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Once again I found myself in Hogsback, and this time I was determined to catch and photograph (properly) the Amatola Flat Gecko (Afroedura amatolica). This trip to Hogsback was however not intended for herping or adventure but rather as a farewell for the Rhodes Zoology Honours class of 2016 who were staying on a nearby Hogsback farm for the weekend. Unlike my classmates who sought to study in the spare time between… Read More

This weekend saw Luke and I on the road again. This time we traveled to a far more magical place – Hogsback, the home of fairies, hobbits and more importantly, Natal black Snakes. We had been to Hogback several months prior and in the grips of winter, we had found many species from a large range of taxa. Last weekend held much promise because unlike last time, it was summer. We were… Read More

Listed below are the skinks that you are most likely to see or find in and around Grahamstown.  Family: Scincidae The Scincidae family is considered the most species-rich lizard family in the world. In South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland combined, there are 59 recognized species and several subspecies. Skinks are characterized by shiny overlapping scales and a cylindrical, robust  body. Most skinks also feed on invertebrates and irrespective of whether they have limbs or not,… Read More

  Yesterday, Luke and I conquered tick bite fever and to celebrate, we ventured to Alicedale in search of the elusive berg adder, a species of dwarf adder which has not been seen in the region for over 75 years. To give context to the story, we had been in Alicedale one week prior and whilst we did not find the fabled berg adder, we did manage to find pepper ticks, lots… Read More

Cape Girdled Lizard (Cordylus cordylus)  Family: Cordylidae Size: 13-19cm Life span: Up to 15 years in captivity Diet: Most insects, snails, millipedes and occasionally small amounts of vegetation Description: Mottled brown, often with pale dorsal stripe, they also have a spiny tail, are strongly keeled and have a yellow to dull red-brown belly Number of young: 1-3 per year Conservation status: Least concern Enemies: Many small carnivores, including: Snakes and  birds of prey (especially… Read More

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

   

 

  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

 

In an attempt to revive a bygone era of mystery and exploration, Luke and I ventured into the unknown in search of the elusive yet locally abundant berg adder Bitis atropos in Barberton (Mpumulanga). Barberton, a hop, a skip and a jump away from civilisation, is one of a few locations famous for berg adders. The trip began on the 13th of July 2016 and was marked by many a sighting. Whilst… Read More