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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Western Rock Skink (Trachylepis sulcata)

Family Scincidae  
 Found at Augrabies Falls in the arid region of the Northern Cape.
 They are about 25cm in length.
 Females will dig in the soil to lay their eggs.
These lizards are very variable in colour 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Grass Jewel Blue (Chilades trochylus)

Family Lycaenidae Lycaeninae
During a visit to Kgalagadi in March, there were thousands of these butterflies on the roads.

Amongst them were also Common Sandman, Spialia diomus ferax

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Caracal (Felis caracal)

They are a nocturnal species and seldom seen except on night drives.
Like most cats, they are good climbers.
When seen, it is usually only one as they are a solitary species. If you are lucky enough, you might see a female with her young.

 Caracals are found throughout South Africa in all kind of habitats except forest regions
Info: Unique Facts about Wildlife in South Africa (Joan Young)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hyaena trap

The Karoo National Park region is an area where there are a lot of sheep farms.
Many years ago when there were still many hyaenas roaming free, the farmers would catch them in these traps as they would kill and eat their sheep.
It was build of stones and had a large enough entrance. Farmer would put some meat at the back of it to entice the animals in, then when they moves the bait, it would trigger a door behind then to shut down. On the other side was a small opening in the stones and through this, people could then kill the hyaena.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cape Batis

The Cape Batis is a small bird and flitter around so quickly, it is difficult to get a good shot of them.
Not only that, but as always I had my macro lens on which is defintely not ideal for taking bird picture. :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Zebra Agate Snail (Achatina zebra)

Family Achatinidae
These are amongst our very larges snails, with a shell length of about 8cm.
They are found in the drier regions of the Eastern Cape.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three leopards near Satara

Leopards are solitary ceatures.
Very rarely a mating pair will be seen or a mother and cub so when someone tells me they saw three or five together, I know they are probably speaking about cheetah.
One day near Satara Camp in Kruger National Park, I saw a leopard walking a distance away and waited for it to get into a clearing. To my surprise, I saw more movement in the grass and a cub of about two years old appeared too.
Then came the shock - a THIRD leopard appeared!! I have never in all my years seen something like this and was astounded.
After a short get together, the male walk away in a different direction to the female and cub and went to lay in the grass while the pair continued on. They were soon on the road right next to me and I was able to get some great shots of them. I can only surmise that the cub was at an age where the female would be chasing him away and that she was coming into heat again, hence the presence of the male.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brownveined White (Belenois aurota)

Family Pieridae Pierinae
A medium size butterfly that migrates northwards at the end of December or the begining of January when thousands of them can be seen,

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra) male

Family Agamidae
 They are found in the arid regions and about 25cm in length. During breeding season the males have a white stripe down their backs.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Longcrested Eagle

These beautiful eagles are not easily seen close by so that one can take pictures of them. Such a pity it was on a telephone pole but beggars can't be choosers. 
They are solitary and eat rodents and reptiles.
They are not found in arid regions.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Humpbacked Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Humpbacked Whale

Whales normally breach too far from the shore to get any pictures or video footage but on calm days, they tend to come in closer. On one of my last days at the coast, I went to the shops at the small town of Port Edward and decided to buy something for lunch and take it down to the shore to eat.

There was a Humpbacked Whale just off the shore!! Lunch was forgotten as I grabbed cameras and tried to capture the images of it and it was not till I put the footage on the computer, that I noticed something interesting......

What surprised me in all of this was that the fishermen on the shore, just a few meters from the whale, took absolutely no notice of it even though it was basically swimming under their fishing lines!! Can people be so blind to things which happen in nature?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ears and tails - identification

Very often when we ride in game parks looking for animals, we see only an ear twitching or a tail sticking out from a bush.
 All our big cats have different ear and tail markings so this might help you next time you see something.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Crimson Speckled Footman (Utetheisa pulchella)

 Family Arctiidae
 These moths are common and found throughout South Africa.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Buffalo and crocodile

One always thinks that crocodiles do nothing else but eat whatever comes near. 
 At Sunset Dam near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park, I saw this huge crocodile sharing space with some buffalo. Crocodiles will not eat or hunt when they have recently eaten as and average meal of an Impala would take about 28 days to digest.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lizard Buzzard and snake

 A Lizard Buzzard flew up into a tree with this snake of about 2m (6')
 Not good pictures as it had to be taken against the afternoon sunlight.