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

Monday, August 3, 2009

A visit to the zoo - Part 2

Amendment: Thanks to Jose of JM Travel for giving me the name of the catfish. It is Tinfoil Barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii), from Southeast Asia.

My first stop was at the auqarium. They have long display cabinits with some of the shell found along our coast along one wall.

The two pictures below are of a Common or Gaint Gourami. This is a stunning fish when it gets large. In their natural environment, natives have reported lengths of 60 cm (24 inches) and it has even been suggested that the Giant Gourami can get as large as 70 cm (28 inches). When they are small, they have an attractive banded coloration of black and gold. As they get older they turn the color of the fish in the photo or sometimes completely black. This is truely an ugly fellow. :)
The Tiger fish is found in many African rivers and lakes. They swim in schools hunting whatever fish they can find. There is no record of them attacking humans although fisherman have been known to loose a bit of their fingers at times. This fierce predators has the unique status as Africa’s premier game fish.
Don't be fooled by the prettiness of the fish below: Piranhas are normally about 15 to 25 cm long (6 to 10 inches), although reportedly individuals have been found up to 43 cm (18.0 inches) in length.
Locals often use piranha teeth to make tools and weapons. Piranha are also a popular food, although if an individual piranha is caught on a hook or line, it may be attacked by other (free) piranhas.
Piranha are commonly consumed by subsistence fishermen and often sold for food in local markets.
In recent decades, dried specimens have been marketed as tourist souvenirs, Piranhas occasionally bite and sometimes injure bathers and swimmers. A piranha bite is sometimes considered more an act of carelessness than that of misfortune, but piranhas are a considerable nuisance to commercial and sport fishers because they steal bait, mutilate catch, damage nets and other gear and may bite when handled.
There exists a legend that piranha can and will skin and eat a human-being alive, and is said to have been started with American President Teddy Roosevelt's visit to Brazil, and a spectacle setup by Brazilian fishermen. To guarantee a good show for the adventure-loving Roosevelt, local fishermen blocked off a portion of an Amazon river with nets and dumped hordes of starving piranhas into it when the U.S. president explored the region on a hunting trip. Then they sliced up a cow and tossed it in the river, setting off a wild feeding frenzy and producing the now-fabled instant skeleton effect. Roosevelt presented piranhas as vicious creatures in his 1914 book Through the Brazilian Wilderness. Hollywood would later emblazon the image for posterity. An example of this perception of piranha in media was presented in the James Bond film 'You Only Live Twice', where a henchmen named Hans is shown feeding live humans to pet piranha owned by the film's main antagonist, Blofeld.
I do not know what kind of fish the one below is but it had very pretty red fins.
Some type of catfish which maybe Tom would know. This speciman was very large about 2 foot in length.

No comments: