- Over 500,000 specimens are being prepared for the BIG move! – zbNOW 5 March 2014
- Singapore Biodiversity Records: The Curious Incident of the Snake in the Hostel Shoe Cupboard
- In the news – ‘Extinct’ orchid resurfaces in Bukit Timah reserve
- New Articles in Nature in Singapore and Singapore Biodiversity Records
- The 3rd International Bornean Frog Race 2014 is here
marcuschua on In the news – ‘Ext… MGYA - LTA to suss o… on That uniquely Singaporean crab… 壹峯陳 on In the news – ‘Ext… KS Lai on More sightings of wild otters… More than 1,500kg of… on Raffles Museum Toddycats and f…
- Undergraduate internship: Tropical tree surveys in Polynesia (May-Jun 2014); application deadline: 20 Mar 2014 7 March 2014
- Job: Research Assistant Position in freshwater ecology 6 March 2014
- Friday, 28 Feb 2014, 4.00pm @ CR1: Luke Gibson on “Deforestation and tropical biodiversity: What is lost, and what survives?” 21 February 2014
- U@live featuring Bernard Harrison – 26 February 2014: 7.30pm @ Shaw Foundation Alumni House 17 February 2014
- Biodiversity Research Symposium 2014 – Sat, 24 May 2014 11 February 2014
- Darwin Day 2014 ‘Celebrates the Science of Life’ – four talks @ U Town on Thu 13 Feb 2014: 7.00pm 11 February 2014
- Climate Change Adaptation: Aquatic Invasives and Coastal Restoration Symposium, 26-27 February 2014 10 February 2014
- Fri, 07 Feb 2014, 4.00pm @ CR1: David Bickford on “Discovering Biodiversity and Exploring Extinction” 7 February 2014
- Wed, 29 Jan 2014, 10.00am @ CR1: Brett Scheffers on “Frog life in the canopy: how wet loving species survive hot and dry habitats” 28 January 2014
- Thu, 06 Feb 2014, 3.00pm @ CR1: Yuchen Ang on “Modern morphological techniques, and the evolutionary biology and taxonomy of Sepsidae (Diptera)” 28 January 2014
- First Love MacRitchie Walk of 2014: Macaques, drongos and bird waves 27 February 2014
- Toddycats HOWL 9: the museum, our logo, endemic crabs, Singapore flowering, otters and a song 26 February 2014
- Toddycats Howl 9 on Wed 26 Feb 2014: 7.00pm 25 February 2014
- Toddycats’ MacRitchie forest walks in 2014 11 February 2014
- Toddycats are back with Love MacRitchie Walks 2014! 7 February 2014
- Preparing for 2014 and beyond! 23 January 2014
- Raffles Museum Toddycats! at the 20th Anniversary celebration of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (7 Dec 2013) 10 December 2013
- Sungei Buloh celebrates 20 years: Join in the festivities with Toddycats this Saturday 7 December 2013! 4 December 2013
- Toddycats’ second Love MacRitchie Walk for NUS: colugos, whip snake, bearded dragons and slender squirrels! 24 November 2013
- Siltation at Venus Loop stream; feedback and action to prevent damage to nature reserves 24 November 2013
Currently under construction, The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) is slated to open at the end of the year. Its collection includes the 500,000+ specimens that are currently housed in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR). This collection reflects our country’s natural history from the times under the British colonial rule to modern day Singapore.
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student Chua Wei Ming returned to his hostel one day to find an unlikely squatter in the from of a snake in his shoe cupboard.
Pictures of the scaly squatter eventually made its way to Facebook, with a note crowd sourcing the identity of the snake. The images shared by a mutual friend immediately caught my eye as the brown streaks on the head and its distinctively patterned body revealed it to be a nationally critically endangered keel-bellied whip snake (Dryophiops rubescens). This was a rarely encountered snake in a locality that it was hitherto not known to exist – a veritable new locality record.
We are thankful that Wei Ming, through his friend, Abigail Abraham, kindly agreed to write up the record for publication. The snake was eventually relocated to an adjacent forested area.
