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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Agama Lizard and cricket drama

Outside watering the garden, I noticed this Agama lizard climb onto the wall and it had what looked like some kind of meal in its mouth.

At first I could not identify it as I had never seen one with those red X markings before and only later on discovered that it was a female Southern Tree Agama and due to stress, the usual dull black markings had turned red.

Needless to say, I dashed inside to get my camera and an interesting drama unfolded. It is at times like this that I would love to have a video camera to capture it all.

What she had in her mouth was a large King Cricket (Parktown Prawn), a type of cricket and seemed to have considerable trouble swallowing it.

Was it too big? She made several attempts but could not get it down.

Then I saw what the problem was ...... the cricket had clamped it jaws on the Agama’s tongue and would not let go!! She made several vigorous attempt of trying to shake it off but to no avail.

The lizard started crawling up the wall with the cricket still firmly in place and I could only assume that it may have been trying to get to the opening above where I suspect it might live.

By this time I was feeling so sorry for the poor lizard and wondered if it was as painful for her as it would have been for a human?

Considering the kind of insects they eat, I would think that they would be used to some of them either stinging and/or biting them so are they immune to it?

Getting to the top, she once again shook her head in an attempt to dislodge it.

Freedom at last!! It seemed as if she was looking down to see where it had landed. I think that the cricket died at this point and that had loosened its grip on her tongue.

She crawled up into her space and rested after her ordeal which had taken about 20 minutes to unfold.

I found the cricket in the grass at the bottom of the wall.

What jaws it has!! No wonder it managed to hold on like it did!! Of course, it no sooner landed there and the ants were all over it taking advantage of the free meal the lizard had provided.


OneStonedCrow said...

Great sequence Joan - and what beautiful markings on the Agama.

It's the first time also, that I've seen a pic of the infamous 'Parktown Prawn' - I thought they were similar to our 'Koringkriek' but I now see they're completely different.

Those jaws are awesome ... do they bite humans?

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am so pleased you have comments back again. This is amazing, you have done a fantastic sequence as Graham says. I hate Parktown prawns they were all over the place at home in Randburg and what a terrible smell they left behind if squashed!! Diane

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Graham.I have put in links to both the Female Agama and the Parktown Prawn and as you say, they are really ugly creatures and HUGE too - almost as long as my finger!! No, thank goodness they dont bite us but if they were any bigger, I would hate to come across one at night!! :)

I have been reading your articles with interest alought I don't comment. You certainly are having some great trips and I was wondering what the beer was like at the Bush? Local stuff can be potent. :)

I see you are going to be off line for a while? Good luck with the building. Do you need a helping hand? :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hi Diane. Thanks for your comment too. Love all the recipes you put on especially some of the soups.

Those crickets are nasty buggers!! :) Well, thats how they look at any rate. They like to live in grass patches so I guess the bottom line here is not to plant any in your garden. :)

Gaelyn said...

What an intense lizard drama. Those powerful cricket jaws could definitely be a deterrent to head first. This is an amazing series. I love how devoted you are. And yes, a video would be great.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Gaelyn. This is why I love nature so much .... every day is different and I never know what what will happen next.

Becky and Gary said...

What an ordeal! You sure were there at the right time, and got awesome pictures!