For interesting information on flowers, trees and plants please click on this link: http://natureswow2.blogspot.com/

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Butterfly rescue

Why does it seems as if I am always rescuing things.I found this beautiful little butterfly drowning in the pool and fished him out. You can see his wet wing still sticking to my finger.
I put him on the lawn to dry out and soon the sun had warmed his wings enough for him to lift them up but he was exhausted and lay there for a long time.
Soon he was stirring around and I picked him up and put him on the branch of a tree, he sat there for a while, then flew off.
The end third of their wings are transparent.

Monday, December 6, 2010

At least I found one - Scorpion

I have been searching for scorpions for almost a year now and yesterday found one in the yard of my office. No wonder I cannot find any....all my searching understones was for nothing as I believe the best time to find them is at night with a UV lamp.

"Scorpions evolved from aquatic creatures that lived some 450 million years ago, way before the dinosaurs existed. In those early days of evolutionary experimentation, they attained a length of over 1m. Scorpions have since then scaled down in size and have wedged themselves into their own niche habitats within the general environment."
"All scorpions posses neurotoxic venom. Their venom is fundamentally similar and therefore antivenin can be applied across the board. Scorpion venom is a complex mixture of neurotoxins each part performs a certain function. Functions include pain-inducing components for warding off predators, or toxins aimed at immobilizing specific groups of creatures such as insects, and even courtship."
"It is interesting to note that southern Africa is host to one of the world's least venomous scorpions belonging to the genus Hadogenes. Although Hadogenes sp. venom is virtually harmless they do sport a pair of powerful pincers capable of splitting fingernails. A member of this genus also holds the record for the longest scorpion in the world, attaining a length of over 21cm. A few more can even spray venom in defense. If the sprayed venom gets in the eyes it is a painful and visually impairing ordeal. Survival guides come to the rescue in this respect and recommend washing out with any bland fluid, even urine."

All information above comes from Jonathan Leeming's web page at
http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2003/may/scorpion.htm

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Millipedes

Millipedes: Two sets of legs per segment. Feed on decomposing plant material.

Cenitpedes: One set of legs per segment. Active predators.

Millipedes here come in all colors. Red....
Black (The red below her is a lava which she was feeding in the hollow of this tree trunk)
Yellow
Brown
and mating. LOL!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Isn't he just the cutest? (Mantis)

We have many kind of mantis here and this is a baby of the Giant Mantis which gets to be about 5 inches in body length. The tail end eventually straightens out when it gets its first wings. It is a very common species and feeds mainly off caterpillars.
All mantids have large heads and compound eyes.
The female lays her eggs in cocoons like this which is mainly attached to branches. The cocoon is about 1 inch in length but there are hundreds of eggs in them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Would you look at these legs!!!

My goodness!! If I had legs like this I could kick-start a battle-ship!! LOL!!

These are Twig Wilters ( Anoplocnemis) family Coreidae.
A large bug 24mm (about 1 inch) in length.
They inject a saliva with digestive enzymes into young plants which cause them to shrivel beyond the puncture and this is what they feed on.
They have stink glands between the middle and hind legs.
I wonder why they have such small heads?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ant fight

These are not the best photographs I have taken as there was too much moving around.

Once again I have observed that it is always the smaller ants which attack the larger ones and I am wondering why this is as one would think it should be the other way around. I could even understand if was a whole lot of small ants attacking thee, but no, it is always just one??



Saturday, October 23, 2010

Common Metalic Longhorn Beetle

These are medium sized, body length about 1/2 an inch.
They feed on pollen and nectar. The larvae feeds as it burrows into wood.
Their eggs are laid in the cracks of the stems or roots.
These were doing a mating dance around the head of the flower they were on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caterpillars

Even this late in the season, I am still finding some interesting caterpillars around. This one was climbing up the wall of the cottage.
He got such a fright at having his picture taken, that he fell onto the ground and I was able to get this interesting one of his cute little feet.I took him and put him on a nearby bush. I love those two tufts of hair sticking out on the sides.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A caterpillar in search of a home

It searched high.....
...and low,
on the mountains....
...and in the valleys...
"Ah!! This one will do. See you in the spring!!"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dragonfly - Wandering Glider

I found this dead dragonfly next to the pool. What a pity that such a pretty insect has to die. I think it is a Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens).
They are fairly common and their range extends into Asia, Australia and the Americas.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A close-up of a grasshopper

I recently found this grasshopper which had just dies and it was a great opportunity to take some close-up photographs of it which one would normally not be able to get.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

A close up of a caterpillar

After the cold week we have had, I am surprised to find anything still around. This caterpillar was crawling around on the stairs so I put him on the grass in order to get some shots of him.



Friday, September 3, 2010

Tailed Jay

This Tailed Jay had just emerged and was still trying to stretch his wings. Thank goodness for P&S cameras that you can take pictures one-handed.


Thursday, September 2, 2010