Monthly Archives: March 2017

Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat

This species is found in Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa (it is broadly distributed across Southern Africa, and also commonly found within Sibuya Game Reserve).

Description

Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat is brown to tawny colored with white hair patches at the base of the ears. Males are typically darker in coloration than females. This species is named for erectable epaulettes of hair that form around large scent glands in males only. Males are also distinguished from females by air sacs on the neck that may increase the volume of courtship calls.

Range and Habitat

Populations have also been found in wooded urban areas and roosting in man-made structures.

Diet

Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat is frugivorous, its diet mainly consisting of figs, guava, and various fruits of Diospyros species. Collected fruit is typically carried away from the source tree to another tree. The soft tissue and fruit are consumed while the seeds and skins are discarded. Leaves from Balanites species and several insects may also be eaten.

Roosting

E. wahlbergi is nocturnal. It roosts in well-lit open trees, under palm fronds, in dense forests near rivers, under thatched roofs of sheds, and, rarely, in caves.

Fruit Bat

Photo taken by Chris Ovens

 

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Elegant Grasshopper

Elegant Grasshopper (Zonocerus elegans), a short-winged and flightless grasshopper found throughout much of Africa south of the Sahara as well as on Sibuya Game Reserve. They are sometimes also referred to as Rainbow Locusts. They are apparently slow and clumsy, relying primarily on their accumulated toxins for protection from predators. The toxins make them taste bad, although apparently not bad enough to make them inedible for humans. We found numerous references suggesting they are eaten in various parts of Africa.

Insects in particular use colours for protection as their predators, such as birds and other insects, have colour vision.

Elegant Grasshopper

Photo taken by Ranger Pablo