Rhino Beetle with Whip Scorpion Parasites

rhino dung beetle
rhino dung beetle

We found this Rhino Beetle the other day and as we were examining him we noticed several Whip Scorpions attached to the back of his abdomen. I remember in EO Wilsons book “The Diversity of Life” a description of another Whip Scorpion parasite on another beetle. Interesting, I wonder if this species is described.

rhino dung beetle
rhino dung beetle

rhino dung beetle-2

– Also see other smaller egg type things near the Whip Scorpion. I don’t know if these are eggs or another parasite.

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Shooting Lions to prevent poisoning?

lion
lion

David Mech, the American Wolf Biologist once suggested that allowing ranchers to shoot and kill the occasional wolf predating their livestock would allow ranchers recourse to fix their own problems without resorting to poisoning, the more deadly and indiscriminate killer of predators as well as scavengers. I wonder if the same theory could apply to Lions. As social predators Lions might behave in some of the same ways as a wolf pack. Mr Mech has suggested that you can typically kill a couple wolves from a pack but quite quickly the remainder become very shy and refrain from the activities that brought on the trouble in the first place. I would imagine that Lions would behave in the same way.

I bring up this point simply as something to think about and discuss. We live in a part of the world where a large number of pastoral people must coexist with predators that routinely eat their livelyhood. Poisoning, a far more terrifying solution has been widely used in Kenya to Kill predators in the past. Through poisoning alone the American government was able to nearly eliminate the wolf population from the lower 48 and Mr. Mech has suggested that this would never have been possible if those predator control agents were only given guns. Have authors made similar suggestions when it comes to large predator control in Africa?

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Rain and Migrant Birds

irania
irania

We had our first rain last night. It has been two months since the heavy rains we received in January. Many Migrant birds have been around recently. On a recent birding safari we got a Booted Eagle, and hundreds of Whittethroats and Willow Warblers. In the past few weeks we have also had an Irania hanging around our security boma and 10 days ago about 60 European White Storks stopped in to spend the night with us on their way northward.

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Blue Headed Tress Agama

Last week on safari we saw a Blue Headed Tree Agama. This is the first time that we have noticed this spectacular lizard here in Laikipia. We saw a male in full breeding colours. He was bright turquoise under his chin and bright blue all over his body. When we tried to get closer he became duller and almost blended in the with tree becoming a mottled green/brown. Has anyone else seen this lizard in this part of Laikipia? Of course we did not have a camera with us but I will try and photograph him this week.

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Odd Agama Lizard

We have been encountering the following Agama lizard on many of our walks around Tumaren. His colour is not right for a Red-Headed Agama and yet there is no other Agama for the area in the book that fills his description. The Mwanza Flat Headed Agama from the Mara and south is the only Agama that resembles it. Ideas???

elementaita agama
elementaita agama
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More on Snake

Here is the closer look at that snake which now i think must have just been a White Lip Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia). I realize its still a small image, sorry:

White lip
White lip

Here is what I also Identified as a Big-eyed Snake (Telescopus dhara) a couple months ago:

snake in Laikipia
snake in Laikipia

Other Species of snake recorded on Tumaren include:

  • Puffader (Bitis arietans)
  • Black Necked Spitting Cobra (Naja nigricollis)
  • Red Spitting Cobra (Naja pallida)
  • Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
  • Rufous Beaked Snake (Rhamphiophis rostratus)
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