Rosemary Beetle

The Rosemary Beetle (Chryolina americana) is a small insect in the Chrysomelidae family of leaf beetles. 

The Rosemary Beetle is metallic, iridescent green with purple-brown stripes on its ridged elytra (wing shields), from its pronotum (neck shield) to its tail. It has short wings hidden underneath the elytra. It can fly, but only for short distances. Most tend to walk. It has six little brown legs. Its body is slightly domed with a rounded tail end. It has round, black eyes. Its antennae are light-brown and look like a string of beads. 

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Comma Butterfly

The Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It is also known as the Anglewing, due to its angular wings. 

The Comma Butterfly is orange on the upperside of its wings with dark-brown to black markings and light spots on the edge. It has angular notches on the edges of its forewings (front wings). The underside is marbled brown. The hind wings (back wings) have a white spot in the shape of the letter C. It can look like fallen leaves when resting, which confuses its predators. It is a strong flier.

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Southern Lechwe

The Southern Lechwe (Kobus leche) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of cattle and antelopes. It is also known as the Red Lechwe.

The Southern Lechwe is golden brown with a white belly. The male is darker than the female. The male has long, spiral horns. The female does not have horns. Its hind legs (back legs) are longer than those of other antelopes – perhaps to be able to walk in the marshy soil. Its legs have a water-repellent substance on its legs, which enables it to run in knee-high water.

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White-Belted Ruffed Lemur

The White-Belted Ruffed Lemur (Varecia veriegata subcincta) is an arboreal (tree-living) primate mammal in the Lemuridae family of lemurs. It is a sub-species of the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur. It is also known as the Northern Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur.

The White-Belted Ruffed Lemur has fluffy black and white fur. Its stomach, tail, hands and feet, forehead, face, and crown are black. It is white on the sides, back, and back legs. It has a distinct white belt around the middle of its body. It has a black nose, small ears, and bright orange eyes. Its tail is long, black, and bushy. 

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What is the difference between the male and female Greater Kudu?

What is the difference between the male and female Greater Kudu? 

The Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of cattle and antelopes.It is a browser, eating plants, leaves, flowers, and fruit. It is native to the bushlands of eastern and southern Africa. 

A male Greater Kuduis called a bull and a female is called a cow.

Both the male and the female Greater Kudu have a sandy-brown body with huge cupped ears, a white chevron stripe between its eyes, 6-10 vertical white stripes on its sides, a ridge of dark hair along its back, and a short, bushy black-tipped tail. 

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Madagascar Giant Day Gecko

The Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis or Phelsuma grandis) is a reptile in the Gekkonidae family of gecko lizards.

The Madagascar Giant Day Gecko is bright green with a red stripe from its nostril to each eye. It has red coloured dots or bars on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white or yellow. It has round pupils (instead of vertical pupils like nocturnal lizards). It has no eyelids, so it keeps its eyes moist and clean by licking them with its long tongue.

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Red-Necked Ostrich

The Red-Necked Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) is a large flightless bird in the Struthionidae family of ratites. It is also known as the North African Ostrich or the Barbary Ostrich. It is a sub-species of the Common Ostrich. It is related to the emu, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi. 

The male Red-Necked Ostrich is black with white tail feathers, a featherless red neck, and red thighs. The female and young male have grey feathers. It has the largest eyes of any land vertebrate. Its legs have no feathers. The Red-Necked Ostrich has two toes on each foot, whereas most birds have four toes and emus have three toes.  

It cannot fly because its feathers lack the tiny hooks that lock together to make external feathers smooth for flying. Its long legs and large wings makes it able to zigzag when it runs. 

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Panther Chameleon

The Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is a reptile in the Chamaeleonidae family. 

The male Panther Chameleon can vary in colour from blue to red, green, orange. The female is usually tan and brown with a bit of pink or orange. It has distinctive eyes, with a pin-hole where the pupil is located. Its eyes, with good eyesight, can rotate independently, giving the Panther Chameleon 360 degrees of vision (all around it). It has a very long tongue with a suction-capped tip to catch insects.

