Friday, 10 August 2012

Into The Nightlife

Some more photos from the trip to Mae Wong National Park in early May. The nights were surprisingly productive. I guessed it was because of the rain that poured down throughout the days causing a great exodus of alates. These social insects emerge from the ground after heavy rain. They are strongly attracted to light, so there were lots of them on the road up to Chong Yen summit where the passing cars' headlights lured them out. Lots of Crab-eating Mongooses (Herpestes urva) were found along the road during the day, but unfortunately, I couldn't manage to get a single shot. However, the the nights awarded us with an unusually obliging Large Indian Civet (Viverra zibetha).

Large Indian Civet

High five!

Busy feeding on alates

The civet was found just a few hundred metres from our camp. It was too busy feeding on alates, which were abundant. We slowly moved toward it with our car in a safari style. The sunroof could be opened wide, so we just popped our heads up and easily took photos of this stunning animal at close range. It's the first time for me to see this species of civet, even though it is not that scarce. I just love the black and white pattern on its body, especially on the neck and tail.

Unidentified frog

Male Large-tailed Nightjar

Spitting out the pellet

Twin-spotted Treegrom

The rare Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle

Another highlight of the night was a lone and obliging Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus bimaculatus) that was perching just by the roadside. It didn't leave the perch for more than half an hour that we were there, providing us a great opportunity to photograph it both with and without flash. After we finished taking photos of the nightjar, we then drove up to Chong Yen summit where a pair of Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle (Allomyrina dichotoma) was found. It is an extremely rare beetle here in Thailand (even though it's still pretty numerous in Japan), which is the southernmost part of its distribution. We had a great time taking photos of it before driving back to our camp and had a good sleep.


  1. Have you ever seen a wild tiger or leopard in Thailand?

    1. Unfortunately not yet, Stu.
      They're REALLY difficult in Thailand.
      Leopard might be a bit easier, but it's sort of the same as finding a Red-legged Kittiwake in your neighbourhood.

  2. That Civet is so beautiful. I'd love to see such a thing. I'm yet to see any nightjar as well. Splendid macro shots of the smaller subjects too. I have to get out more!

    1. Thanks, Russell!
      Look for some owlet-nightjars. They're much more awesome!

  3. A beautiful animal and great shots of it. I'll bet they are incredibly difficult to see during daylight hours.

    1. Thanks, Phil.
      They're impossible to be seen during the day indeed!

  4. What a splendid beast! Nice you could get close and get pictures!

  5. The civet is a very handsome creature... I've only ever seen it well at Robert Chong's place at the Kinabatangan River in East Malaysia (where they leave food scraps out for it).