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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Threaded Looper Moth (Nassinia caffraria) Geometridae

This is another of our pretty moths.
After chasing it for a while and it not letting me get near to it......
I eventually stalked it throught the grass on my stomach. :)
It is about the size of a quarter.

Kruger National Park - The other side - Part 10

It is that time of year when the younger (but not much smaller) elephants are in musth, they can be fairly ill tempered and you need to look out for them.

Musth is described as follows: "Some males showed "tears" streaming down the side of their faces (secretions from temporal glands), and continual dripping of urine onto their legs. Besides these physical changes, there were associated changes in behaviour. Males that were streaming tended to follow females that were in oestrus, and were markedly more aggressive than others."

I have left these photographs untouched to give you the feeling of him getting closer.

This last was taken pointing the camera over my shoulder as I got out of there!! LOL!! I must stress that this is NOT and everyday experience. Most elephants ignore you when they are around even though sometimes, when it is a breeding herd with babies, one of them will mock charge.
The next few pictures are some of the tiny jumping spiders I found on my walk.

These wild pear trees have very soft wood and are quite often damaged by the elephants. This results in them growning up having strange shapes like this one with the hole through the middle.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nesting Glossy Starlings

I found some nesting Starlings and was happy to get this sequence of the female being fed by the male. As usual, they are not the best quality pictures but they were no too bad so I thought I would post them. Their nest was in a hollow of a palm tree.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unexpected guest

It is that time of year again where I discover all kind of unexpected guests in my home.
This little caterpiller is only about and inch in length and I almost stepped on him as he was crawling across the carpet.
Maybe he was trying to get out of the rain. :) I do like his colors.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Incredible long legs - Drop-tail Ants (Myrmicaria natalensis)

This species has the most incredible long legs I have ever seen on any ants and I wonder why they have them?
Like all insects, ants have six legs. Each leg has three joints.
The legs of the ant are very strong so they can run very quickly.
If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run as fast as a racehorse.

Kruger National Park - The other side - Part 9

Before it was established as a game reserve, this was the main route to Delagoa Bay in neighbouring Mozambique as it was the nearest port for importing and exporting supplies from the area where I live.
The book "Jock of the Bushveld" was written by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick in 1905, for his young children, and tell the story of his dog "Jock" and their adventures in South Africa some 20 years before. Jock - a bull-terrier - was born in the present day Kruger National Park near the Pretorius Kop Camp. He was the runt of the litter and the young Fitzpatrick saved him from certain death by adopting him as a pup.

Percy Fitzpatrick became a transport rider - carting supplies for the goldfields at Pilgrim's Rest and Barberton from Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) in Lourenco Marques (now Mozambique). Jock grew up to be a faithful and obedient companion, as well as a champion fighter and hunter. Jock accompanied Fitzpatrick on his journeys through the KNP, as well as through the towns of Sabie, Graskop, Pilgrim's Rest, Barberton and Lydenburg.

In 1983 the Lowveld Digger's and Transport Rider's Society erected these bronze plagues on rocks wherever Jock's original route crossed the present day roads.
Another interesting moth.
A Wooly Bee Fly. They are small, less than 1/2 inch in body length.
A bee fly about 1 inch in length.
Smoky Orange Tip Butterfly

This is called a BFL. LOL!! Here I am cheating on a public forum....I do not know what it is called but I named it a Big Fat Lizard!! Look at those long back toes!!
A beautiful lizard sunning itself on the road.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birds of Pilansberg - Part 4

The colors of the early morning light are beautiful........
and coming around a corner, I startled this tiny little Steenbok who promptly jumped up and ran away as I was too close for comfort.
A young Crested Francolin was marching down the road scratching in the sand for a early morning feast.
The following three species of Hornbill are the most common in the park and are found all over. They loose their fear of humans very fast and love to be food at the picnic sites. The Grey Hornbill below was fast asleep on a branch.......
while the Red Hornbill look to see if I had brought something tasty along.
All of these are mainly insect eaters and will eat anything which crawls or flies. The Yellow Hornbill decided he was not going to be like the others and go begging for a morsel. Too much below his dignity.
Do you think this one was trying to tell me something? LOL!!
At one of the pools this Hadeda Ibis came in to land much to the disgust of the Egyptian Geese.