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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Whitecrowned Plover

Their grey head with white stripe is used to identify them.
They have a very limited range in the north-east.
Found along the shores of lakes and dams.
Info: Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Crested Guineafowl

They are found in a very limited range along the north eastern borders as far down to around St. Lucia.
A common resident found in large flocks of up to 30 birds.
Follow monkeys to feed on fallen fruit. Also eat berries, seeds, roots, insects and millipedes.

Bedding season is in the summer with an average of 12 eggs per clutch.
Info: Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa

Sunday, January 12, 2014

After the rain

Now that we have had some rain it seems like the insects are popping out all over.
This interesting firefly larvae was crawling around the paved driveway for two days trying to find a plant until I picked it up and put it on a nearby bush.
These spiders, Flatties, are quite vicious and extremely difficult to get photographs of.
They do no stay still or let you come near them. I caught this one in a container and managed to sneak a peek at him with my camera by moving extremely slowly.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flower Mantis (Harpagomantis tricolor)

Family Hymenopodidae
After searching for 3 years, I have finally found one!! You cannot believe my excitement!!
This has to be the most spectacular mantis we have here and it gets its name from the fact that the male has a spot which looks like an eye on its forewing. This picture is taken from the back so you can see its marking.
This is what it will look like when it has matured as right now it is only 1/2 an inch in length. It is a wingless nymph. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture below but I took it from my book and the flash off the pages make it awful.
They get to be large and their markings mimick the flowers they sit on waiting for insects to come and feed.
The spines of the abdomen look just like the ridges of a flower and as it gets older, it will straighten out.
It has the most spectacular eyes and you will not believe how fast this was when tying to get away from me. I have brought it home and put it in my tank. Hopefully I can keep it alive by feeding it enough insects. I have never seen one in the wild and would love to take pictures as it developes.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A smile to brighten your day

The nursery had these and I thought them quite amusing so I took photographs to share with you.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The butterfly and the mantis

Once again it was a case of not knowing what I had until I saw it on the computer. I was concentrating so hard on getting the shot of this butterfly, that I did not notice the mantis until later. :) I could not see his open wings but I think it is the White-barred Acraea

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lions - Part 2

I have given a lot of interesting facts about lions before so I am not going to include them here. If you are interested and missed it you can go to this blog:

There are more if you do a search on "lions".

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Water Dikkop

Only found along the eastern shores and extreme north-eastern regions.
Mainly solitary but seen as pairs when breeding in the summer season.

Active at night but groups can be seen standing on the edges of water during the day.

Average 2 eggs per clutch which incubated in about 24 days.
Info: Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa