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The smaller wonders of Zimanga

By 5 years ago
Categories Limpopo

While the bulk of our work on Zimanga focusses on large, charismatic creatures such as wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Leopard (Panthera pardus) and Elephant (Loxodonta africana), there are countless fascinating species occurring all around us, but in miniature…

Here are some examples of recent interesting sightings of these often overlooked creatures:

We were lucky enough to spot this praying mantis on a tap in the garden. It was busy constructing its nest, and we managed to get the whole process on film. The eggs are laid in a white, celled purse-like cocoon called an oothica.

This is the larva of the bagworm moth. It constructs a case or ‘bag’ from plant material bound together with strong silk. The bag is carried around with it and takes its shelter with it while if feeds so that, should potential danger threaten, the bag can be pulled down over its head for protection. It is considerably large in comparison to the larva itself. Just another one of nature’s wonders.

Don’t know how we managed to spot this painted reed frog on drive the other morning. It was hidden in a sickle bush next to the roadside. These frogs take shelter in trees in daytime. Once he spotted us and we became too much of a threat he jumped from one branch to the next, exposing his bright red legs to try and distract us in finding it again.

Ester van der Merwe,
Base Manager,
GVI Zimanga