9 January 2012

‘Bugs’ I saw in South Africa

Posted by Callan Bentley

Here is a collection of creepy-crawlies I saw in South Africa:

Big grasshopper/katydid orthopteran:

Another big orthopteran (“locust”?), obviously beefier than the previous one:

Beach roach (Blattodea):

Mating true bugs (hemipterans):

Here’s a big snail, too:

And best of all? This solpugid!

Solpugids are arachnids, but they are not spiders. Along with vinegaroons, scorpions, pseudoscorpions, tailless whip-scorpions, ticks and harvestmen (“daddy-longlegs”), solpugids roam the world as effective predators but I’ve only encountered them twice before this time. I caught this one on our porch in Kruger National Park. I trapped him under a glass to photograph him, but then released him to the wild again.

Note the opposable “jaws” and the tapered “waist” – very unlike a spider.