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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Snuff-box or Fried Egg Tree (Oncoba spinosa)

Family Flacourtiaceae.

These are fairly small trees about 4m (12’) in height and get their name from the flowers.

Snuff boxes are made from their hard-shelled fruit which, when the seeds are dried, make good rattles for children and anklets and armlets to add rhythm to dancers.

The seeds contain a drying oil which makes a suitable varnish but is too difficult to extract commercially.

The root provides a remedy in traditional medicine for treating dysentery and bladder complaints.

The wood is light brown and takes a good polish but the pieces are seldom large enough to be used.