05 July 2009

10 Jul (Fri): Talk on "The Wonders of Singapore's Mangroves Insect Fauna"

In this talk, Dr Patrick Grootaert shares with us some of his findings from the Singapore Mangrove Insect Project (SMIP) and also the new fly species found.

The Singapore Mangrove Insect Project (SMIP) is a collaboration between NParks and NUS. Eleven mangrove sites in Singapore were studied during a one-month sampling campaign in May 2009.

In the preliminary analysis, long-legged flies and dance flies were used as indicator species to assess the quality of each site. From this analysis, the original mangrove patch at Pulau Semakau showed the highest diversity and quality of species. Other sites that have good diversity are Chek Jawa Wetlands, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Sungei Cina and Belayar Creek. Changi Creek and Lim Chu Kang had the poorest diversity. The mangroves in Pulau Seletar however had mainly beach forest species. This could be due to its small size. The sampling at Mandai mangroves was not representative of the entire area and should be reconsidered.

Site parameters for each site were also recorded and will be correlated to various species of spider and insect groups in future. The dominant species will also be barcoded and illustrated on a website.

The insect fauna of Singapore is surprisingly rich and one of the best known in the world. During the one-month sampling, at least 10 new fly species for science were found.

Dr. Patrick Grootaert was born in Belgium in 1952. He graduated at Ghent University in 1973 and obtained a PhD on ultrastructure of nematodes in 1978. During his one-year sabbatical stay here in Singapore he found 150 new species for science showing that even in a small densely populated country like Singapore, treasures can be found.

All are welcome. Please RSVP LIM_Wei_Ling@nparks.gov.sg by 9 Jul (Thu) 5pm.

Light Refreshments will be provided after the seminar.

Time: 11am - 12pm
Venue: Function Hall, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Contact: LIM_Wei_Ling@nparks.gov.sg

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