Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Red Tailed racer

This red-tailed racer Gonyosoma oxycephalum was sighted clinging on a low isolated shrub about a metre off the ground in lowland forest in Johore. This is an arboreal species that is rarely sighted  on the ground so I think it must have fallen off a branch or something.

Despite its large gentle eyes, it is known to be temperamental though its bite is non venomous.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lunch breaker



Its sweet to taste the fruit of thy labour
But sweeter still to beggar thy neighbour.

careful....you can loose your bananas

Long tailed macaque raiding some farmer's jackfruit 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bulbophyllum triste

While exploring the foothills of a limestone forest at the border of Thailand and Myanmar, we found a fallen log with small spherical blobs of leafless pseudobulbs. An inflorescence emerged from one of the blobs which betrayed its identity.....

Bulbophyllum triste is a small orchid with spherical pseudobulb less than 2cm in diameter It blooms after the cold dry season before the leaves appear.  It is found in temperate areas in Indochina and S. China. It has interesting red flowers that looked like widely opened mouths with sharp incisors. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Finding a Begonia during the dry season

Dryest month during a historical drought (no rain for 4 months) and we decided to search for a Begonia - a notoriously humidity-loving plant at a little known corner of The Philippines.....a fool-hardy endeavour no doubt but we are are no beach-lovers and there were little else to do here...

We were on the road for almost a day ......

slept comfortably, then set up on a boat the next morning.

Unfortunately, the water level was too low and we had to push the boat across the pebbly bottom .....



past some curious locals .....



and eventually decided to land near a dry tributary.

The stream was totally dry and there were steep banks on both our lefts and rights - on wetter days, we would be walking with our heads under the water.


I was not claustrophobic, just hoping it wasn't raining somewhere upstream which would trigger a flash flood ......


And then, suddenly we saw it, growing flat against the steep banks .....


There are some variations in the venation. This one  ....


and this one, found deeper up along the dry stream ....


and something in between .....

The plant is from Section Diploclinium and is clearly related to the Begonia cleopatrae described in 2010 and yet its quite different in rosette growth form (rather than a creeper). The flowers and the seed capsules also exclude it from B. suborbiculata but there are quite a few similar looking plants here and I do not have sufficient literature to fall back on. 




....having satisfied our curiosities, we now have to plough back and get some decent food and a good bed ....

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