Native beauties

BROWN-THROATED SUNBIRD
BROWN-THROATED SUNBIRDPHOTO: RICHARD KOH
ALBINO PLANTAIN SQUIRREL
ALBINO PLANTAIN SQUIRRELPHOTO: ABEL YEO
MALAYAN EGGFLY
MALAYAN EGGFLYPHOTO: ELIZABETH HO

Last month, more than 17,000 people took part in the annual Biodiversity Week where they got to experience Singapore's rich flora and fauna, through nature walks and park tours. Some took part in an Instagram contest organised by the National Parks Board and The Straits Times. Here are photos of native species taken by the four winners, who each won a pair of tickets to an inter-tidal guided walk at Sisters' Islands Marine Park.

BROWN-THROATED SUNBIRD

The Brown-throated sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) is found throughout Singapore and its offshore islands. It feeds on fruits, including rambutan, and on nectar, such as those from the flowers of the coconut plant. It often uses spider silk to bind materials together when it is building a nest.


ALBINO PLANTAIN SQUIRREL

This albino plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) was spotted at a park in Ang Mo Kio. Albinism in animals is an inherited condition characterised by a lack of melanin, which causes the animal to appear white or pink, or to have a bleached look. A typical plantain squirrel has a brown body with a reddish- brown belly and a black-and-white stripe on each side of the belly. The squirrels feed on fruit and nuts, as well as nectar. They are most active in the early morning and late afternoon.


MALAYAN EGGFLY

The Malayan eggfly (Hypolimnas anomala anomala) is commonly found in Singapore, usually frequenting lowland forests. To reproduce, it lays hundreds of golden eggs on the underside of Australian mulberry leaves, the sole local host plant. Perching adults have the habit of defending their territory from other butterflies. They have dark brown wings and a series of white dots along the edges.



PHOTO: FRANCIS YAP

ASIAN GLOSSY STARLING

Adult Asian glossy starlings (Aplonis panayensis) have dark glossy green plumage and are most noticeable by their blood-red eyes. Juveniles in contrast are creamy white and streaked black. They are geographically widespread in Singapore and can be found in various habitats, including urban areas, gardens and parks. They are known to swallow large Alexandra palm fruits whole, and then regurgitate the seeds some time later.

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Correction note: In an earlier version of this story, the Brown-throated sunbird was incorrectly identified as Olive-Backed Sunbird.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2017, with the headline 'Native beauties'. Print Edition | Subscribe