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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dead trees

A very interesting dead tree ..... I have learnt long ago that one finds a lot in what we would call a dead tree. The peeling bark and other crevices host a multitude of lurking things.

I took my car to be washed and was walking around looking at the vegetation in the area. I went to look at the interesting bark on the dead tree and found 3 very interesting things.
First there was this very large Southern Agama Lizard. They live in the trees at night and feed both on the trunk of it as well as on the ground – anywhere they can find insects.

The male’s head turns a bright blue when ready for breeding. He was just climbing out of it as I approached. Kind of has a mean face doesn’t he?
Next I saw a small dash of green colour where there was not supposed to be any. The tree is dead right? So where would the colour come from. J

On closer inspection I found it was the head of a Spotted Bush Snake coming out from between the layers of bark.
The snake 45-50cm (18-20”) in length and is really beautiful. They are identified by being bright green with black stripes or dots on them which become less from about the middle of its length.

As I stood there watching, he slithered out more from this hiding place.

These snakes are not poisonous and feed on insects.
 Then there were a couple of Red-sided Skinks poking their heads out.
These lizards are about 10cm (3”) in length and feed on insects too.

Who says dead trees are not interesting!!


Jonker Fourie said...

The tree itself may be dead, but as an environment its not. Not by a long shot.

Gaelyn said...

Such a wonderful cycle of life from death.

Black Douglas said...

Absolutely everything in nature gets used. This is a wonderful example.