With the Kruger National Park as vast as it is, and with human impacts kept to an absolute minimum, invertebrate life can thrive to an extent that is no longer possible in most of our “developed” society. Summer is a good time to see these fascinating creatures, as our visit in December 2021 proved yet again.
Beetles form the largest and most diverse order in the entire animal kingdom, and there are thousands of beetle species in the Kruger National Park.
While perhaps not as numerous as beetles, the various kinds of Butterflies gets lots of attention thanks to their delicate beauty.
Why exactly Moths are often regarded with such disdain compared to their relatives the butterflies I can’t comprehend, as some of these night-flying creatures are equally beautiful.
Our dislike of Flies is a lot easier to understand, though only a very few of them are actually a nuisance to humans and they all perform a wide variety of vital functions in the ecosystem.
We were lucky to see several “armies” of Matabele Ants on the hunt:
Another diverse insect group, with equally diverse survival strategies, are the Bees and Wasps.
My aptitude at identifying the various kinds of Damselflies and Dragonflies is still sorely lacking.
Web-spinners are a small and little known insect order.
A group of Gregarious Spotted Cockroaches scrambling up the wall of the laundry building at Satara was a welcome distraction on washing day.
So scary and large was this Bark Katydid crawling up a tree in Satara that you’d have to forgive me for the photograph not being entirely in focus…
Millipedes are such a familiar group of animals, and yet every time we visit the Kruger Park we are astounded to see just how many unique kinds find a home there!
We end of this post with a group that makes many peoples’ skins crawl: Spiders. Being responsible in no small part for controlling the numbers of all the other invertebrates, the entire ecosystem would collapse in their absence.