Monsoon Expedition: Manikgad Conquered
This is the finale of the Saga (!) of the expedition we led to Manikgad in August, and came home defeated but satisfied with the findings. In order to achieve what was unachievable three weeks ago has now been dealt with – we successfully trekked through the adversaries Manikgad cast at us, and climbed with all might and glory that I could gather after hauling my mass up the hills – to where the throne lay empty. It was a long and arduous trek, mainly because the paths were unused and many lead away from the fort. And let’s just not get to the weather for a change.
It is, in all probability, Nephotettix virescens – a widespread, common leafhopper in the family Cicadellidae. It is a common bug attracted to lights at nights. N. virescens is considered a pest on rice crops. This was on a Karvy leaf, in a place that looked like this:
In summary, the weather was clear, hot and humid for a few hours while we trekked through the pits of the mountains. There was not a single puff of air and the humidity was very high. Yet life here was blooming in every nook and corner. Once we reached the plateau region of the mountain – a step nearer to the fort – the weather changed, and it began to rain. It rained heavily for a while and reduced to a little spray in the air. This lasted until we reached back to the base.
|Bagworm taking a nap
|A spectacle in monochrome
|Beetle-backed Fly, family Celyphidae
|Euploea core sipping on a dried Heliotropium indicum
|Tall Karvy's and Manikgad in the distance
A beetle fond of munching on flowers – a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae was very common:
This fellow is different from the one we saw in the last visit to Manikgad. This fellow and a hundred of his kind were feeding on flowers as well as looking for a mate. It is interesting to note that the previous Blister Beetle, Mylabris pustula, was found on a lower elevation (around 1000 feet), and the elevation we were at (about 1800 feet) was dominated by the above photographed beetle. I’m still unclear of its identity, but there definitely must be some hierarchy amongst different Blister Beetles when it comes to choosing a niche, as it exists for many other animals.
|An unidentified Blister Beetle, family Meloidae
|The Rolling Mountains
|Ruins of Manikgad
|Annax immaculifrons that met with an accident
|The Misty Forests