Dung Beetle

Insect Musicians

Three groups of insects, crickets, katydids and cicadas may be called insect musicians. The first two, crickets and katydids create sound by stridulation, i.e. rubbing specially modified body parts against each another. Cicadas on the other hand have a unique noise making organ, a tymbal which is located on the front side of the hollow

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Red-billed Oxpecker

Tracker Birds

Tracker birds introduces a really exciting new initiative “Tracker Mentoring” which is the brainchild of our good friends Dr. Kersey Lawrence and Lee Gutteridge. This series of on-line tracking courses is aimed at stimulating an interest in tracking among children, young people, adventure students and the general public as well as giving experienced trackers a

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African Pitta Time!

Well described as one of Africa’s ‘most wanted birds’, the African Pitta is a spectacular, vividly coloured bird. It occurs in deciduous thickets in the Zambezi River Valley in Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as along certain parts of the Luangwa River in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and in northern Mozambique. It arrives to

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Recording Snakes

Reptiles under the mic – part 1

Relying on your ears alone often means that you are missing some amazing sounds and experiences from the natural world. This all changes when incorporating a set of headphones and a recording device. Some years ago we were given the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes to record vocalisations of a range of reptiles at the amazing Hoedspruit Reptile Centre close to our home.

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Recording Barking Gecko

Reptiles under the mic – part 2

Most lizards are unable to vocalise but there are a few exceptions. Tropical house gecko males
(Hemidactylus species) attract female mates by using chirping signals and pheromones and also give a low frequency chirp during male-male fights.

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Singing Ants - Recorded Ant Sounds by Derek Solomon

Singing Ants

Some years ago, when chatting to soundscape ecologist Dr Bernie Krause he asked “have you ever heard ants communicating?”.  He said “find an ant’s nest in the garden and place a lavaliere microphone over the entrance and sit back with your headphones on and wait to see what happens…”

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Ventriloquial Frog

The Ventriloquial Frog

The Breviceps family of frogs (commonly known as Rain Frogs) must hold the award for the grumpiest looking frogs in the country. There are 14 species that are endemic to southern Africa and many are difficult to separate from one another unless you know their calls and look at their distribution maps. They all have chubby, small rounded bodies and flattened faces that, according to at least one reference book, makes them look like little balloons. When disturbed they inflate their bodies adding to the balloon-like appearance.

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