24 June 2011

King-sized creatures of Singapore and more!

The King cobra is one of the animals featured among the latest articles in Nature in Singapore!
An awesome snake that eats other snakes! What do we know about our King cobras? Also articles about our Giant clams, cicada mass emergence and cicada 'rain' and more.

The magnificent King cobra is poorly studied in Singapore. This timely article closes this gap by collating known records of the King cobra in Singapore, and compares these with what is presently known about this snake in the literature. Ivan has done a wonderful review of the paper with more information about King cobras.

Read more in Lim, K. K. P., T. M. Leong &; F. L. K. Lim, 2011. The king cobra, Ophiophagus hannah (Cantor) in Singapore (Reptilia: Squamata: Elapidae). Nature in Singapore, 4: 143–156. [PDF, 1.77 MB]

Giant clams: how do they do it?

Another giant on our shores is the Giant clam! Mei Lin has been studying various aspects of this enormous bivalve and her latest article fills in the gaps of our knowledge on their reproductive development and life
Mei Lin with Giant clam overlooking the city
Mei Lin examines a Giant clam on  Pulau Jong
with our business district in the background!
Mei Lin outlines more about this and her other work on her blog. She also recently gave a talk about Singapore's amazing Giant clams!

Read more in Neo, M. L., P. A. Todd, L. M. Chou & S. L-M. Teo, 2011. Spawning induction and larval development in the fluted giant clam, Tridacna squamosa (Bivalvia: Tridacnidae). Nature in Singapore, 4: 157–161. [PDF, 650 KB]

A frog far from home?

This article confirms the presence of Günther’s Frog (Hylarana guentheri) that was first officially reported for Singapore from the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, based on calls, but without visual or photographic evidence. Singapore is far beyond the natural range of this frog and the article suggests how it could have arrived here.
Read more in Leong, T. M. & K. K. P. Lim, 2011. Occurrence of Günther’s frog, Hylarana guentheri (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 4: 135–141. [PDF, 734 KB]

Cicada mass emergence and cicada 'rain'

This article recounts the synchronous emergence of the cicada Chremistica umbrosa at Labrador Nature Reserve. With detailed descriptions and lots of photos of cicadas making their final moult, as well as the predators that feasted on the cicadas.
It includes a video clip of cicada ‘rain’! Which the article says is "best experienced if the observer is standing directly beneath or downwind of the spray zone". I guess it's best to keep your mouth closed.

Read more in Leong, T. M., Aminurashid & B. P. Y-H. Lee, 2011. Records of the cicada, Chremistica umbrosa (Distant, 1904) in Singapore, with accounts of its mass emergence (Homoptera: Cicadidae: Cicadinae). Nature in Singapore, 4: 163–175. [PDF, 2.01 MB] Download sound clip here (957 KB)

Hidden caterpillar revealed

The well hidden caterpillar of this moth is seldom seen. This article details the caterpillar and its development into this pretty moth.
Read more in Leong, T. M., 2011. The caterpillar and metamorphosis of Erebus ephesperis (Hübner, 1827) in Singapore (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Erebinae: Erebini). Nature in Singapore, 4: 177–191. [PDF, 2.80 MB]

Runaway plants

In Singapore, some exotic plant ornamentals used for streetscapes or the landscaping have become invasive — spreading into natural habitats and displacing native plant species. This article updates the status of such species with the aim of monitoring current ‘cultivated only’ exotic plants so that methods of intervention can be implemented before these plants cause significant impact to the natural environment.
Read more in Teo, S., K. Y. Chong, Y. F. Chung, B. R. Kurukulasuriya & H. T. W. Tan, 2011. Casual establishment of some cultivated urban plants in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 4: 127–133. [PDF, 1.02 MB]

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