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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pilansberg - Wild flowers - Part 5

This one is smaller than a 1c piece.
A bagworm wanting her picture taken...
Some beautiful grass and weeds.....


Then I found a golf ball...no wait...its a mushroom disguised as one. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

African Goshawk

This large Goshawk is a common resident of our forest and dense riverine areas.
They are usually found solitary or in pairs and captures its prey in flight.
Its food is mainly birds but also eats small mammals, lizards, snakes, frogs and crabs.


This one landed almost at our feet and had caught a crab which it proceeded to eat.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Epauletted Fruit Bats

There is not much information to be found on these bats. In Kruger National Park they hang onto the thatched (grass) roof near the river.
Peters' Epauletted Fruit Bats are a common species in part of the southern Africa subregion, including Mozambique, eastern Zaire, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and parts of South Africa.
They congregate in large colonies of up to hundreds of individuals and make a great deal of noise together, especially when returning after a night's foraging. They hang upside-down from the thinner branches of evergreen trees, whose thick foliage provides cover.
As they jockey for position, interfering neighbors are slashed with wings and with the sharp claw at the end of the first digit or thumb on the leading edge of the wing. Eventually they all settle down, slightly spaced out from one another, and silence reigns for the day.
The so-called epaulette on each shoulder of the males is a patch of white hairs covering a sunken glandular pouch. The hairs come into prominence when the pouches are turned outwards. This happens when the animal is under stress, when it vocalizes, and possibly also when it is sexually stimulated. The male's call is a musical bark, usually uttered as it hangs in its accustomed position.
These bats prefer soft, pulpy fruits. In their raids on cultivated crops, they ignore apples and pears, but eat peaches, figs, and similar juicy fruits. A single young is produced, which clings to one of its mother's nipples and is carried by her while she is feeding.
SIZE: Length (including tail) (m) 15 cm, (f) 12 cm; wingspan 56 cm; mass (m) 105 g, (f) 76 g.
The answers to bat myths

ARE BATS BLIND?
No, bats are not blind and many can see very well. Insect-eating bats depend on sound and very good hearing to find food and to get around in the dark. So don't say, "...as blind as a bat" because it is not true!

DO BATS GET CAUGHT IN YOUR HAIR?
If bats can find tiny insects in total darkness, would they get tangled up in your hair? No! They are much too smart to fly into people.

BATS ARE FLYING MICE, RIGHT?
While both bats and mice are mammals, bats are not rodents and are more closely related to primates and people. Besides...mice can't fly!

ARE BATS DIRTY AND DO THEY ALL CARRY RABIES?
Bats are very clean and groom themselves just like cats. Bats can get rabies, like all mammals, but few ever do. Remember, bats are wild animals. You have nothing to fear if you never touch a bat.

OTHER MAMMALS CAN FLY LIKE BATS, RIGHT?
Some mammals, like the flying squirrels can glide, but bats are the only mammals that can really fly. There are many different ways bats fly. Some can hover like hummingbirds while feeding on nectar, and a few flying foxes can soar in the air like eagles.

BATS ARE WORTHLESS ANIMALS.
Bats are very, very helpful! They help control the insect population, reseed cut forests, and pollinate plants that provide food for humans. Bats also taught us about sonar. Bacteria in their guano is useful in improving soaps, making gasohol and producing antibiotics, besides being a fertilizer.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pilansberg - WIld flowers - Part 4



I have never seen a wild Morning Glory before.


This mushroom was hiding away in the grass too.