Tag Archives: moth

Humming Bird?

Two years ago, I saw a tiny flying fauna moving super-fast from flower to flower to collect nectar. You can watch the video below to get an idea how fast it is:

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Though it only showed up for a few seconds, from its body as small as a baby finger and the way it hovered, I was pretty sure that it was a humming bird. However, all the bird guides I met said the same thing, “No way! Sabah has no humming bird. It must be a sun bird.” I was kind of upset that nobody believed me, so I wanted to take the photo of the humming bird to prove them wrong.

blooming jasmine flower
blooming jasmine flower close-up
However, I didn’t see the bird again for next few years that I almost forgot about this. Then the blossom jasmine flowers in my garden attracted the “old friend” again. My mom saw it first coz she water the flower during dusk. When I was having my dinner around 6:30pm in the following day, my sibling told me that the humming bird was around again.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Humming Bird Hawk Moth
Quickly I stopped eating and grabbed a camera to shoot the humming bird. And to my surprise, there were 3 or 4 of them collecting nectar. When they fly pass me, I can even hear the high-speed flapping wings.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth collects nectar
Hummingbird Hawk-Moth
They fly really fast but I was still able to take some photos. However, when I zoom into these photos for closer look, I find that they are not bird! With a pair of antenna and a long proboscis, I can tell that they are moth.

Humming-bird Hawk Moth feeding on flower
To find out what they are, I search the Internet and learn that they are Hummingbird Hawk Moth (species: Macroglossum stellatarum), a moth that looks remarkably like a humming bird while feeding on flowers and always mistaken as a hummingbird.

hovering Humming Bird Hawk-Moth
Humming Bird Hawk-Moth is common in Northern Hemisphere regions such as Japan and Europe. There is very limited documentation of this insect in Malaysia so I’m not sure how widespread they are in Sabah. Though it is not the humming bird that I has been looking for, I still think that it’s an extraordinary bug. The wings of Humming-bird Hawk Moth can beat at an incredible speed of 70 – 80 times per second, which makes audible humming sound and allows them to hover in the same way real hummingbirds do.

Did you see it in your garden too? Please share with me.

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

Kinabalu Park, Part 2 of 2

Rhino beetle

Kinabalu Park is a heaven to nature and wildlife photographers. Every hour you would have new discovery or unexpected finding. Like a treasure hunt, it brings you excitement and satisfaction. I took hundreds of photos in 3 days, but they are not even enough to represent 0.0000001% of what we could find in Kinabalu Park. I categorise these 8 pages of photo album into 5 groups as below, and hope that you will enjoy watching them as I do. The pictures below are in low quality. You can check out the photo album for bigger and better photos.

1. Bug and Insect (Page 1, 2)

The creepy, the weird, the slimy, the unknown… bug are all in these 2 pages. Most of them is active at night.
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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The leech from Bukit Ular trail is only 0.5 inch (1 CM) long. After I removed it from my shoe, it just “stood” upright still on the ground, pointing to sky for minutes, like it was praying to God. Poor leech, in this cold day, I really hoped I could give him a few drops of blood and a warm jacket to put on. BTW, Kinabalu Park is also the best place to find big beetles.

2. Flower and Plant (Page 3, 4)

Various flower, fruits, and plant in Kinabalu Park. Most were taken in the jungle trails.
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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Those plants live well in low-light condition under canopy. Some of them may carry secret ingredient that can cure the deadly diseases. They are such a potential precious asset that our government is very strict in controlling the export. I can’t identify most of the plant. Probably those who know can tell me what they are.

3. Snakes, Mushroom and Fungus (Page 5)

Day-shift rangers will tell you that it is rare to see snake, while night-shift rangers will tell you they see snakes every day. Most snakes show up at night. I consider I am quite lucky coz I see 4 snakes in Kinabalu Park. The green viper is only 1 foot long, but it is highly venomous. I saw them twice. The first time was in the grass next to the main road, near the hostel in the evening. When I took photos, those busybodies gathered around me and scared away the snake… The 3-feet brown snake below was found in Liwagu trail. It was hidding under the grass. I tried to use my walking stick to move it gently to open space for photography, but it escaped.
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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One day later, seeing me busy searching around for snake at night, a ranger took out a mineral water bottle, which contains a small green viper inside, and asked me if I was interested in taking its photo (heck, wonder why he was carrying such a deadly snake around in his bag). The snake refused to go out. We used our torch light to light up the bottle, to make it moved to the opening (darker). It has a heat sensor near its nose and will not hesitate to strike if it senses any threat. Luckily, I managed to take a few photos.

Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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The last snake I saw was near Balsam Cafe. This yellow snake saw me and crawled inside a burrow. Damn my stupid and slow camera that needs more than 3 seconds to focus in the dark, so I couldn’t get a good shot. It has a very small head and a few yellow stripes on its body.

4. Moth (Page 6)

Moths are everywhere, especially at night, and it has become an interesting “feature” of Kinabalu Park. They come with different size, shape, pattern and colours. For those scientists who look for many moth specimens and species, all they need to do is to sit under the street lamp at night and see hundreds of moth come to them.
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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Pop Quiz: How do you differentiate a moth and a butterfly?
They both look alike. While roosted, the moth will open its wing, but butterfly will close its wing. I can easily get photos of hundred types of moth, but I picked only 24 good-looking or odd-looking moths for sharing here.
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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5. River and Nature Trails (Page 7, 8)

These are the photos of jungle trails, trees, and river. Please refer to my previous blog (Kinabalu Park, Part 1 of 2) for detail description.
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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Photos taken in Kinabalu Park, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo