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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bracket Fungi – Ganoderma Tropicum

Ganoderma tropicum , one of the many species of bracket fungi with a waxy crust attached to a tree.
Fungi apparently can neither be classified as plant or animal as they have characteristics of each. They have no chlorophyll like plants which makes them in turn not requiring the sun to survive and at the same time take away the ability to manufacture their own energy. Food for fungi is obtained from dead and decaying matter.

Fungi play an important role in nature by recycling nutrients through breaking down decaying plant and animal matter and returning important elements such as carbon and nitrogen back to nature.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blue Carpenter Bee – Xylocopa Caerulea

I cross path with this magnificent looking blue bee recently and was curious about what type of bee this could be, it certainly is not the sort of bee you see every day.

Searching the web to satisfy my curiosity proof to be challenging and I finally have to seek help from a website I had used previously for insect identification and it too was facing difficulties initially, fortunately they have a very well informed contact that was able to give guidance and pointed out it is a carpenter bee of the genus Xylocopa.

Carpenter bees cannot prepare wax and therefore do not built nest as in the common honey bees we know of. Their nests are tunnels burrowed in flower stalk or wood, therefore the name Carpenter bees.

It is also not clear as to whether the male or female has this blue colored body. The information from a sighting of a similar blue bee in Singapore states that the female is mainly black but at the same time says it is not sure how the male looks like.
At the very least, it is confirmed this bee can be found in Peninsula Malaysia and Singapore.
A stamp issued by the Singapore postal authorities illustrates a specimen that is black in color.

For those who are interested to know more, do visit the site mentioned below which has help me in attempting to identify this particular bee.