North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest Reserve Expedition 2013… .. peat fireflies

Colophotia
Colophotia
Colophotia male Trek 1
Colophotia mal

15 May 2013: Organised by the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia, this is a chance to search for fireflies in peat swamp forest which have not been reported before. Trek 1 is a cleared fell site with replanting of peat swamp coloniser trees by GEC under the ASEAN Peat Swamp Programme. Parallel canals break the flat landscape. 2 km on is the forest fringe of logged over forest. At the fringe of the forest reserve (bordered by oil palm), Colophotia fireflies can be seen on the sparse young trees. Glowing fireflies were seen flying around. A glimpse of a Starworm on the dry dirt path. Later went to Trek 2 which is a recently burnt area, flat with canals and pools of water. The fringe are oil palm extates. No firefly was spotted possible due to the time or recently distured habitat. Trek 3 is a boat ride along the canal fringing the regenerating peat forest, bordered by a road and paddy fields and irrigation canals. Due to the time, no survey were done.

Pyrocoelia Type 1 Trek 1
Pyrocoelia Type 1 Trek 1

24 June 2013: Trek 1 glowing fireflies were netted, and are probably the Pyrocoelia fireflies.  Colophotia fireflies were spotted.

Pyrocoelia Type 2 Trek 6
Pyrocoelia Type 2 Trek 6

25 June 2013: Trek 6 is a regenerated peat forest, logged many years ago. A similar firefly as above found along the fringe on the field. Oil palm bordered the forest and a canal divides. Due to rain the visit is around the field.

30 June 2013: Trek 4 is a logged over forest with sparse canopy, logging trails and canals. Fast flying glowing fireflies flew past us and hard to collect. Along the canal fireflies were seen flying along the bank.

smallest 3-4mm Trek 6
smallest 3-4mm Trek 6
Type 1 with no red projection between the eyes 1.5-2cm Trek 6
Type 1 with no red projection between the eyes 1.5-2cm Trek 6
with red proboscis type2? Trek 6
with red proboscis type2? Trek 6
with red proboscis
with red proboscis
type 1 larva Trek 6
type 1 larva Trek 6
Type 2 larva Trek 6
Type 2 larva Trek 6
Larva unknown Trek 6
Larva unknown Trek 6

4 July 2013: Trek 6 revisited, it rained and stopped this time. Canopy here is more dense, with dried out canals and open spaces. Fireflies were seen going up the canopy and failed to catch them. A probable larva of the fireflies were seen, Two type of long larva of probably  belongs to the two big fireflies (one with a small red protusion  between the eyes and one without). A small firefly was also spotted.

Basically peat swamp forest do support fireflies. Fringe fireflies from may have adapted at the fringes. And in the interior, are probably the true peat swamp fireflies. Trek 5 is an undisturbed peat swamp, but time did not allowed a visit there. So the peat fireflies are still inconclusive and elusive.

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