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, May 30, 2012

Acari - Ticks

Reading “The origins of the group are late in evolutional terms – about 120 million years ago.” I wonder what ever happened to start them developing in the first place? Humans and animals alike will agree that ticks are something we could have done without!! LOL!!

“While the larvae or nymphs of hard ticks wait for a host to happen by they enter into a kind of dormant condition. Their metabolism comes to a vertual standstill and they can persevere in this condition for months on end. They will, however, avoid climate extremes by crawling down and seeking shelter every night. The one stimulus that will invariably wake them up within seconds is the vibration and smell of an approaching host.” (that’s US again!! LOL!!)

Bont-legged Tick (Hyalomma)
 “Ticks are largely dependent on the Haller’s organ on their front legs to identify and find their hosts by smell. The ‘hunters’ can even determine the direction of the largest CO² concentration by stretching their two front legs wide”

“Cattle and game famers generally believe that veld fires are an effective way to control ticks. Apparently this is a questionablebelief. The larvae and nymphs perch on vegetaation and grass waiting for hosts are very senseive to the smell of smoke and drop off to seek shelter under litter or stones long before the fire reaches them.”

“In summer nobody in Africa in his (her) right mind will go on a hike through grassland wearing short pants. (How true!!) Long pants tucked into socks, boots or puttees and a shirt tucked into the belt will keep most ticks off your body, since they always crawl upwards. Insect repellents on clothing also repell ticks.”

So in other words, there is NO getting away from these nasties!!
Brown Tick (Rhipicephalus)

Extracts from : Goggo Guide (Erik Holm and Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman)