Smaller Creatures of the Bush at Sunset Game Lodge

When on Bush Walks you may discover a few of the smaller creatures that can be seen at @sunsetgamelodge Guernsey Private Nature Reserve, Hoedspruit, Limpopo. MOst people will come to Africa for the famous Big 5 but may discover an entirely different world when they start to love learning about the smaller animals that is part and parcel of the Eco-system in which we live, so close to the Kruger National Park.

Golden Orb Spider

Nephila is a Genus of Araneomorph spiders noted for the impressive webs they weave. Nephila consists of numerous species found in warmer regions around the world. They are commonly called golden silk orb-weavers, golden orb-weavers, giant wood spiders, or banana spiders.

They produce large asymmetric orb webs up to 1.5 m in diameter. Nephila species remain in their webs permanently, so have a higher predation risk. The golden silk orb-weaver is named for the yellow colour of the spider silk used to construct these webs. Yellow threads of their web shine like gold in sunlight.

Banded Mongoose

The banded mongoose is a mongoose species native from the Sahel to Southern Africa. It lives in savannas, open forests and grasslands and feeds primarily on beetles and millipedes. Mongooses use various types of dens for shelter including termite mounds.

Luna Moth

The Luna moth also known as the American moon moth is a Nearctic moth in the family Saturniidae, subfamily Saturniinae, a group commonly known as Giant Silk Moths. It has lime-green coloured wings and a white body. The larvae are also green and emit clicks as a warning and can also regurgitate intestinal contents, confirmed as having a deterrent effect on a variety of predators. Typically, it has a wingspan of roughly 114 mm, but can exceed 178 mm. The elongated tails of the hindwings are thought to confuse the echolocation detection used by predatory bats.

Grey Foam-nest Frog

The grey foam-nest tree frog (Chiromantis xerampelina), or southern foam-nest tree frog, is a species of frog in the family Rhacophoridae. They are found in southern Africa.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, intermittent freshwater marshes, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, urban areas, heavily degraded former forests, ponds, and canals and ditches.

Grey foam-nest tree frogs are known for simultaneous polyandry, where female frogs have multiple mates on separate territories that guard the eggs and care for young. This behaviour is owed to their external fertilization mechanism. During the mating process, the female frog produces a foam nest, typically on branches that hang above bodies of water, in order to keep her eggs moist as they develop. This practice is what gives the grey foam-nest tree frogs their name.

Credit to Wikipedia for all excerpts of the above references.

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