Share your observations of interesting behaviour or uncommon species in Singapore with us via Singapore Biodiversity Records! It would help spread the knowledge and increase our understanding of biodiversity in Singapore. This and four other new Singapore Biodiversity Records have just been uploaded:
40. Hardwicke’s woolly bat at Lower Peirce forest. [pdf]
41. Striped tree skink at Dairy Farm Nature Park. [pdf]
42. Frilly gecko at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. [pdf]
43. Elegant bronzeback at MacRitchie forest. [pdf]
44. Keel-bellied whip snake at NTU Jurong Campus. [pdf]
‘Extinct’ orchid resurfaces in Bukit Timah reserve
Straits Times 29 Jan 2014 B8
by Feng Zengkun
An orchid species thought to be extinct in Singapore has been found in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve after more than 80 years.
Researchers from Singapore and the Netherlands found a single specimen of the Vrydagzynea lancifolia - named for its lance like leaves – growing on a rock in the reserve last October. Their discovery was detailed in a paper last week in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research’s online journal Nature In Singapore.
A sample of the orchid was first collected in 1889 in Bukit Timah and its last appearance was in the same area, in 1931. In Singapore, it has been recorded only in Bukit Timah and Seletar.
Previous researchers had attributed the native orchid’s loss to a reduction in natural forest habitats caused by land use changes.
Of the 226 native species of wild orchids, only 55 remained as of last March. Some specimens of species that are extinct in the wild can be found at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The researchers who found the orchid want the species to be declared critically endangered here in the upcoming edition of the Singapore Red Data Book, which lists threatened wildlife.
They added that since only a single plant was found, and it was not fruiting, there should be an extensive survey of the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves to look for other mature individuals that can be used for its propagation.
Two weeks after the plant was found, another group of researchers from the Singapore Botanic Gardens combed the area near it but found no other specimens.
Mr Reuben Lim, 25, a research assistant at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Biological Sciences’ Botany Laboratory, said the team was originally looking for another type of plant. The researchers were from NUS, National Parks Board, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, and the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands.
The team also said in the paper that the orchid’s rediscovery underscored the need to preserve the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which was established in 1883 and became legally protected in 1951.
“Despite the many pressures and disturbances it has undergone, it still supports an immensely rich flora … Various species thought to be extinct are likely to still persist in this refuge,” the paper said.
A species of orchid (Vrydagzynea lancifolia) that has not been recorded in Singapore for more than 80 years has been rediscovered in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Read more about the plant, how it was rediscovered and see how herbarium specimens are important historical records in the first Nature in Singapore paper for 2014 by Lim et al.. [PDF]
Click here to register
Did you know that the dried leaf cockroach (Pseudophoraspis nebulosa) is known to exhibit what appears to be parental care for its young?
Such behaviour would only be known if they are documented and shared, and these observations are valuable as they increase our knowledge about nature in Singapore.
Therefore, our curators have started Singapore Biodiversity Records to collect and publish records of uncommon species or interesting animal behaviour in Singapore.
Contributing your record is easy: simply fill up a provided form and send it in to the editor for publication. Do note that owing to space constraints, Singapore Biodiversity Records will not be able to publish each and every contribution. The editors will review and decide on which contribution to include on the webpage.
To find out more, head on to the Singapore Biodiversity Records page: http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/nis/sbr_contribute_record.html
Alfred Wallace, co-discoverer of the modern theory of evolution and explorer extraordinaire has a strong connection with Singapore. While working in Singapore in the mid-1800s, he made numerous collections of animals from the island as well as recorded many interesting facts about the natural history here. His passion for natural history and love for discovery is a spirit shared by staff and students of the new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in National University of Singapore. It is therefore appropriate that we support this important exercise to erect a timely memorial to a man who has become an icon for so many biologists in Southeast Asia. Barry Clarke, a long-time resident working in Singapore who loves natural history and a Wallace fan at heart, has kindly volunteered to lead fund-raising campaign to raise the necessary capital to build a statue of the great man at the new museum to honor his many accomplishments. We are therefore delighted to partner him to see this dream realised!
Prof Peter Ng
Director, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research