Bat End
By Solomon Anthony, 30th December 2014;

As I was walking, I was looking up at the trees to see if I could get lucky and see an owl or something. I then saw a sad sight that actually kinda ruined the evening for me actually.

I noticed something floating up high in the tree. Upon closer inspection I noticed it was an abandoned triple hook fishing lure connected to a fishing line that had got stuck in a tree. At the sharp end of the abandoned hook was its victim. I took a photo to confirm.

The clear outline of a Bat.

I can only guess that it had got stuck when it accidentally flew into it. Its wings were caught in the barbed hooks.

The bat must have struggled for a very very long time before dying a very slow death. It was sad to see that our carelessness or just plain disregard has is consequences. There were a few other abandoned hooks around.

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Source: Go Wildlife Now!

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Fig. 1-6. Asthenodipsas laevis specimen (ZRC 2.7079) from Old Upper Thomson Road.
Fig. 1. Dorsal view of entire snake.
Fig. 2. Side view of colour pattern and scalation at mid-body.
Fig. 3. Dorso-lateral view of posterior including tail.
Fig. 4. Close-up of the underside of the tail showing the paired subcaudal scales.
Fig. 5. Side view of crushed neck and head.
Fig. 6. Underside of head, showing asymmetrical chin shields and absence of median furrow typical of the Pareatidae.
Photographs by Nick Baker

Second record of the Smooth Slug Snake (Asthenodipsas laevis) in Singapore

Location, date and time: Singapore Island, Old Upper Thomson Road, near gate to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park; 8 January 2014, 0950 hrs.

Observation: An example of 33.6 cm total length (Fig. 1-6) was found on the road. It had clearly been run over by a vehicle – the head, body and tail were all crushed to varying degrees, and had become dessicated under the sun, such that there was no smell of decay.

Scale characteristics observed of the specimen are: 1 loreal; 6 supralabials with 3, 4 and 5 in contact with the eye, and the 6th nearly equal in length to the others; no preocular; 15 dorsals; 161 ventrals; 52 pairs of subcaudals; anal not divided.

Remarks: The present example may have been run over by a vehicle the previous evening, or even a few days before due to its dessicated state. It may have ventured onto the tarmac for warmth, or attempted to cross the road from one patch of secondary forest to another. The specimen has been deposited in the Zoological Reference Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at the National University of Singapore as ZRC 2.7079. Scale counts taken from the specimen agree with the information provided by Tweedie (1983: 38, as Pareas laevis) and Manthey & Grossmann (1997: 308, as Pareas laevis).

This is the second specimen of Aesthenodipsas laevis known from Singapore. It has been mentioned by Tan (2014) but without detailed information and the specimen was not illustrated. Lim (2009) found the first Singapore specimen in 1978 in a drain within the compound of the Singapore Zoo. Unfortunately that specimen, although kept, was misplaced and subsequently lost. The location of this second specimen lies some 4.2 km south-east from the first.

The Smooth Slug Snake specializes in eating terrestrial molluscs and is known to attain a maximum size of about 60 cm. It is distributed in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and Java (Manthey & Grossmann, 1997: 308, as Pareas laevis). Based on its size, the present specimen appears to be a young individual. Given that the species is found in territories around Singapore, it is most likely to be native there. We propose that its status in Singapore be updated from ‘indeterminate’ (Baker & Lim, 2012: 171) to ‘extant indigenous’.

References:

  • References:
    Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2012. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Updated edition. Draco Publishing and Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 180 pp.
  • Lim, F. L. K., 2009. Asthenodipsas laevis (Reptilia: Squamata: Pareatidae), a snake record for Singapore that was almost forgotten. Nature in Singapore. 2: 463–465.
  • Manthey, U. & W. Grossmann, 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Sudostasiens. Natur und Tier – Verlag, Berlin. 512 pp.
  • Tan, A., 2014. Researchers find two snake species new to Singapore. The Straits Times. Tuesday, 23 December 2014: Home, B2.
  • Tweedie, M. W. F., 1983. The Snakes of Malaya. Third edition. Singapore National Printers (Pte) Ltd. 167 pp.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 337-338

Photograph by Ria Tan

Lagoon Shrimp-goby (Cryptocentrus cyanotaenia) at eastern Johor Straits

Location, date and time: Singapore, eastern Johor Strait at Pulau Sekudu, off the south-eastern corner of Pulau Ubin; 9 May 2004; 0723 hrs.

Observation: An individual of about 12 cm total length was found dead on its side on the sand substrate, in ankle-deep water during morning low tide (see accompanying picture). It was in very fresh condition, and seemed to have expired no more than an hour before. The cause of its death is unknown.

Remarks: The Lagoon Shrimp-goby is easily distinguished from other Cryptocentrus species in Singapore with narrow oblique blue lines on its head and at least 10 narrow blue bands on its body (Larson & Lim, 2005: 84). In Singapore waters, this species is also known from Punggol in the Johor Straits, and Pulau Retan Laut (since reclaimed) and Pulau Hantu in the Singapore Straits (Larson et al., 2008: 147).

References:

  • Larson, H. K. & K. K. P. Lim, 2005. A Guide to Gobies of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 164 pp.
  • Larson, H. K., Z. Jaafar & K. K. P. Lim, 2008. An annotated checklist of the gobioid fishes of Singapore. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 56 (1): 135-155.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 334

Günther’s Frog (Hylarana guentheri)
Sungei Buloh, 9th December 2014

Came across this gorgeous dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) while out birding today. You can clearly see the beautifully exposed sternum bone and parts of the wing bones (especially the carpometacarpus) beginning to show.

Source: David Tan Instagram