Tag Archives: wildlife

Polydesmid Millipede

Ventral view of Polydesmid Millipede
Orthomorpha sp.

This polydesmid millipede was burrowing its way through the space between the ground and the log.

Polydesmid Millipede
Body segments of Orthomorpha

It has two pairs of legs per body segment. The legs are banded with color brown, white and orange with  a brightly colored rustic brown to yellow paranota. It can also crawl upside down.

Polydesmid Millipede
Orthomorpha dorsal view

 

Location: Buda/ Class: Diplopoda/ Order: Polydesmida/ Species: Orthomorpha sp.

Damselfly 6: Coupling Damselflies

Damselfly 6
Mating Damselfly

At first I only saw the  female partner on a tree near a river in the forest at around 2 pm, and then there’s two of them. 🙂 The male attached his claspers  at his hind end to the neck of the female. And up they go after I took three shots, they fly away on a higher spot, they don’t like to be watched. I don’t know what species are these.

Damselfly
Male Damselfly

 

Location: Buda/ Suborder: Zygoptera

Spiny Ant: The Ant Talk

Spiny Ant
Polyrhachis sp.

What might be these two ants conversing about?

These are slow-moving ants. Found them on the leaf litters and on the ferns and grasses that grows on the soil covered with these leaf litters. These formicine ants don’t have stings but the pain lingers even when you were just slightly stung buy one of those six sharp spines on their back, even the dead ones still have that effect. They’re about 10 mm in length, have  long antennal length, round eyes near middle of head,  one petiole with two spines  and four spines at the back of its thorax. They responded when they sensed vibrations and moved towards it with their abdomens tilted under their thorax. I wonder what preys them and how they were eaten with those stinging sharp spines.

Polyrhachis sp. with its abdomen tilted underside its thorax.

The hard part of taking these photographs was enduring the red ants  biting my bare feet scattering all over the area while watching the other team of these spiny ants on  the leaf litters coming towards my poor feet.  I should have worn my shoes instead of slippers. I was just wandering near the camp but was led in their territory. Passing through a slippery and muddy slope trail before reaching this spot. In the end, the stings were worth it.  🙂

Order: Hymenoptera/ Family: Formicidae/ Subfamily: Formicinae/ Species: Polyrhachis sp.

Beetle

Beetle
Beetle

Beetle

Beetle

Beetle

Location: Buda

 

Damselfly 5: Wisps

Agriocnemis sp. ~femina femina
Agriocnemis sp. ~femina femina

Location: Samal Island/ Habitat: Freshwater marsh/Suborder: Anisoptera/ Family: Coenagrionidae/ Species: Agriocnemis sp. ~femina femina

Treehopper

Treehopper
Treehopper
Treehopper
Treehopper

Location: Samal Island

Damselfly 4: Parasite Carrier Red Damselfly

CSC_0343 (2)_1

Damselfy with water mites on its abdomen
Damselfy with water mites on its abdomen

Sighted in  a vegetation of a swampy area near a lake between one to two in the afternoon. Hitching along with it on its flight, a tiny  orb-shaped passengers clinging on the ventral side of its abdomen.  These are odonate parasites or water mites feeding on them while having a free ride and carry them on their new habitat, a new place for the parasites to propagate. Nature is truly amazing how these little odonate creatures were parasitize with  mites. So,  Damselflies and dragonflies were not only a good indicator of the ecological integrity but a disperser of these parasitic organism as well. 

Location: Samal Island/ Suborder: Zygoptera/ Species: ?

Fruit Bats

Fruit Bat

Meet this fruit bat that lives in the forest of Buda.  Fruit bats play an important role as seed pollinator and disperser in the forest ecosystem.  Thus, they aid in maintaining the stability of the forest’s flora. Stable Flora = stable Fauna = balanced ecosystem. If butterflies, birds and some birds do their job at daytime, well, they worked on a night shift.  Sadly, some species of fruit bats were considered endangered already. Also, bats  were misunderstood and feared because of  their looks.

Fruit Bat
Fruit bat hanging upside down on a fig branch.
Figs
Ficus

Figs from the genus Ficus were also seen thriving in this forest. These are wildlife’s highly important food resource. Their fruits are one of the favorites of fruit bats.

 

 

Location: Buda/ Order: Chiroptera/ Class: Mammalia/ Family: Pteropodidae/ species:?

 

Mt. Matutum: Are We There?

Mt. Matutum is an active stratovolcano, its last recorded eruption was on March 1911 (PHILVOLCS). The fourteenth highest point of the country.

Pineapple Plantation
Pineapple Plantation

After five hours of  a bus ride  from Davao we reached  Tupi, South Cotabato proper at around seven in the morning and had our breakfast.  Then, we headed to the municipality’s tourism office and settled everything that concerned about the climb. There were four of us on this trip (Leo, Ken and Martin). We took a habal-habal ride (without the roof) going to mt. Matutum checkpoint and met our guide.

While on our way, we passed through a vast pineapple plantation. I was really having fun  on that part of cool, smooth, and up and down ride over there. It was like a kiddie ride for me. The smile and laughter were all over my face, not worrying about the super bumpy and steep ride that we usually met when going to mountainous places. As we went along, I finally came to see mt. Matutum up close. I took a shot  of the beautiful mountain while still on that habal-habal ride.

