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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Gold-banded Forester (Euphaedra neophron)

Family Nymphalidae Limenitinae

Found in a small band of forest along the northern coast of KwaZulu Natal.
Medium sized – about 5-6mm wingspan.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Serrated Hinged Terrapin (Pelusios sinuatus)

Family Pelomedusidae
Females lay up to 25 eggs in one brood.
If disturbed or threatened, they secrete a foul smell.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Golden-tailed Woodpecker - male

Not seen in Gauteng, Karoo, south and western Cape.
Preferred habitat is forests and thick woodlands and bushveld.

Mainly eat ants and their larva besides other insects.
Info: Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Emerald Fruit Chafer

This beetle (Rhabdotis aulica) belongs to the Scarab family. They are of medium size, about 1 inch in body length. There was another tiny beetle to the right of it watching everything it did. Maybe it was wishing it was the same size so it could more readily scare off predators. :)
The adults feed on flowers and fruits. When the Acacia trees are in bloom, there are hundreds on them in these trees.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wattled Starling

These are really awful pictures but will give you an idea of what they look like.
Although Robert’s list these as common and found throughout SA, the only place I have seen them are in the central and northern parts of Kruger National Park.

Their colours make them unmistakable to identify.
Found in large flocks of hundreds.

Eat insects, fruit, nectar of flowering trees and aloes.
Info: Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa

Sunday, March 9, 2014

African Legends

Please click on the picture to enlarge it and read the story.

Butterfly close-up - Dancing Acraea (Telchinia serena) Nymphalidae

They roost on long grass stems.
They have a slow, fluttering flight.
They are common and found in most gardens and are seen the year round.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

At least I found one - Scorpion

I have been searching for scorpions for almost a year now and yesterday found one in the yard of my office. No wonder I cannot find any....all my searching understones was for nothing as I believe the best time to find them is at night with a UV lamp.

"Scorpions evolved from aquatic creatures that lived some 450 million years ago, way before the dinosaurs existed. In those early days of evolutionary experimentation, they attained a length of over 1m. Scorpions have since then scaled down in size and have wedged themselves into their own niche habitats within the general environment."
"All scorpions posses neurotoxic venom. Their venom is fundamentally similar and therefore antivenin can be applied across the board. Scorpion venom is a complex mixture of neurotoxins each part performs a certain function. Functions include pain-inducing components for warding off predators, or toxins aimed at immobilizing specific groups of creatures such as insects, and even courtship."
"It is interesting to note that southern Africa is host to one of the world's least venomous scorpions belonging to the genus Hadogenes. Although Hadogenes sp. venom is virtually harmless they do sport a pair of powerful pincers capable of splitting fingernails. A member of this genus also holds the record for the longest scorpion in the world, attaining a length of over 21cm. A few more can even spray venom in defense. If the sprayed venom gets in the eyes it is a painful and visually impairing ordeal. Survival guides come to the rescue in this respect and recommend washing out with any bland fluid, even urine."

All information above comes from Jonathan Leeming's web page at

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fiscal Flycatcher - female

Found throughout SA and all kinds of habitats including gardens.
Are known to migrate from the colder regions to Kwazulu Natal during winter.
Seen as solitary or in pairs.

Food: Insects, fruit and nectar of flowers.
Info: Robert’s Birds of Southern Africa