For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Small Orange Acraea to Dancing Acraea

Please note this major name change:

Was: Hyalites eponina - Small Orange Acraea

Now: Telchinia Serena - Dancing Acraea


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Insects on Euphorbia in Augrabies National Park

During March on a tour to Augrabies National Park, the Euphorbia were in bloom and a host of all types of butterflies, moths, bees and other insects were busy pollinating them. A feast for the eyes!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spotted Bush Snake (Philothamnus emivariegatus)

Family Colubridae
A harmless snake which grows to be about two and a half feet in lenght.
They eat mice and large insects and are good to have around the home.
Distinquished by the spots which are from the head to about 2/3 down towards the tail and the gold ring around the pupil of the eye.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

False Ink Cap (Podaxis pistillaris)

Family Agaricaceae
A large mushroom of about 10" (20cm) in height which grow only on termite mounds.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lion kill

The lions had brought down a Blue Wildebeest. All that is left are some bloated, uncomfortable stomaches, a few vultures in a tree and a clean carcass.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sea Hare (Aplysia parvula)

During a visit to the KwaZulu Natal coast, I found some amazing creatures in the tidal pools. One of them was this sea slug which is about 10" (20cm) in body length. It was laying eggs at the time and they are marked in the last picture.
 The following info is from a website:
They are impressive animals growing to 40 cm and weighing up to 2 kg. Most found in Britain have been smaller, but the specimen from Poole was a large one of 30 to 35 cm and 1.5 kg.

While called sea slugs they are very different from garden slugs, being some of the most spectacular and beautiful of molluscs.

The sea hares have a small thin internal shell, largely covered by the large wing-like body flaps which also protect their gills. These give it a bat-like appearance when swimming. They vary from bright red to brown in colour, have a clear head, tiny eyes and have two pairs of tentacles, the larger of which look like rabbits ears. It is these tentacles along with its large size and rounded body shape that give it a rabbit-like look and consequently its common name. When stressed they release a purple ink into the water which is contains the toxin opaline. The animals are said to be mildly toxic but are eaten in some areas of the world.

 Most sea slugs feed on other animals including sea anemones, but the sea hares are vegetarians preferring seaweed.
They come inshore to breed, usually in the Spring. Each sea hare is both male and female being a simultaneous hermaphrodite. They are known to form long mating chains, with each animal being a male to the one in front of it and female to the one behind. The penis is on the side of the head just below the right anterior tentacle. They then lay a pink to orange chain of eggs forming large spaghetti-like masses at the bottom of the shore or in shallow water. The young hatch from these, spend some time as a veliger larva in the plankton and them settle on algae as a tiny 1-2 mm sea hare. They grow rapidly reaching full size in a year, before breeding and dying.

 They are a rare southern species but a combination of climatic conditions appear to have brought quite a few to our southern shores this year. This is probably a one-off occurrence, and there is no reason at present to link it to climate change, though it could be related to changes in oceanic currents.