Maybe Oedipoda, e.g. miniata? Unfortunately I've lost track of what wing colors I saw at which sites!
How's that for camo? ID help welcome -- Oedipoda, e.g. miniata? Unfortunately I've lost track of what wing colors I saw at which sites, but I think they were yellow-orange here.
An oddball mammal, offshoot from close to the base of the placental mammalian tree -- sometimes called the Syrian Rabbit, but has nothing to do with rabbits. Elephants & manatees are its closest living relatives -- what, you can't see the family resemblance? Well, guess that's not surprising -- even those, it's pretty distant from.
I was surprised to read that it doesn't have very good body temperature regulation -- it lives in relatively warm climates in Africa & the Middle East & supplements its metabolic efforts with behavioral thermoregulation (basking, huddling, or sheltering), like a lizard.
At this busy tourist site they have become quite used to people and were foraging right near the path. There was a group of a dozen or so, very social.
When I saw them, I got all excited -- hey, a whole new order of mammals for my lifelist! -- until somebody nearby in line authoritatively informed us that they weren't hyraxes, they were nutrias, a S Am rodent imported for fur (that quickly lost any useful fur in the warm climate, but is disruptive to the native aquatic vegetation). I was so disappointed! Until later in the trip when we saw bona fide nutrias, which are totally different (and which I mistook for otters until I got THAT straightened out, but that's a different story!). Well, they're about the same size & color, but that's about the size of it! They have a long tail, for starters, and are aquatic like muskrats.
The "cape" in the name, BTW, refers to the Cape of Good Hope -- where European naturalists first studied all sorts of species and named dozens of them the 'Cape' such-and-such, with little or no idea of the extent of their range. They may be land animals found throughout all of sub-Saharan Africa (or beyond, as in this case), or seabirds found as far away as New Zealand.
This is a large S Am rodent imported for its fur (that quickly lost any useful fur in the warm climate, but continues to devour the native aquatic vegetation). Still a cool critter.
Praying mantis nymph that hitched a ride in with the mint from the kitchen garden that our host picked for our tea. Nymphie was returned safely to the garden after her/his moment of fame. I think probably Sphodromantis viridis.
They've finished mating per se; now the male is mate-guarding -- continuing to hang on to her while she oviposits. We saw her dipping her tail repeatedly in the water (caught in the act in the shot below).
I think this is probably Sympetrum fonscolombii (Red-veined Darter).
It's a little hard to parse, but the spider's abdomen is facing towards the right, & here it has modified its typical 'outstretched claws' pose to reach back 'over its shoulder' with the lefthand pair of legs, presumably so as to give it a better angle on the approaching bee without moving its body
I snapped a whole series of shots of this gorgeous little bee, of course never noticing the crab spider. So when I went looking thru the shots at home & got to this one, I gasped out loud: my bee had been seized by a crab spider! But no: subsequent shots showed the bee going merrily about its business. So what the heck is going on here??
A google search on "bee mandibles 'crab spider'" (more out of desperation than anything else!) turned up something in the scientific literature about bee mandibular gland secretions repelling spiders, at least temporarily -- long enough to give the bee a chance to get away, if it's lucky ( JH Cane, J Chem Ecol 12:1295, 1986; www.springerlink.com/content/hp9j7t4236822668/ ). When I have some time I'll use that as a starting point & do some more research -- anybody have any ideas or know any more about this?
This is #1 of 4 shots posted:
#1: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/4430383911/ Pre-encounter
#2 www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/4431152726/ Encounter: bee bites spider??
#3: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/4431153364/ Post-encounter
#4: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/4431155208/ Bee from above (showing wings), spider well seen & hoping for better luck next time; & good shot showing flowers.
Bee was ID'ed by John Ascher as Augochlora pura. Couple of other interesting anecdotes posted, but nothing definitive re the behavior so far.
The brochure just gave Swamp Turtle as the common name; think I've got the right ID.