Singapore Asceles, a locally endemic subspecies of stick insect from Upper Peirce

Sharing images of a stick insect (Asceles Tanarata singapura) taken during Sunday (15 June 2008) outing at Upper Peirce. I spent about two hours to photograph it as it is quite collaborative though occasionally moved a little bit or changed its position, but remained on the same leaf. Due to its elongated and very slender appearance, I found myself having a hard time with the compositions. The movement of the subject caused by morning breeze also gave me some problems. But eventually, I managed to get some images with satisfaction. The species was described by the local stick insect expect Dr. Francis Seow-Choen and his overseas counterpart Paul Brock as Asceles singapura on 1999, based on material from Singapore and southern Johor. Upper Peirce Reservoir was chosen as type locality as specimens there were used for species description. But one year later, Dr. Seow-Choen believed that our local species does not appear to be "specifically" different from another species A. tanarata which is found at Tanarata of Peninsular Malaysia, but displays some minor differences which he regarded as geographical variations, and thus, changed the the local species to be a subspecies of Asceles tanarata.

Interestingly, according to their records, the food plants of this subspecies are three species of Macaranga (M. conifera, M. gigantea and M. triloba), while my specimen was tightly holding to a hairy Clidemia (Clidemia hirta). This hairy clidemia has been listed as food plant for some other species of Asceles.


DSC_0072_Stick Insect (Asceles tanarata singapura)
1. FL 180mm, 1/15sec-F/11, manual, ISO 640,tripod, MLU, fill flash at -2.67;

DSC_0010_Stick Insect (Asceles tanarata singapura)
2. FL 180mm, 1/60sec-F/10, manual, ISO 640,tripod, MLU, fill flash at -2.67;

DSC_0036_Stick Insect (Asceles tanarata singapura)
3. FL 180mm, 2x TC, 1/15sec-F/18, manual, ISO 640,tripod, MLU, fill flash at -2.67;

DSC_0021_Stick Insect (Asceles tanarata singapura)
4. FL 180mm, 2x TC, 1/2sec-F/18, manual, ISO 640,tripod, MLU, fill flash at -2.67;

DSC_0016_Stick Insect (Asceles tanarata singapura)
5. FL 180mm, 2x TC, 1/3sec-F/20, manual, ISO 640,tripod, MLU, fill flash at -2.67


References
Brock, P. D., 1999. Stick and leaf insects of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Malasian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur, pp. 1-222.

Seow-Choen, F., 1997. A guide to the stick leaf insects of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre, Singapore, pp. 1-160.

Seow-Choen, F., 2000. An illustratedguide to the stick and leaf insects of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, pp. 1-173.

Seow-Choen, F., 2005. A Pocket Guide, Phasmids of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, pp. 1-120.

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