Walking back from clearing up my birdbath I spotted a strikingly blue butterfly. WoW! I thought, Must get a picture of that and get it ID’d on iNaturalist.
Sprinting swiftly past the beauty into the house I deftly grabbed my net and nimbly darted back to where it now sat at the pool edge. A dextrous swish and I had it! You know how sprightly us butterfly-netting lepidoptometrists are.
Well, it got away! So who knows what it was. Paging through the blues in Woodhall’s field guide my guess would be one of the hairtails in the pics above, but this is a very dodgy way of trying to ID a butterfly. Next time.
Flower beds, not sleeping beds. Not that I actually have any flower beds in my jungle but just to say . . none in my bed. Just an excuse to use beds n bugs in a sentence.
So what are bugs? Well, it depends. Hemiptera or true bugs are an order of 80 000 insect species such as cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers and shield bugs. They range in size from 1 mm to around 15 cm. Many insects commonly known as “bugs”, especially in American English, belong to other orders; for example, the ‘lovebug’ is a fly; the ‘May bug’ and ‘ladybug’ are beetles. wikipedia
Again, I must add their identifications once I get around to it.
One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
An exciting weekend in the valley; good sightings, plants to identify and maybe even a new species discovered!
The eggs – ?? – brought some guessing! I asked vegetable or animal? No-one knew. Fish eggs, with a water mongoose being the predator? Berries? Frog eggs? Crab eggs? Eel? Turns out Ingrid D’eathe had found them on the edge of her pond. Then Suncana posted a lovely flap-necked chameleon picture and she looked nice and chubby so I asked chameleon eggs?
Meanwhile on iNaturalist experts looked at them: Tony Rebelo thought regurgitated seeds? Wynand Uys thought eggs, reptilian or amphibian; Marion karoopixie said angazi; Johan Marais said not herp, maybe SNAIL; The mystery continues . . . So much we don’t know.
And the spider might be a new one provisionally dubbed The Red Widow; no ID yet; It (or one that looks very much like it) has recently been newly discovered on Table Mountain in Cape Town. Suncana has it on iNaturalist as a Cobweb SpidersFamily Theridiidae. She’ll soon get comments and support, I’m sure.
So I was busy murdering a cherry tree like George Washington when a goggo scurried out of my meadow onto my driveway. I took a photo and before I could take another, or turn ‘him’ over to see his underneath, he was gone. Scuttled off.
I thought I had a good idea what it was – a crustacean, not an insect. I ‘knew’ cos he didn’t have wings; he didn’t have legs; he had scales like a pangolin; Hey! This was no insect. But which crustacean was he, I wondered?
Dunno, so I put him on iNaturalist.
My suggestion was crustacean? woodlouse?
Back came the reply: Giant cockroach. Rubbish I thought! Look again! And then I found out it’s not just the birding world that can get all superior on you! BUT! I said – he doesn’t have wings! I was answered with a growl:
Blaberid cockroach, confirmed and doubly confirmed and finally confirmed. Wingless female.
OK. Tucked my tail twixt me legs then.
goggo – thingamibob; gogga; creature; insect
So I spose if I had been able to turn HER upside down I’d have seen this:
Distracted by the lovely colours I thought Ah! A Lady Beetle or a Ladybird! She was beetling about the leaves of the Bauhinia tomentosa with its beautiful yellow flowers. So I took a branchlet and took her off to photograph.
She was busy and kept moving, but I got some OK pictures and sent them off to iNaturalist. What kind of Ladybird is this? I asked, being a bit of a ladybird expert now, having sent one in a few days earlier:
Well, the first ID came back in seconds: Bauhinia tomentosa. Oh! OK. I cropped the pic so the ladybird was bigger and the leaf smaller.
Stink Bug! Came the replies! What? My beautiful ladybird? But nope, she was a Stink Bug. Pentatominae genus. So then I looked closer, no longer distracted by the colours. Look at that shape, it’s a stink bug. You learn things on iNaturalist.