ECTOTHERM MONDAY – GOLDEN ORB SPIDERS

Golden Orb Spiders sometimes create caches of food for storage to be consumed later. I took this picture of a female spider cocooning a Blister Beetle.

She worked on this storage project while she had two other smaller ‘kills’ in her web, waiting to be eaten.

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – ROCK PYTHON

African Rock Pythons are Africa’s largest snake and one of the six largest snake species in the world. They can grow up to be over 6 meters (20 ft).

This is a collage of pictures of a very young specimen basking in the evening sun on top of a dead tree.

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – LEAVE ME ALONE!

I took this picture today at Lake Panic in Kruger National Park – a White-breasted Cormorant gave all the Terrapins (Fresh Water Turtle) a really hard time.

Eventually they all submerged into the lake and left the angry bird alone 😊

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – BUTTERFLY FIGHT

I am not good at identifying Butterflies but I like this picture of a butterfly fight which I took a few days ago.

PS: The white specimen on the right lost 😊

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – DUNG BEETLES

Ants are commonly observed lifting heavy objects, but they are not the strongest members of the insect world.

Dung Beetles are known to lift weights up to over 1,000 times their own body weight—a load equivalent to a human lifting over 80,000 kg (~180,000 pounds).

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – CHAMELEONS

There are 19 species of formally described Chameleons within South Africa, 17 species of Dwarf Chameleons and 2 Typical (Large) Chameleons.

The specimen in this picture is a Flap Necked Chameleon, a large chameleon, reaching 35 cm (14 in) with colors ranging through various shades of green, yellow, and brown.

Paparazzi …

Ready for your close-up …

The dull side …

Dwarf Chameleons …

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – LEOPARD TORTOISES …

… are very attractively marked and are one of the *Small Five* (Ant Lion, Leopard Tortoise, Elephant Shrew, Rhino Beetle and Buffalo Weaver).

They are often seen on roads just before or during rain. This morning I took this picture with my iPhone, just a few hours after last night’s rainfall.

Unlike most land tortoises, which tend to sink when they fall into water, this species actually likes to swim.

They are one of my favorite *Ectotherms*!

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – SCORPION

A (not so) friendly neighbor at the door!

The presence of *Scorpions* is one of the reasons why one should never walk around barefoot or with open shoes and never without light at night.

These small, but fierce creatures, can defend themselves by administering a painful – and in some cases deadly – sting. Any reaction usually lasts up to 10 days. For most scorpions these are usually minor and go away without complications. Severe stings can cause more pain, fever, and muscle aches for a few days.

The genus Parabuthus contains some deadly scorpions. There are a few species that are potentially life threatening and all the others will ruin your week.

If a Scorpion has a thin tail compared to its pincers then it is usually fairly harmless. If it has a thick tail and small pictures (like Patabuthus) then it is usually highly venomous.

So the one in this picture, which sat in front of my room, looks more fierce then it is 😊

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – ANTS

Some *Ants* hunt, some just scavenge, some feed of the nectar of other animals. When they do kill their prey they tear them apart with their sharp strong mandibles.

It has been estimated that over 22,000 species of different Ant species live on earth, over 13,000 have been classified. South Africa has over 500 different species.

I took this picture of an Ant attack in my front garden at Thanda House.

This pictures were taken after dark with my iPhone XS Max.

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – African Giant Land Snail

Outside its native range it thrives in areas with mild climates. It can cause severe damage to agricultural crops and native plants. This snail is listed as one of the top invasive species in the world.

The African Giant Land Snail is also a simultaneous hermaphrodite (being male and female at the same time). Snails of similar size can transfer sperm both ways when mating (bilateral mating). If the the two mating partners are of different size then the larger specimen acts as female and the smaller as male (unilaterally mating).

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