Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guide Training

A Big and Hairy!

I spent the first two weeks of November assisting Eco Training courses in the Selati and Karongwe conservancies. As always it is very encouraging to see enthusiastic (and fun loving) people joining the industry.

Group pic at one of the scenic dams in Karongwe.

What surprised me of this specific time was the amount of small and interesting creatures we encountered during the two weeks. Many guides rely on the glory of the “Big and Hairies” to get by. However, knowledge of the small stuff and - very importantly - the ability to communicate this to their guests will reveal the true wonder of nature. The highlight undoubtedly was the discovery of a gynandromorh Emperor moth. This is a dual sex moth that is laterally devided between male nd female. In other words, in this case the left hand side of this individual is female and the right hand side is male. You can’t really compare this to a needle in a haystack. Rather a needle in a wheat field!

Seces in moths are easily determined by means of their antennae. The feathery ones indicating male and the slender ones indicating females. Here both are present indicating an extremely rare gynandromorph. Also note the eyes are different. This difference runs through the symmetrically through the length of the body

Photographing Cheetah.

Inspecting a delicate panted Reed Frog.

This Bushveld Rain Frog avoided the hundreds of foul tasting soldier termites but gorged himself on the much larger and tasty emrging alates.

It still remains one of Nature's Unanswers questions why scorpions glow neon green under UV light.

Isn't it encouraging to know that this bunch of professionals who take everything so seriously are entereing the guiding industry?

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