#WorldFrogDay is over, but #SavetheFrogsDay (28th April) is coming up, so Nature Adventures SG will continue featuring Singapore's own amphibian diversity every day.
The twentieth species to be featured is the Copper-cheeked Frog (Chalcorana labialis), also known as the White-lipped Frog. This species lives in forest habitats, and can be abundant along forest streams and swamps in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Nature Reserve; it is also present in some parts of the Western Catchment and Pulau Tekong. It is partially arboreal, and is often seen on vegetation and low branches along the water’s edge. This species is known to reach 5 centimetres in length, and the coloration can be quite variable, with different individuals showing various shades of green, yellow, or brown.
Unlike many other forest-dwelling frogs, this species is more easily seen than heard; the male's call bears a strong resemblance to the sound of water dripping. The yellow tadpoles are often abundant in small streams, and possess glands that appear to make them distasteful to predators.
This species has been confused in the past with several other species, such as Chalcorana chalconata, a species from Sumatra and Java, and Chalcorana raniceps, a species endemic to Borneo. These other species are also often known as Copper-cheeked Frogs, and were all previously lumped together as a single species, until further studies differentiated them based on morphological and genetic differences.
If you reside in Singapore, chances are that you would have heard this bird calling at dawn or dusk. The loud ‘Koo-Ooo’ call of the male bird piercing through the cool and quiet times, when most of us are just waking up. Very few of us have seen the actual bird, as we groggily glare out of our windows at the nearby trees. It’s an Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus). A large long-tailed bird, it’s a member of the Cuckoo order and found throughout most of Southeast Asia. A sexually dimorphic species, the male is glossy bluish-black, and the female (pictured) is dark brown with white and buff spots. Today is #InternationalCuckooDay. Let’s take this day and enjoy the songs of the courting Koels which have been revered for centuries by Indian poets.
Hello Feather Friday! This is a male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis). Sunbirds are found in Asia and Africa, and are the Old World’s version of Americas’ hummingbirds and Australia’s honeyeaters! So I have a physiology question and would totally appreciate some expert explanation. Hummingbirds usually feed on the sucrose-rich Heliconias of the Americas, and have a special mechanism with which to digest sucrose. Sunbirds usually feed on the fructose-rich nectar of Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, with the frequent planting of non-native Heliconias in Asia (and Africa?), Sunbirds have been known to exploit this feeding niche and are attracted to the nectar of these flowers (but not pollinating the flowers due to their unadapted beak sizes). However, Sunbirds generally absorb sucrose poorly. So - what are they doing when they drink the sucrose from the Heliconias? Do they know that they can’t digest it? What’s going on?! .
(Assumptions made here: that Heliconias only carry sucrose and no other source of sugar, and that Sunbirds are incapable of utilizing sucrose.) .
📷: Panasonic G85 + Panasonic 100-300mm II, 1/640s f5.6 300mm ISO800 handheld