Bush Cricket (Holochlora sp.)
Sungei Buloh, 23rd July 2014
This dead Bush Cricket was initially discovered in a nest that had been occupied by a pair of Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) chicks. On the day the Bush Cricket was found, the chicks had suddenly vanished, suggesting that they had been taken by a predator (although they could have been removed by a human, since the nest was in a low bunch of palms right next to a path with heavy visitor traffic). I wonder if the adult bulbuls had brought this Bush Cricket to feed their young, only to drop it when they discovered the nestlings were missing.
Thanks to Tan Ming Kai for providing the identification. This species was initially identified as Holochlora venosa in 1973 by D.H. Murphy, although comparisons with the type specimen and original description suggested that the specimens collected in Singapore could not be referred to that species. Ming Kai himself subsequently identified this species as Holochlora obtusa in 2013, but this also turned out to be in error. Although this species is apparently widespread and fairly common in Singapore mangroves, it remains unidentified until further comparisons with other species of Holochlora can be carried out.
Assorted insects found in Singapore, representing several major groups:
Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)
Bees, Wasps & Ants (Hymenoptera)
Dragonflies & Damselflies (Odonata)
Cockroaches & Termites (Blattodea)
Stick & Leaf Insects (Phasmatodea)
Grasshoppers, Crickets & Katydids (Orthoptera)
True Bugs (Hemiptera)
Insects are among the most diverse groups of animals, with more than a million species described (and counting), representing more than half of all known organisms! Despite their small size, the sheer number of insects and the countless niches they occupy mean that they actually play critical roles in various ecosystems. Butterflies and dragonflies are colourful and often highly visible, whereas many other groups are poorly studied in the tropics. Singapore is home to an extremely rich and diverse insect fauna that occupies all sorts of habitats, and we are still discovering new species of insects all the time.
These were some of the many specimens featured at the recently concluded Festival of Biodiversity 2014, which was held at VivoCity last weekend.