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So now that winter is coming to an end, snakes and other reptiles are starting to become far more abundant. One species that has become particularly abundant in the last few weeks, is the puff adder (Bitis arietans). To give context, in the last week, I have come across three puff adders. Two of them were average-sized adult males and the the third was a very large, very pregnant, female puff adder, which… Read More

Today I accompanied Gareth to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. He was looking for friends, because as I am sure you know, zoologists have few in the way of friends. Zoologists tend to keep to themselves, and when they do interact, they end up talking incoherently about the misconceptions of elephant-ecosystem interactions. Gareth is a prime example. But enough about that! Let’s rather talk about his project. Today he was setting up camera traps at Kwandwe Private Game… Read More

Augrabies, Northern Cape Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Umhlanga, Kwazulu Natal

Short-legged Seps Family: Gerrhosauridae Scientific name: Tetradactylus seps (Linnaeus, 1758) Size: 13-18cm Diet: Mainly bees and grasshoppers Description: Possesses a dark bronze head, body and tail with slightly fainter flanks. The belly is olive to bluish grey with irregular bands on the neck. There are whitish spots on the lip and the lower eyelids are scaly. The tail is twice the length of the body and the limbs are vastly reduced but… Read More

I am doing a genetics project, and whilst I have come to understand the ‘fundamental’ processes which underlie molecular biology, there are many people out there that don’t. This post thus serves the purpose of teaching those of you who interested, just a little bit about what I do and how I do it. I don’t claim to be an expert nor do I claim to be good at it, but bear… Read More

Puff Adder Family: Viperidae. Scientific name: Bitis arietans arietans (Merrem, 1820). Size: 70-100cm (can exceed 150cm). Diet: Mainly rodents (Vlei arts, Striped field mice, Multimamate mice) but will readily take toads, lizard, birds and small tortoises. Description: Large, thick bodied snake with a triangular head covered in small scales. It has relatively small eyes with vertical pupils. Body colour varies depending on locality with most snakes taking on a yellow-brown to light… Read More

   

 

In 2015, I completed my first project as a Zoology student, and I am proud to say it is currently being peer reviewed for inclusion in the Biocontrol Science and Technology journal. It has been submitted as a short communication (a shortened version of a scientific paper). In addition to being submitted for peer review, it was also presented at a Scientific Conference earlier in 2016 by my supervisor, Dr Philip Weyl. The abstract… Read More

Unlike last year which saw me producing one project in pursuit of my zoological degree, this year is quite different. This year I am expected to produce two projects. Both fall within the field of herpetology but that’s about all they have in common. My other project which ventures to unravel the secrets of spotted skaapsteker distribution patterns’ is a genetics project. The project that I will explain now is a biological… Read More

  Recently I went to Hogsback. For those who do not know, it is a quaint little town in the middle of the Eastern Cape with little to no influence from the outside world. What this town lacks in modernity, it makes up for in biodiversity. Hogsback is home to the Cape Parrot Project and the critically endangered Amathole toad (Vandijkophrynus amatolicus). Hogsback is lucky enough to call this species home because… Read More