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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Elephant - mixed herds

Although animals mix freely at waterholes, elephants dominate and will chase others away.

Young elephants have a lot of fun running after warthogs which run away with tails in the air. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kerstens Sprite (Psuedagrion kersteni)

Family Coenagrionidae
A mating pair - the female being held under the water during the process.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Long-tailed Starling

Family Sturnidae
A local resident in the northern regions and are fruit and insect eaters.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Small Orange Tip (Colotis evagore antigone)

Family Pieridae Pierinae

A smallish butterfly with a wingspan of 28-35mm in the males who are larger than females.
They are found throughout the year.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Serrated Hinged Terrapin (Pelusios sinuatus)

Family Pelomedusidae
This is the largest of our fresh water terrapins with the females being bigger than the males and can weigh up to 7kg.
Musk glands are located on the soft skin which exude a foul smelling substance when they are stressed.
They breed throughout the summer and lay between 8 and 48 soft-shelled eggs in a clutch and two clutches per year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marbled Electric Ray (Torpedo sinuspersici)

Family Torpedinidae
What luck! Taking a walk on the beach and looking into the rock pools, I found this Marbled Electric Ray (Torpedo sinuspersici) swimming in it. It is about 30cm in length from nose to tail tip. As it kept on burying itself in the sand it was difficult to take a picture of so I caught it in a bucket, took the pics, then let it go again.

An extract from Wikipedia:

“Little is known about them. It is a sluggish predator of bony fishes. At night it actively hunts for food, sculling slowly through the water about a meter above the bottom; during the day it usually rests on the bottom and opportunistically ambushes unwary prey. It uses its broad pectoral fins to envelop the target fish before delivering an electric shock to stun it. Usually solitary, they may form groups during the mating season. It measures up to 130 cm long, although most are less than 100 cm. The angling record from South Africa is 13 kg.
 Reproduction is aplacental viviparous, with the developing embryos initially surviving on their yolk sacs, and then on enriched uterine fluid produced by the mother. Litters of 9-22 young are birthed in the summer. Newborns measure about 10 cm wide; males mature at a disc width of 39 cm and females at 45 cm.”

Friday, March 6, 2015

Buquet's Vagrant (Nepheronia buquetii)

Family Pieridae
 At a glance this looks exactly like the green form of African Migrant (Catopsilia florella), its green eyes make it a different species. It is the same in size but found only along the Natal coast.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hermit Crab fight - Yellow-banded Hermit Crab (ClibanariusVirescens)

In a shallow tidal pool, I came across three Hermit Crabs fighting for the possession of a larger shell. For a while I thought the drab grey one would win but it was two against one. Then a forth crab joined in ….

The smallest crab is about 1cm in length but can grow up to 2cm. They are found along the eastern coast.

Unfortunately by this time my camera battery got too low so I never saw who the victor was.

Excuse the poor quality of the pictures but these were taken through the water.