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, February 2, 2011

The Bush - Part 3

This Stick Insect specimen was about 6 inches in length but had unfortunately landed in the rain water tank and drowned.

As their name suggests these cryptic insects have the shape and colouring of the leaves and twigs of the plants they inhabit. Phasmids are distinctive insects and are often large to very large ranging in size from 30 to 300 millimetres in body length. Stick and leaf insects, when discovered will often drop to the ground and remain motionless rather than take flight. Some species will also shed legs when attacked, growing them back over time.
Male phasmids are generally smaller than the females and have more functional wings. It is usually the males that will fly around to locate a mate. Female phasmids usually lay their eggs in leaf litter and can lay between 100 and 1000 depending on the species. The eggs may hatch in the same season they were laid or remain in the litter to hatch up to 3 seasons later depending on the conditions. Nymphs moult several times before reaching maturity and development may take from a few weeks up to a few months.
I think this might be a Snipe or Horse Fly but I cannot find out more about them.

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