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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lizard and butterfly capture

An amazing piece of luck!
During a tour in March we were at Augrabies Falls. The Euphorbia were in bloom and the butterflies, moths and other insects were having a feast.
I noticed a lizard of about 10” (25cm) climbing up a small bush and stalking a butterfly and took this sequence of shots. Wish I had captured it on video rather than photographs.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Stork White

At certain times of the year, the White stork ar seen in large numbers in Kruger National Park and are often confused with the Yellowbilled Stork because of the body colouration.
I am always trying to get pictures of them in flight but to no avail as I always have the wrong lens on my camera or it is the right lens with the wrong setting. LOL!!
I was quite surprised to get there two pictures though.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tracking collar on lion - Addo Elephant National Park

With the amount of animals being poached in South Africa plus the reasons given below, tracing collars are fairly common in our wildlife areas. Not only do they tell us where the animal is, but many of our game reserves are surrounds by human habitation and should one get out, it would be easy to find. The animals I have seen seem to get used to having this on and it does not inhibit their lifestyle at all.
GPS wildlife tracking is a process whereby biologists, scientific researchers or conservation agencies can remotely observe relatively fine-scale movement or migratory patterns in a free-ranging wild animal using the Global Positioning System and optional environmental sensors or automated data-retrieval technologies such as Argos satellite uplink, mobile data telephony or GPRS and a range of analytical software tools.
A GPS-enabled device will normally record and store location data at a pre-determined interval or on interrupt by an environmental sensor. These data may be stored pending recovery of the device or relayed to a central data store or internet-connected computer using an embedded cellular (GPRS), radio, or satellite modem. The animal's location can then be plotted against a map or chart in near real-time or, when analysing the track later, using a GIS package or custom software.
While GPS tracking devices may also be attached to domestic animals such as pets, pedigree livestock and working dogs, and similar systems are used in fleet management of vehicles, wildlife tracking can place additional constraints on size and weight and may not allow for post-deployment recharging or replacement of batteries or correction of attachment.

As well as allowing in-depth study of animal behaviour and migration, the high-resolution tracks available from a GPS-enabled system can potentially allow for tighter control of animal-borne communicable diseases such as the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kgalagadi dunes

The dunes in the Kgalagadi are fascinating.
The region is semi-desert and both red and white dunes are found there with minimal vegetation growing on them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sharpe's Grysbok

This is one of our smaled species of busk standing at about 50cm in height.
It is very shy and seldom seeing, seeking very thick vegetation and when you get near, it disappears into it. This one was very sweet and posed for me for about 5 minutes before taking off.

He mainly eats the leaves and young shoots of shrubs and bushes as well as grass shoots, fruit and flowers. They are mainly found in our northern regions.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flattened Giant Dung Beetle (Pachylomerus femoralis)

Family Scarabaeidae
This has to be the largest Dung Beetle I have ever seen with a body length of about 5-6cm.
During a visit to St. Lucia wetlands in February, there were hundreds of them flying around.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Blue WIldebeest

It seems to me that the colours of their faces change with age but no-one seems to be able to tell me if this is related or if maybe it indicated a difference between the sexes.

Info: Unique Facts about Wildlife in South Africa (Joan Young)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Giraffe kiss

Pilansberg National Park puts out saltlicks for their animals.
Amongest them were these two giraffe, a large male and smaller female.

 It seemed as if they were kissing although that is not possible but maybe she was licking off the saltiness from his mouth? What do you think?
See also:
Info: Unique Facts about Wildlife in South Africa (Joan Young)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kelp Gull

During a visit to Tsitsikamma National Park, I cam across this seagull who was picking up pieces of weeds on the side of the swimming pool on the beach, then walking over to dunk it in the water. Maybe he was kidding himself that the saltiness was turning it into seaweed? LOL!!

 For more information and pictures on Tsitsikamma, please go to:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tropic of Capricorn

The Tropic of Capricorn runs through Kruger National Park between Mopani and Shingwetsi Camps.

Monday, July 7, 2014

African WIldcat (Felis lybica griselda)

I was lucky to see this Wildcat early enough in the evening in order to get some great shots of it. As they are nocturnal, it is usually too dark and one does not get close enough to use a flash.
For more information:

Info: Unique Facts about Wildlife in South Africa (Joan Young)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Portia Widow (Palpopleura portia)

Family Libellulidae
A large and very distinctive dragonfly.