Tag Archives: Shield bugs

Sunday stroll: Dillenia suffruticosa

We’ve been so busy recently that my poor neglected camera hasn’t been out of the house as much as it should.  We didn’t have a lot of time today either, but I was feeling the need to re-connect with my macro lens!  So having promised faithfully to be back in half an hour to get lunch on the table, I left my husband on daddy duty and went for a wander with my camera.

The thing I love about macro photography is that you really don’t have to go far to find an interesting subject.  Great if you are pressed for time!  It is amazing the things that are right under your nose the whole time.  It always reminds me to stop and take the time to look properly; you just miss so much if you don’t.

At the end of our road is a large shrubby tree, which I love poking around under, because there is usually something interesting to see. The tree is a Dillenia suffruticosa, also known as Simpoh Ayer locally.  It has these beautiful large yellow flowers, which I recently found out are the national Bruneian flower. I think their diaphanous, frill-edged petals are so cheerful and pretty.  A completely different flower, in completely different weather, but there is something about their sunny loveliness which makes me think of daffodils.


And the seed heads were amazing to look at.  This one had already been pretty much stripped of its ripe red seeds by hungry birds, but I loved the contrast of colours and textures left behind.



A lot of the broad glossy green leaves were looking less than their best. I suspect that these striking bugs – Giant Shield Bugs – might have played a big in that.  They suck the juices out of the plant, leaving the once green leaves shrivelled and brown.  This one was nonchalantly ignoring me as he sat calmly drinking his juice, camouflaged with his surrounding.


And these odd-looking pink rectangular creatures are the nymphs of the Shield Bug.  Unlike the adults, these guys stick out like a sore thumb.  It amazes me that they survive to adulthood!  As this one was on a branch above my head I ended up on tippy-toes, holding on to the branch with one hand to try to gently pull it within photographing distance, whilst holding and focusing the camera with the other.  Oh to be a tall girl!


Although I was mindful of my pre lunch time limit ticking away, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop, snapping away.  However, before my time had a chance to run out, my luck with the weather ran out, courtesy of a midday downpour.  The wind had been picking up for a while, so I can’t say that I hadn’t had fair warning.  I just get carried away when I’ve got a camera in my hand I guess.  So, camera tucked hastily inside my shirt and safely shielded from the thundering rains, I made a quick dash for home. An early return from a stroll with my camera…that must be a first!