For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Serval (Leptailarus serval)

The serval has extraordinarily long legs for its body size which can be up to 3 feet in length, whilst standing up to 20 inches in shoulder height.
The bulk of its diet constitutes rodents, especially vlei rats. Birds, frogs, insects, small reptiles and even fish are taken to compliment the diet.
Kittens, in litters of three to four, are born in thick grass cover or underbrush. The gestation period is 68-72 days. Births often occur at the end of summer.
Elusive and shy, servals are for the most part nocturnal, hunting by sight and sound more than scent. This makes them extremely difficult to photograph. All these pictures were taken at the zoo except for the one below.
When the cubs are large enough to hunt, the mother will drive the males away from the family first. Females will stay together with the mother until they become sexually mature. Then they will be driven away by the mother so they can establish their own territories.
Solitary in habits, except when mating or when a female is accompanied by her young. Serval scent mark their large home ranges of 15 - 30 square km. Home ranges are not exclusive, but occupants avoid contact. Scent marking is conducted with urine and faeces.

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