Thursday, May 22, 2008

Small Creatures

Today I want to present a few photos of smaller creatures often overlooked - yet they are so interesting and often colourful.

I've seen this kind of grasshopper (right) all over South Africa, but had to wait patiently for it to "spread its wings".

This is what I call a flying ant (a termite?). It landed on my bed and whilst snapping away, I observed what I thought of as a "dance of death", because at the end of its fluttering display, all its wings fell off.

I find the intricate delicateness of the wings of this dragonfly (right) truly amazing; also that it's actually visible on a photo!

Another kind of dragonfly (left) I love to encounter - but so far, only in Mpumalanga.

One more photo of a dragonfly (right), which reminds me of a helicopter about to "zoom off". I detected it on a cable outside our back-door in Joburg.

Amongst the tourists I guide through southern Africa, some are happy when they see a butterfly and then remark that butterflies are rather scarce in South Africa!?

After a female dung beetle lays her eggs in fresh dung, its rolled into a ball with its hind legs towards a "nest" in a burrow. Once the eggs hatch the youngsters immediately have food (dung) available. [Our son-in-law, Quinton, took this photo in Addo, so I guess it's a flightless dung beetle - amongst the largest beetles globally, perceived to be endangered and by now restricted to the eastern and southern Cape.]

Trivia: Africa is host to about 2 000 dung beetle species, of which 780 species are found in South Africa.

No comments: