Sunday 14 January 2018

Micro Macro: Exploring the World of Undergrowth

I do hope my blog followers here had a good start for the year new 2018. My first two weeks of January 2018 was kinda packed. For those who came with me on my birdwatching tours from the festive season till the second week of January 2018, they have been very fortunate with the spectacular displays of the Great Hornbills Buceros bicornis and the Wreathed Hornbills Rhyticeros undulatus with three different fruiting fig trees within one area in two weeks. What a wonderful gift! 

Now that my guiding tours are slowing down, this has allowed me some time to consolidate my photos and put them on my blog.  

For the start of 2018 blog, I would like post my macro shots of the creatures from the undergrowth. It is a complete different world down there. If we take our time to slowly observe and photograph them, these creatures are indeed beautiful and some of them can be weird looking or bizarre. They can be as beautiful and spectacular as our feathered friends.

As a nature guide, I consider myself a generalist. Even though the avian world is my main focus, I have learned not be ignorant towards other living organism as they are equally as important in the web of life. There are so much to learn from the experts of each field and yet, it is never ending. I feel I am running out of time and storage space in my brain.

While twitching for any migrant cuckoos recently, I stumbled upon this patch of grass beside a stream. Something jumped out of the grass and has caught my attention. It was a spider of Siler genus. After that spider, more stuffs began to reveal themselves in front of my eyes. I think I have spend almost two hours on that one small spot. 

Here is the collection of my macro shots from that small grassy spot for two hours:

langkawi nature tour siler spider
The Metalic Jumper, Salticidae familySiler semiglaucus female
langkawi nature rainforest walk wolf spider
A Wolf spider, Lycosidae Family, Pardosa sp.
langkawi spiny orb weaver spider nature tour
A dorsal view of Spiny Orb-Weaver, Araneidae Family, a male Gasteracantha sp. with a pair of swollen pedipalps 

langkawi spiny orb weaver spider tours
The underside of a male Spiny Orb-Weaver, Araneidae Family, Gasteracantha sp

Langkawi nature tours
A dorsal view of Spiny Orb-Weaver, Araneidae Family, a male Gasteracantha sp. This individual was a big challenge to photograph as he is tiny!

langkawi comb footed spider nature tours
Comb-footed spider, Theridiidae Family, Achaearanea sp.

langkawi spiders wildlife photography tour
From the features and structure on its carapace, this one may be a Cosmophasis sp. belonging to Salticidae Family.
langkawi birdwatching and wildlife tour
Burmese Lynx Spider, Oxyopidae Family, Oxyopes birmanicus Thorell 1887
langkawi spiders salticidae nature guide
An unknown species of Salticidae Family
Langkawi macro tour
Nymph of Spotted Green Grasshopper, Xenocatantops humilis
langkawi wildlife watch tour
An unknown Orthoptera
langkawi wildlife tour
Nymph of Black Forest Grasshopper, Traulia azureipennis  
langkawi grasshopper
An unknown Orthoptera
langkawi nature tour insect
A weirdest insect I have ever seen. Could this be a type of mosquito bug Helopeltis sp
langkawi nature tour weird insect
Another weird-looking and colourful insect. I am clueless. Can anyone please help to id?
I am working on learning more about entomology and the spider world with the limited resources that I currently have. My personal method of learning is through macro photography that I have recently started. From the images, I am able to observe the details of a subject closely and eventually getting the identification of the subject. Thankfully, there are some accessible resources through the world wide web even though is limited and not forgetting some help from friends and friends of friends. My gratitude and special thanks to fellow guide, Fendi and my guest, Mark Pennell on the discussion and sharing the identification of some spiders species. Also, not forgetting the special thanks to Amir Ridhwan, the blogger for Malaysian Spiders, whom I first contacted some time ago for some clarification and his amazing work on spiders of Malaysia.

2. Kwan, "The Minibeast Observatory", (on some of the identification of the insects and spiders comparing on my images)
3. KH Koh, Joseph, A Guide to Common Singapore Spiders,Singapore Science Centre, 2001
6. Murphy, Frances & Murphy, An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia, Malaysian Nature Society, 2000
7. Kel C, Anthony, flickr image on identification of  Xenocatantops humilis


  1. Wendy I thank you posting these beautiful images of the true wonders of the forest. Often unseen always overlooked. Yet vital for the health and well being of the forest ecosystem and biosphere. I enjoy our times together all be it small and to far apart. I’m looking forward to this year where we can catch up and go spider hunting once more. Please watch our for the male of the you know what 😜 this year we need to make sure this species is properly identified and make in rounds to the full discription of this possible new species. Take care keep up the great work. See you soon Mark

    1. Hi Mark, Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge on the field of arachnid. Look forward to more adventure and discovery. So love our encounter with that so call "Clouded Leopard"..LOL! It was an interesting mammal twitch! Always fun with you, Kim, Alan and BTS dudes!

  2. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I'm thinking about setting up my own but I'm not sure where to
    start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

    1. Hi Anonymous (or at least please put your first name here),
      It is easy to set up your own blog. simply type and you will be on your way to being a blogger.

  3. It nice blog to read more.
    Congrats for you 2018 it your luck. Keep it up ..

    1. Thank you Encik Nizam :D please continue reading :)


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