Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Book Scorpion (pseudoscorpion)

A pseudoscorpion, also known as a false scorpion or book scorpion, is an arachnid and can be found on Sibuya Game Reserve.  

Photo taken by Chris Ovens

Pseudoscorpions are generally beneficial to humans since they prey on clothes moth larvae, carpet beetle larvae, booklice, ants, mites, and small flies. They are tiny and inoffensive, and are rarely seen due to their small size, despite being common in many environments. Pseudoscorpions often carry out phoresy, a form of commensalism in which one organism uses another for the purpose of transport.

Pseudoscorpions spin silk from a gland in their jaws to make disk-shaped cocoons for mating, molting, or waiting out cold weather. However, they do not have book lungs as most of their closest relatives, the spiders, do. They breathe through spiracles, a trait they share with the insects.

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Waterbuck

The waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa.

The waterbuck cannot tolerate dehydration in hot weather, and thus inhabits areas close to sources of water. Predominantly a grazer, the waterbuck is mostly found on grasslands of Sibuya Game Reserve.  

Waterbuck are rather sedentary in nature. A gregarious animal, the waterbuck may form herds consisting of six to 30 individuals.  The coat colour varies from brown to grey. The long, spiral horns, present only on males, curve backward, then forward.

In equatorial regions, breeding takes place throughout the year, but births are at their peak in the rainy season. The gestational period lasts for seven to eight months, followed by the birth of a single calf.