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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Odds and Ends - Part 14

This is a very strange creature, about 4" in length and I think it belongs to the Stick Insect. This was a very nice description of them:

"The Phasmida (stick and leaf insects) are plant-eating insects often resembling sticks or broad leaves. They do not have their hindlegs adapted for jumping as in the closely related order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids and crickets.) Whilst there are about 3000 species, only about 30 are leaf insects.

In the daytime these typically long, slender stick-like insects remain remarkably well camouflaged in their habitat, commonly in woodlands, jungle or gardens. In fact, they may be present in gardens for years without being noticed. Go out at night with a torchlight and they are then active, walking about and feeding. Many are not the boring, placid twigs people imagine them to be. Some species have an amazing range of behaviour, including using spiny legs in defence, as well as chemical defences. They are prepared to shed a leg in an effort to escape (capable of re-growing later if the insects are pre-adults). A number of species are winged in at least one sex – sometimes the wings are brightly coloured and flashed open to startle a potential predator. In the absence of males, many species are able to reproduce by parthenogenesis (egg development without fertilisation) – a handy means of survival.

Eggs are often seed-like in appearance. They are usually dropped onto the ground, where knobs on the eggs of some species are attractive to certain ants. Some species glue eggs to branches, or deposit them in crevices. Despite good camouflage, predators such as birds and animals eat all stages of stick insects; hence females lay many eggs (over 2000 in some species)."
This spider was very small, maybe 4mm in length and most of it was legs.
Tree Cockroaches belont to the Blaberidae family. They are sluggish and carry their body close to the ground. The females are wingless and sometimes carry the egg case until hatching. The males have glands on their backs which produce a secretion to attract females.
I think this is some kind of Stink bug of the Pentatomidae family.

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