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

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.



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: http://saphotographs.blogspot.com/2014/05/saltlick.html
http://natureswow.blogspot.com/2014/01/sa-diversity-tour-17012014-day-2.html
http://natureswow2.blogspot.com/2009/09/birds-of-pilansberg-part-1.html
http://natureswow2.blogspot.com/2010/02/pilansberg-wild-flowers-part-1.html

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:
http://natureswow.blogspot.com/2014/05/sa-diversity-tour-25-28022014-day-41-44_3.html
http://natureswow.blogspot.com/2014/05/sa-diversity-tour-25-28022014-day-41-44.html 
http://natureswow.blogspot.com/2014/05/sa-diversity-tour-25-28022014-day-41-44_10.html
http://natureswow.blogspot.com/2014/05/sa-diversity-tour-25-28022014-day-41-44_13.html




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: http://saphotographs.blogspot.com/2013/05/african-wild-cat-felis-lybica-griselda.html


Friday, July 4, 2014

Portia Widow (Palpopleura portia)

Family Libellulidae
 
A large and very distinctive dragonfly.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rhino Beetle

There are many beetle with horns and all are referred to as Rhino Beetles. The last picture is of the actual Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes boas) which is of medium size, brown and has a longish body. The other three shown here are: Dung Beetle (Copris elphener), Nursing Dung Beetle (Copris mesacanthus) and Trident Dung Beetle (Heliocopis neptunus)




Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dead trees

 
A very interesting dead tree ..... I have learnt long ago that one finds a lot in what we would call a dead tree. The peeling bark and other crevices host a multitude of lurking things.

I took my car to be washed and was walking around looking at the vegetation in the area. I went to look at the interesting bark on the dead tree and found 3 very interesting things.
First there was this very large Southern Agama Lizard. They live in the trees at night and feed both on the trunk of it as well as on the ground – anywhere they can find insects.

The male’s head turns a bright blue when ready for breeding. He was just climbing out of it as I approached. Kind of has a mean face doesn’t he?
Next I saw a small dash of green colour where there was not supposed to be any. The tree is dead right? So where would the colour come from. J

On closer inspection I found it was the head of a Spotted Bush Snake coming out from between the layers of bark.
The snake 45-50cm (18-20”) in length and is really beautiful. They are identified by being bright green with black stripes or dots on them which become less from about the middle of its length.

As I stood there watching, he slithered out more from this hiding place.

These snakes are not poisonous and feed on insects.
 Then there were a couple of Red-sided Skinks poking their heads out.
These lizards are about 10cm (3”) in length and feed on insects too.

Who says dead trees are not interesting!!