It has five toes on each foot, but some are fused together so it looks like it only has two toes on each foot: two together and three together. Its feet act like tongs and can grip branches. Each toe has a sharp claw. 

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Fossa

The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a carnivorous mammal in the Eupleridae family of euplerids and mongooses.

The Fossa looks like a cross between a large mongoose and a small cougar. It has cat-like features, but with a longer, slimmer body than a cat. Its fur is short, straight, and reddish brown, or light and dark-brown. It has large, rounded ears, brown eyes, and a short, rounded nose with whiskers.

It has semi-retractable claws – it can extend its claws but they cannot retract fully into their big paws. It has flexible ankles that enable it to climb up and down trees head-first. It can also jump from tree to tree. It has a long tail. It has scent glands.

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Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn?

Why was the Okapi called the African Unicorn? 

The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is an African ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Giraffidae family, related to the giraffe. It has chocolate to reddish-brown fur. Its legs have white horizontal stripes with white ankles. Its face, throat, and chest are greyish white. It has a long neck and large flexible ears.

The male has two short ossicones (bony structures) on its forehead, covered in hair. They are not horns. 

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Jewel Fairy Basslet

The Jewel Fairy Basslet (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Grammatidae family.  It is also known as the Goldie, the Lyretail Fairy Basslet, the Blue-Eyed Anthias, the Orange Butterfly Perch, or the Red Coral Perch.

The Jewel Fairy Basslet is generally gold or red with an orange-blue stripe on its cheek. The male is purplish. It has elongated fins. Its eyes are bright blue.

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Eurasian Kestrel

The Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey in the Falconidae family of falcons. It is also called the Common Kestrel or the European Kestrel. It is a raptor.

The Eurasian Kestrel is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on its upperside. On the underside, it is buff with narrow blackish streaks. It has long wings and a long tail. The male has a blue-grey tail and the female has a brown tail with black bars. Its cere, feet, and eyerings are bright yellow. It has a dark beak and dark eyes. 

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RESEARCH: Lions yawn when it’s time to get moving

In research conducted in 2020, scientists think that lions have contagious yawns – when one lion yawns, nearby lions yawn too. This is shown in human behaviour too. Also, scientists noticed that a lion’s yawn signals to other lions that it is time to get moving.

Scientist Elisabetta Palagi at the University of Pisa in Italy, and her research students, were collecting hyena data in South Africa. The New Scientist magazine in April 2021 reported that the researchers also filmed lion behaviour. Elisabetta Palagi noticed, when she watched the videos, that the lions were yawning one after the other and then got up and moved in near-synchroncity – that is, they all made similar movements. 

Palagi’s research students, Grazia Casett and Andrea Paolo Nolfo, observed 19 lions living in two social groups at the Siyafunda Wildlife & Conservation Camp, which is a research camp in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve in Limpopo province in South Africa. They took about five hours of video for each lion, day and night, over four months in 2020. 

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Loach Catfish

The Loach Catfish (Amphilius grandis) is a freshwater fish in the Amphiliidae family of catfish. 

The Loach Catfish has an elongated, cylindrical brownish body. It has barbels at the corner of its mouth. It has a broad, flattened head that enables it to dig through the soil for food. Fish have scales, but the Loach Catfish does not have scales. Instead of scales, it has slippery mucous-covered skin with bony plates called scutes.

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What is the difference between the African Pied Wagtail and the Mekong Wagtail?

What is the difference between the African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp vidua) and the Mekong Wagtail (Motacilla samveasnae)?

Both the African Pied Wagtail and the Mekong Wagtail wag their tail up and down.

Both the African Pied Wagtail and the Mekong Wagtail are black and white with a white eyebrow.

Both the African Pied Wagtail and the Mekong Wagtail are closely related to each other.

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