notes series on 18 May and 25 May.

photo photo photo Of the remaining 8 visitors, 3 of them were flying ants or winged ants. The reason for their flight, known as nuptial flight, is to seek out new territories to establish a new ant colony. The winged ants are usually future queens of the colony, though there are kings as well but they usually have a much shorter life-span compared to the queens. Of the 3 winged ants, I could only figure out the identity of one, which was the queen of the Weaver Ant (Oecophylla smaragdina). These flying ants looked threatening and they could be aggressive if you provoked them. Having them flying freely in your living room can be a scary experience for some.

Besides the winged ants, the remaining 5 visitor were a honey bee (Apis cerana), a fungus weevil, a bean bug (Riptortus linearis), a small moth and a green lacewing (probably Chrysoperla rufilabris). There is an ongoing debate among some quarters on the lacewing eggs versus the Udumbara flower. The Udumbara flower is a legendary flower that claim to bloom only once every 3,000 years according to the Buddhist scripture. Someone had started the claim that an object having a tiny stalk with a swollen tip at one end is the Udumbara flower. Subsequently, it turned out that the stalk with a swollen tip "flower" resembled the eggs of the lacewing. Of course, the legend continues. Regardless of the legend, lacewing is a good to have insect as it eats up many other insects that we considered plant pests.

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The range of visitors did not come as a surprise to me. They closely mimic the variety of little creatures found in the park within a stone's throw from my home. Their visits remind me that human is not the only species that is entitled to own the world. We do need to spare some thoughts for our very distance relatives periodically and give them some breathing space if it is not too inconvenience.

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