For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carpenter bee Family Anthophoridae

A difficult subject as they never seem to sit still long enough to focus on them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kangaroo Paw

A few months ago someone in Australia was telling me about this interesting looking plant which I had never seen before. She posted some pictures so I could see what they looked like. Then a few weeks ago, I walked into a local nursery, and there they were selling these plants. Imagine her surprise when I posted the pictures for her. She tells me that some of these colors she has never seen, so I am not sure where our nursery got them from. The flowers are quite small, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wild Pear Tree (Dombey rotundifolia)

The Wild Pear (dombey rotundifolia) like your Dogwood, is one of the first trees to bloom at the beginning of spring and the hillsides are covered in them.
It is also called the Rain Tree as Leafhoppers/Froghoppers love this tree and if you stand under it, you are soon wet from the moisture spat out by the Hoppers.
Bows and implement handles are made from the wood.

An infusion of the bark or wood is used to treat intestinal ulcers.
The Shangaan women drink a decoction of the bark to hasten the onset of labour.

It is one of the elephants favorite trees.
If you get stuck without a toothbrush, this is a handy tree to have around as the leaves are covered with very fine hairs and clean teeth beautifully.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Large Brown Longhorn Beetle (Macrotoma palmata) Family Cerambycidae

LOL!! That is actually its name and not my description of it. They are nocturnal and are attracted to lights. It is a wood boring beetle and found mostly on Acacia trees. The larvae possess and enzyme for digesting cellulose. It is fairly large, just over an inch in body length.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Odds and ends - 1

Sometimes I go for a walk around the garden and do not find one particular thing of interest, instead my eye is caught by these odd things.

This little beetle thought he was invisible sitting right at the bottom of and Amarilla flower.
Up to now, I had never seen flowers on an air-plant. These are small, each pink stem about 2 inches long.
The birds were having a feast at the feeder.
This poor moth was fluttering around in the swimming pool - yes, you are right, I did rescue him after I took the picture. LOL!!
Some little daisies telling us it is spring.
A cat sitting on the wall wondering what the *&%# I am up to again!! :)
I do not know what this is but maybe someone can tell me.....a small shrub had these hard crystaline growths on the side of the stem. At first I thought it was sap which had crystalized, but on looking properly, it was not. Anyone with ideas as to what it may be?
Some beautiful new leaves shooting out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I can't decide if this is a love bite or a death grip!! LOL!! It is male and female and I think he had dishonorable intensions!! LOL!!
At soon as it rains, the millipedes and centipedes come out by the thousands. The birds have a feast but first knock the head of these as they are poisonous. This one is about 5 inches in length.

Monday, November 10, 2008


It is a cold, misty, rain day today after all the rain we had yesterday. Time to stay indoors, curl up at a fire and read a book or build a jigsaw puzzle. If I did not know better, I would say it is going on winter, not summer.
It is a reflective time, one when your thoughts go to things which have happened in the past and you wonder at the path your life has taken. A mere chance happening can cause it to change considerably. A choice to take one road or decision and not another.
You wonder if you had made a different choice, where you would be now. They were all turning points in your life and sometimes caused it to change in a 180 degree direction.
You contemplate that given the same choices, would you still make the same decisions. Looking back, I know I would have and would still be where I am today. I think our path in life is chosen for us and no matter what we decide, we will still end up where we were supposed to be.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Moth Bug (Parapioxys jucundus) Family Eurybrachidae

These are so cute and it is the first time I have found one.
They belong to the family Eurybrachidae, this one is parapioxys jucundus and has a wingspan of up 3/4 inch.
Their coloring mimics some lichen on which they sit and so are not easily seen.
He was crawling on the inside of my fishtank so I managed to get some shots of his underside.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Bauhinia bowkeri is a much-branched, scrambling, woody shrub with a graceful arching habit that can reach a height of 5-6 m (15-18 feet). The Kei bauhinia flowers profusely during spring and summer (October to December).

The flowers are carried in bunches along the branches and at their tips, each bunch consisting up to 6 individual strongly sweet-scented flowers.

Many of the almost 300 species of Bauhinia are popular Garden subjects because of their decorative foliage and ornamental flowers and are widely grown in sub-tropical or tropical regions of the world.

There are seven bauhinias that are indigenous to southern Africa.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Flower Assassin (Rhinocoris segmentarius) Family Reduviidae

This is a Flower Assassin (Rhinocoris segmentarius) and is just over an inch in length. They hunt bees and other prey from exposed sunny positions on vegetation and flowers. They can deliver a painful bite that produces numbness, nausea and general welts to humans. A paste of bicarbonate of soda relieves the symptoms which can last for months.
As some of you already know, I have a small fish tank which I have filled with sand in order to put some species in which I catch and can then take photographs documenting developments. I had caught this assassin bug and put him into it and then collected some beetles which I wanted to take pics of too. Without thinking of it, I put the beetle into the tank and this assassin bug jumped on it.
Within seconds, the beetle was dead.
He then proceeded to turn the beetle over and inserted its tongue inbetween the scales on the bottom of the beetle.
All assassin bugs suck out the insides of their prey and leave only the shell.