#8 Labrador Nature Reserve

Dear Readers,

I actually visited Labrador Nature Reserve a few weeks ago- but I had exams so I could not post about it. Here it is!

We entered from the main entrance near the Labrador MRT. The park welcomed us with its rich tall canopy trees as we walked past the Olive Restaurant and the ‘Secret Tunnel’.

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Then we went through the boardwalk in the forest.It was very calming and refreshing. On the way, we stopped to admire some fallen trees when I spotted a huge web with a HUMONGOUS spider. I have to admit I screamed with surprise and stepped back. But it didn’t seem to care- so I took some close up pictures of it. Like this spider’s we saw several more webs that we didn’t spot unless we concentrated and cringed our eyes. I don’t know the name of this spider. If you know the species, please leave a comment below as I’d love to know.

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We then followed the Bunker Path to the 6-pound cannon that was used during the 2nd world war. There was also a little tunnel that was dated 1892. Wow!

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That was end of the boardwalk in the forest. Throughout, there were the rhythmic chirping of cicadas and the sweet songs of the birds that I enjoyed so much. We exited the forest and entered the boardwalk near the sea. The sea was beautiful- except for the numerous number of ships and tankers 😦  The shelters in the park had very cute paintings and I greatly admired the trees and flowers in the park.

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The jetty was closed, but we enjoyed a game of badminton and ball. Some common kingfishers joined us too. High in the sky we also saw a huge bird I thought was a crane- but after looking at the photos I took, it looked more like an eagle or kite.

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Here are some photos of the flowers and trees near the jetty.

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With that we ended our visit to Labrador Nature Reserve. I hope you visit this park soon. It’s perfect for a stroll, to exercise, to have a picnic or barbecue, or for a nature/bird watching.

I hope you enjoyed this post.. More to come!

Lavanya Prakash

mynatureexperiences.wordpress.com

twitter.com/MyNatureExp

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2 thoughts on “#8 Labrador Nature Reserve

  1. From post: “I spotted a huge web with a HUMONGOUS spider. [..] I don’t know the name of this

    Hi Lavanya , thanks for sharing your sighting. The spider shown in your photo appears to be an adult female Nephila antipodiana (Batik Golden Orb Weaver). It is natively distributed from Southern China, Thailand & the Philippines to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Northern Australia (Queensland) & the Solomon Islands. It was first recorded from S’pore & Peninsular Malaysia in 2009.

    This species is one of the largest orb weaver spiders in the world. The adult female has a body 3-4 cm across & a leg span of 12-15cm, while the adult male is much smaller with a body size of only ~1cm across. The orb-web spun by the female spider can span up to at least 1m, & its silk-threads have a higher tensile strength than steel. If you look carefully at the web against the light, the threads have a golden tinge.

    The species is characterized by longitudinal pairs of yellow spots along the dorsal (upper) abdomen, but is otherwise polymorphic with variable abdominal & leg colour permutations, as well as variable number of abdominal spots. All morphs of this species are genetically identical, & the morphological differences are thought to be due to environmental/ habitat factors.

    The typical morph is yellow abdomen + yellow spots with distinct black outlines + black legs. This morph tends to have fewer abdominal spots (top & sides) than the melanic (darker) morphs like reddish-brown & yellowish-green.

    What you saw at Labrador Park is the reddish-brown morph (ie. reddish-brown on the dorsal abdomen + yellow spots) with reddish legs. For specimens observed in S’pore, the dorsal abdomen is reddish-brown or yellowish-green with yellow spots, while the legs are black or reddish/ reddish-brown.

    Some sample photos of adult female Nephila antipodiana:
    * Reddish-brown morph with reddish legs (S’pore): photo1 (Note: The small reddish-brown spider on the web is the adult male spider), photo2 (see Figure 4)

    * Reddish-brown morph with black legs (S’pore): photo3, photo4 (see Figure 2)

    * Yellowish-green morph with reddish legs (Selangor, Malaysia): photo5

    * Yellowish-green morph with black legs (S’pore): photo6, photo7 (see Figure 3)

    * Typical yellow morph with black legs (Malaysia): photo8 (Note: The brown object beside the spider is its moult), photo9 (see Figure 1)

    More info:
    * Spiders Coat Webs With Toxic Chemicals for Self-Defense (Wired Science – 23 Nov 2011)
    * Batik Orb-weaver Nephila antipodiana (Malaysian Spiders – 15 Feb 2010)

    1. Thank you so much for the information on the Batik Golden Orb Weaver. I learnt so much about it! Thanks again for sharing the information and for reading my blog!

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