Macro

Honey Bee Mimic

The Honey Bee Mimic comes from the Family Syrphidae and the Order Diptera. It forms part of the Hover Fly Group with its scientific name being Eristalinus Taeniops. It is identified by being a medium sized bee mimic with black bars on its eyes, a dull orange thorax and a yellow and black striped abdomen. If it is caught, it buzzes aggressively but is completely harmless as it has no sting. They are widespread in Africa and Asia.

Honey Bee Mimic

Wall Crab Spider

Wall Crab Spiders, from the family Selenopidae, are common in houses, especially in the eastern regions of South Africa. These are pretty common house spiders and are also known as Flatties. They have flat bodies and legs that are spread out like a crab. They have long spines on the legs possibly for sensing movement. They are extremely agile and can move very fast when either hunting or if they are disturbed.

Wall Crab Spider

Rain Spider

The Rain Spider – Palystes superciliosus (Palystes castaneus occurs from Cape Town to the Langeberg), are the large spiders, often referred to as “tarantulas“, that cause havoc by entering buildings during summer or before rain. They were previously listed as dangerous, but for humans, the venom is in fact no worse than a bee sting. They occur usually in vegetation but sometimes occur in the home. These spiders are also know as Huntsman Spiders. Rain spiders range in size from 15 – 40 mm. This measurement is body length – omitting leg span. Once they unfold their legs they can span up to around 100 mm – that’s a BIG spider! It is really nice to know that they are harmless to humans.

Rain Spider

A shot of a different Rain Spider, this time found walking on a window. Take a real close look at those nasty fangs. She was finishing the remains of meal she had caught. This one had a freshly prepared nest in the bush right next to the window she was sitting on, obviously keeping a watchful eye on the surrounding dangers.

Rain Spider

White Torch Cactus

This cactus is otherwise known as Echinopsis spachiana. This cactus has a number of common names (Easter lily cactus, golden torch, white torch cactus), but derives its scientific name from the Greek for the hedgehog and the sea-urchin, because of the species’ spiny exteriors that they are thought to resemble. Once the plant has reached 1 metre in height, it is ready to show off its beautiful, hairy-tubed flowers, which can sprawl to a diameter of 15cm. An outer ring of multiple and apparently independent stamens are united at their base to form a ring known as an annulus or hymen, which serves as a nectar guide for visiting moths. These flowers only have a lifespan of 24hrs.

White Torch Cactus

Assassin Bug

These Bugs belong to family Reduviidae. They have very painful bites. This bug kills many garden pests including flies, mosquitoes, beetles and large caterpillars. It benefits people because it eats many non-beneficial insects that are pests to farmers and gardeners. Assassin bugs lie in wait for insects and then stab the prey with their proboscis (the beak) and inject a toxin that dissolves tissue. The assassin bug then sucks up the other bug’s tissues. They can cause a painful bite to a human if captured. Their bite can also cause a severe reaction in some persons. Some species of Assassin bugs are aggressive and not afraid to attack creatures much larger than itself. Assassin bugs are sometimes known as “kissing bugs” because they often bite people near the mouth. Some kinds of assassin bugs live in people’s homes, where they like to be around bathtubs, sinks, and drains.

Assassin Bug