Tag Archives: Keningau

Glow Worm of Borneo

glow worm

Night walk in Borneo rainforest always excites me, as I would stumble upon something cool, weird or even creepy. Besides firefly, many bugs can glow. Many had been telling me about a worm that glows in the dark but I never saw one. My luck came when I did a night walk in Crocker Range Park two weeks ago.

glow worm

As it was a cold night in the month of Ghost Festival, it was kind of eerie to see something like ghost fire moving in the dark. When I shined my flashlight to the yellow-green color glow, I saw only a bug crawling on forest floor. When I moved the light away, the glow appeared again. Then I confirmed that this bug emitted the light. It looks more like a millipede though.

larvae of Lampyridae beetle family

You have no idea how happy I am to see glow worm the first time, I’ve been looking for for one for years! This glow worm is a larvae of the beetle from Lampyridae family (Thanks to Arthur Y.C. Chung for the ID). In the photos, you can see the yellow light on its tail, which glows through bioluminescence (the production and emission of light by a living organism).

Pic: glow worm can roll its body like a millipede

The glow is a “cold light” and it serves as a warning signal to predators such as frog. In fact, this larvae is mildly toxic. I put it on my hand and felt that its body was cold.

Its glow should be in yellow-green color, but I couldn’t replicate the color in photograph under strong light. You can see its glow is shown as yellow-green in the dark:

Cool huh? I know there are other types of glow worm. I’ll share with you if I see more. Wish me luck.

Photos taken in Keningau, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Yellow Dragon Fruit

3 types of dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit (or pitaya) is one of the favorite fruits of Malaysians and has been planted commercially in Sabah for some years. It is only recently I learn that, besides the two flavors, i.e. white and red flesh, our dragon fruit also has the “third”, and best, flavor.

dragon fruit on sale
Pic: the brightly red-skin dragon fruit is a familiar sight when I walked around fruit & vege shops

yellow dragon fruit
One day I saw some yellow fruits next to the red dragon fruit. They are small and ugly, but they cost twice more than the normal dragon fruit. Then someone told me that this was a yellow dragon fruit planted in Keningau district. They are only available in small quantity so people don’t see them often.

3 types of dragon fruit (火龙果)
Pic: to have some fun, I put 3 types of dragon fruits side by side and photograph them for comparison. From left: Red-fleshed Dragon Fruit, Yellow Dragon Fruit and White-fleshed Dragon Fruit.

1. White-fleshed Dragon Fruit

Also known as Pitahaya blanca, its skin is red and the flesh is white color.

dragon fruit (white flesh)
Note its shape is oval. It is priced at RM8 (≈USD2.70) per Kilogram (KG).

pitahaya (white flesh)
White-fleshed Dragon Fruit is the first introduced species. It was used to be the most common dragon fruit in fruit market. However, its taste is bland, with mild sweetness and sourness, if compared to the more popular Red-fleshed Dragon Fruit.

2. Red-fleshed Dragon Fruit

It’s also called Pitahaya roja, its skin is red too, as is the flesh. In photo below, you can see it has round shape.

dragon fruit (red flesh)
Due to stronger sweetness and flavor, Red-fleshed Dragon Fruit has replaced White-fleshed Dragon Fruit in fruit market.

pitaya (red flesh)
It’s sold for RM10 (≈USD3.30) per KG. You can find it almost all year round.

3. Yellow Dragon Fruit

The official name of this least-known species is Pitahaya amarilla. They are cultivated in Keningau in small amount. They are sold out fast before others know about such fruit. The sellers told me that the peak fruiting season of Yellow Dragon Fruit is between Oct and Dec. Yellow Dragon Fruit is also sold in other months, but in very limit quantity.

yellow dragon fruit
Yellow Dragon Fruit is the smallest among the 3, but the sweetest and most expensive, which is RM20 (≈USD6.70) per KG. You can find Yellow Dragon Fruit at fruit & vegetables shops of Foh Sang and Bornion in Kota Kinabalu, but it’s not always available.

flesh of yellow dragonfruit
However, the taste of Yellow Dragon Fruit is the BEST! Its sweetness is double of Red-fleshed Dragon Fruit, and it has no sour taste.

flesh of 3 dragonfruit species
Pic: 3 kinds of dragon fruits on one plate, yummy..

dragon fruit feast
Pic: “mixed” dragon fruit feast after the photography session LOL.

Interesting Facts about Dragon Fruit

dragon fruit juice
Red dragon fruit juice is delicious and it can turn your poo into reddish color next day, it’s harmless so don’t be shocked.

dragon fruit on tree
Dragon fruit is not native to Malaysia. It originates from South and Central America. The vine of wild dragon fruit can crawl high up to the tree.

dragon fruit farm (火龍果)
Dragon fruit is a member of cactus family.

budding pitaya
The flower of Dragon fruit can be consumed as tea.

fruiting dragon fruit
Pic: dragon fruit plantation in Balung, Tawau

Photos taken in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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