Mt. Matutum
Mt. Matutum

Our guide already awaits for us at the DENR checkpoint. While looking at the mountain,  Leo said, we will probably hit the summit at three o’clock  in the afternoon (But it didn’t turned out that way. 😦 ). And I said “good that’s very nice”.

Meeting officials at the DENR checkpoint.
Meeting officials at the DENR checkpoint.

We started trekking at 9:00 am. We passed by an avocado plantation, fields planted with  different crops, hills and community of settlers. The people there were warm and accommodating. The Kablon Farm can also be found in the  area. And I said,” Wow, I l super loved their durian jam product. So here is where it came from”. 🙂

We reached the forest line, wherein you can also set a camp on this site. The last potable water source is also located here and no more water can be found along the way except the water source from the crater which had a rustic color,  smells, had to use filter if you don’t want to drink some floating substances with it, and  had to boil it first before drinking.

The last potable water source in the mountain

After filling our bottles with water, we started ascending. Sadly,  we really didn’t fill our containers with water that much because our guide told us that there’s a lot of water up there. The trail was a continuous steep path until reaching phase 1 at 11;45 am. We stopped here for a while and had our lunch.

Mt. Matutm: Phase 1
Mt. Matutum: Phase 1

At this point, we already felt the exhaustion. We weren’t able to sleep last night. A good sleep is a  must before climb.

Looking up in a tree at the phase 1 campsite
Looking up in a tree at the phase 1 campsite

While eating, I heard the birds singing in different and some weird tunes. Never heard most of it before. Through this, I could tell that this mountain is  a home to  diverse species of birds. The temperature started to dropped down, so, we continued to  ascend. The next flat surface will be at the summit. The forest gets thicker and colder as we moved on.

This fern is new to me. :)
This species of  fern is new to me. 🙂

The diversity of ferns was surely awesome.

Ubiquitous flowering plant in mt. Matutum.
Ubiquitous flowering plant in mt. Matutum.
Ubiquitous flowering plant in mt. Matutum.
Ubiquitous flowering plant in mt. Matutum.

There were, I think two species of flowering plant that seemed to be ubiquitous starting from the forest line up to the peak of the mountain. Of course, I was able to collect data for my ant study while we were trekking, my climb buddies tried to helped out too.

I don’t know, but something weird happened up there in the forest. Still thinking if  I’m  going to share it or not. Maybe soon.

Our pacing was just fine. We’re so exhausted ( I think, because we didn’t sleep a day before the climb) but still pushing hard to not stop, We wouldn’t want to get caught by the darkness. It’s risky and it’s our first time to do that mountain.  Mt. Matutum ForestWe usually see to it that our line was not broken by calling the attention of the lead person that you’re following if he’s no longer visible to your sight and checking if the pack behind you  still follows you. We do this thing in all our treks.

Going deep into the forest.
Going deep into the forest.

The three of us regrouped, Martin was no longer in sight. We tried to call his attention by calling the last syllable of his name in an abrupt and quick utterance to reduce noise. But we can hardly hear our own voice. We tried clapping but it didn’t work because it made a dull sound due to the dirt that was all over our hands and little energy was applied in clapping. I was disappointed to myself for not bringing my whistle. Still, we managed to laugh at ourselves.

We're going this way.
We’re going this way.

Are we there? Then we started to asked this  kind of question over and over.  The forest was so tricky. I f you look ahead, you will see light at the end of the trail, so it will  made us think that summit was just nearby. We moved fast to get there only to find out that there awaits a harder trail upon reaching that mark. ” Oh no…“, says me. The trail was like this for about over and over.  🙂

Define tired. :p
Ken: Define tired. :p

Mt. Matutum summit campsite

More crawling through the holes and under the roots and huge fallen trees and logs (You’ll kissed the ground).  The hard part here was when I wont fit through the passage because of my pack that I had to unpack.  You had to Cling on the trees and leaping were also needed. I think I was the only one who had a good dinner. After taking like three spoons, the boys  hurriedly went back to their tents. They said it’s cold. Ken didn’t even came out, he was sleeping  flat after he pitched his tent . Well, I finished mine. I wont say no to food. hehe  🙂

A view from the summit.
The Cook
Martin

The next day was  fine and sunny. We had a nice and good meal. We will leave after lunch so I had a lot of time roaming around the area and search  for  my precious ants.

The wanderers
The wanderers

We left the camp at 11: 45 am and after three and a half hours, we reached the base.

Trilobite Beetle

Trilobite Beetle
Trilobite Beetle

It was raining  when I spotted this creature (Duliticola sp.) in the mountain of Samal Island. Found it on a damp rotten log moving very slow. Flat-bodied, scales that were larger from the head getting smaller on the tail end,  with three pairs of legs, just not seen in the photo. This is a female trilobite larva and  it will continue to be in its larval form throughout its life. Only male morph to adult stage, smaller  in size and  having the look of a net-winged beetle.

Trilobite Bettle

Location: Samal Island/ Order: Coleoptera/ Family: Lycidae/ Species: Duliticola sp.