Wildlife Around Singapore: The ant-snatching assassin bug and other sightings

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The common flameback woodpecker and ant-snatching assassin bug nymph. (Photos: Nigel Griffiths, Madhan Kumar)
The common flameback woodpecker and ant-snatching assassin bug nymph. (Photos: Nigel Griffiths, Madhan Kumar)

Singapore's urban and green environment is home to a rich abundance of beautiful wildlife that we don't often see. In our Wildlife Around Singapore series, we share interesting flora and fauna that have been sighted around the island.

Ant-snatching assassin bug nymph

The nymphs of certain assassin bug species use the corpses of their prey, ants, to camouflage themselves, attaching the dead ants to their backs after sucking them dry. It's thought that this behaviour helps the insects to avoid predators by masking their scent or breaking up the shape of their form.

It's hard to tell the species apart, but such assassin bugs known to live in Singapore include Inara flavopicta and Acanthaspis petax.

This photo of an ant-snatching assassin bug nymph was shared by Madhan Kumar in the Singapore Wildlife Sightings Facebook group.

Ant-snatching assassin bug nymph seen in Singapore. (Photo: Madhan Kumar)
Ant-snatching assassin bug nymph seen in Singapore. (Photo: Madhan Kumar)

Enormous Macrocybe mushrooms

You've probably seen mushrooms sprouting up from the ground in patches of earth in Singapore, but have you seen any quite this big?

Facebook user Janisia Chew shared these pictures of enormous white mushrooms which were several times the size of her hand. NParks told us that the fungus is Macrocybe cf gigantea.

"Macrocybe cf gigantea" mushrooms seen in Singapore. (Photo: Janisia Chew/Facebook)
"Macrocybe cf gigantea" mushrooms seen in Singapore. (Photo: Janisia Chew/Facebook)
"Macrocybe cf gigantea" mushrooms seen in Singapore. (Photo: Janisia Chew/Facebook)
"Macrocybe cf gigantea" mushrooms seen in Singapore. (Photo: Janisia Chew/Facebook)

Common flameback woodpeckers

Aren't these flameback woodpeckers pretty? The one with the bright red crown is male, while the one with the black crown is female. 

Facebook user Nigel Griffiths, who spotted the birds in Pasir Ris Mangrove Park, shared these photos in the Nature Society (Singapore) Facebook group.

Common flameback woodpecker seen in Singapore at Pasir Ris Mangrove Park. (Photo: Nigel Griffiths/Facebook)
Common flameback woodpecker seen in Singapore at Pasir Ris Mangrove Park. (Photo: Nigel Griffiths/Facebook)
Common flameback woodpecker seen in Singapore at Pasir Ris Mangrove Park. (Photo: Nigel Griffiths/Facebook)
Common flameback woodpecker seen in Singapore at Pasir Ris Mangrove Park. (Photo: Nigel Griffiths/Facebook)

Lesser mousedeer

It's quite rare for the critically endangered mousedeer to be spotted in the wild in Singapore, but a couple of netizens sighted it in the past month.

There are two species of mousedeer in Singapore: the lesser mousedeer and the greater mousedeer. These sightings below are likely of the lesser mousedeer.

Facebook user Tan Yi Hao shared a video of this mousedeer, which he saw in Lower Peirce Reservoir Park.

Lesser mousedeer in Lower Peirce Reservoir Park in Singapore. (Screenshot from video by Tan Yi Hao)
Lesser mousedeer in Lower Peirce Reservoir Park in Singapore. (Screenshot from video by Tan Yi Hao)

Facebook user Andrew Koh spotted this mousedeer in Chestnut Nature Park:

Equatorial spitting cobra 

The equatorial spitting cobra feeds on small animals such as rats and toads and occurs in forests, scrublands and suburban areas. It's highly venomous and may spray venom from its fangs at the eyes of its provoker. 

Facebook user Koh Zhong Wei spotted this snake at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve:

Equatorial spitting cobra seen in Singapore at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. (Photo: Koh Zhong Wei/Facebook)
Equatorial spitting cobra seen in Singapore at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. (Photo: Koh Zhong Wei/Facebook)

Here's a video of the equatorial spitting cobra:

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