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In The Garden


Meet the wildlife in your garden !


Introduction
Animal
Fungi
Insect
Plant
Habitat
Read More


IntroductionTo top of page.

A variety of plants, insects, birds, etc. exist in a garden. Your garden may be in a city or in a nature conservation park and it is bound to be full of life. Some plants are cultivated as a healthy and nutritious food source and others for their decorative and colourful petals and others for their scent and aroma.


AnimalTo top of page.

PhotoDescription
Egyptian Goose.
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Scientific name Alopochen aegyptiaca. Egyptian geese come from eggs and is very well adapted for swimming, with good feet, head and body, feathers impermeable to water and an oil gland near the point of the tail. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae
Genus Alopochen
Species Alopochen aegyptiaca
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Laughing Dove.
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Scientific name Streptopelia senegalensis. A resident dove found throughout south Africa living in a variety of habitats. Columbids mean pigeons and doves. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae, Columbinae, Columbini
Genus Streptopelia
Species Streptopelia senegalensis


FungiTo top of page.

Fungus reproduction asexual may be described as each plant having the ability to bring forth its own spores. An example is mucor (Afr. broodskimmel) with the scientific name of Mucor mucedo that grow on bread. When the points of a hypha reach a certain development stadium they thicken and are known as the sporogonium where the spores are formed and stored. When the sporogonium is ripe, it burst open and the spores are released.

Fungus reproduction sexual may be described as where two thicken points of a hypha from two different plants touch and form a gametangium. Two gametangia melt together and form a zygospore that usually consist of thickish dark sides. When the zygospore find a suitable place to grow it divide. A wire shaped outgrow develop with a sporegonium on the point. When the sporogonium is ripe, it burst open and the spores are released.

Fungus reproduction splitting is where the mother cell divide to form two daughter cells of equal size, an example is Schizosaccharomyces octosporus.

Fungus produce spores and each spore may develop into a new fungus. Depending on the species of the fungus the shape of the spores may be spherical, cylindrical, spiny, smooth or elliptical.

Fungi do not have any chlorophyll thus do not photosynthesize. Fungu spores are very light in weight and are easily carried through the air. Great quantities are found in water, on fruit, on plants, in the ground and in the air.

Fungi can be a single-celled organism for example yeast. Each fungi or cell consist of protoplasm, a cell-nucleus, a vacuole and a cell-wall. There are many varieties of yeast with specific uses, for example in the production of human food, beer, wine, bread. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a yeast used in the production of bread and beer, but the strains are different when used for rising dough and for fermenting bear. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is described as top-fermenting yeast and is used for making ales and stouts. Saccharomyces carlsbergensis is described as bottom-fermenting yeast and is used for making lager and steam bears. Saccharomyces ellipsoideus is a yeast used in the production of wine.

Fermentation is the process whereby the yeast breakdown the sugars to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Sugar is a carbohydrate and also a source of energy. Fungi need energy to grow and reproduce. For fermentation to take place ideal conditions need to exist for the yeast to work. Fermentable solids are the sugars and the non-fermentable solids are for example dextrins and proteins.

PhotoDescription
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Fungi.
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Fungi do not have chlorophyll. Plants make use of chlorophyll to photosynthesize food from inorganic combinations. Fungi feed on organic material to produce energy. Animals also feed on organic material to produce energy. Side view. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Top view. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria 2 April 2018.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria 2 April 2018.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria 21 January 2017.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria 21 January 2017.
Fungi.
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Fungi. Photo taken in Pretoria 26 February 2017.
Mushroom.
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Mushroom. Side view. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Mushroom.
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Mushroom. Top view. Photo taken in Pretoria.


InsectTo top of page.

PhotoDescription
Snail.
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The giant land snail, with the scientific name of Achatina zebra. The giant land snail has a conical shell with stripes. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Snail.
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Mating sequence of the giant land snail, scientific name of Achatina zebra. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Snail.
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Giant land snail, scientific name Achatina zebra. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Snail.
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Giant land snail, scientific name Achatina zebra. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Snail.
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Giant land snail, scientific name Achatina zebra. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Snail.
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Baby giant land snail, scientific name Achatina zebra. Photo taken in Pretoria 23 April 2018.
Snail.
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A smaller and more round snail with the scientific name of Cornu aspersum, the previous name was Helix aspersa. This garden snail may or may not have brown stripes and are commonly found as starters on restaurant menus. It is an edible snail and fed on mealie meal or oats for a week will rinse the gut of any vegetation. Escargot mean an edible snail. Kingdom Animalia, gastropoda, scientific name of Cornu aspersum, common garden snail. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Beetle.
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The front part of the hook-winged net-winged beetle is orange and the rear part black. The scientific name of this beetle is Lycus melanurus. This beetle enjoy areas where there is grass, plants and trees. Photo taken in Pretoria.
House Mosquito.
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Common house mosquito with scientific name Culex pipiens or Culex fatigans. There are many genus of mosquito for example Culex, Mansonia, Aedes, Anopheles, etc. The common house mosquito is Culex pipiens, when at rest on a surface the body is held horizontal or parallel to the surface with hind legs raised and consist of one pair of wings with a very visible proboscis. The larva of the Culex-species hang more or less vertical in water and breathe through tubes on the back of their bodies. The genus Anopheles is the malaria carrier, when at rest on a surface the body form an angle to the surface it is sitting on. The larva of Anopheles rest out stretched horizontal just below the surface of the water. Order Diptera meaning one pair of wings for example mosquitoes and flies. Mosquitoes and flies go through metamorphism of four stages, egg, larva, nymph, adult insect. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda (largest unit of classification, 25 phyla in the animal kingdom, Afr. geleedpotiges)
Class Insecta (category of classification for example insects or Hexapoda)
Order Diptera (one pair of wings, mosquitoes and flies)
Family Culicidae (mosquitoes)
Genus Culex
Species Culex pipiens or C. pipiens (common house mosquito)
Moth.
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Moth feeding on sap of ripe fig by sucking up the liquid through a proboscis (a long tong). The proboscis is coiled up underneath the moth's head when not in use. Front view. Photo taken in Pretoria.
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Moth.
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Moth sitting on leaf of fig tree. Top view. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Moth.
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Distinguishable properties of a moth: the antennae of a moth can be feathery or the antennae can be gradually tapered, when in rest the wings of the moth lay horizontally over the back so that the top of the wing is visible, the body of a moth is usually hairy, the size of the body of a moth is usually big in relation to the size of the wings, many moths have a special device named a frenulum to hold the two wings together in flight.
Moth.
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Butterflies and moths follow a lifecycle of egg, larva, pupa and adult insect.
Bee Wolf.
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An eye catching yellow on the abdomen and legs help to easily spot this flying and digging insect. Black and white markings make it easy identifiable. The females of the species do the digging in sandy soil and lay their eggs underground. Kingdom Animalia, insecta, scientific name Philanthus triangulum, common name Bee Wolf. Photo taken in Pretoria.
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Millipede.
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Millipede class Diplopoda. (Afr. Duisendpoot), songolÔlos. Photo taken in Pretoria 31 May 2017.
Millipede.
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Millipede class Diplopoda. (Afr. Duisendpoot), songolÔlos. Photo taken in Pretoria 3 July 2017.
Spider.
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Grass funnel-web spider family Agelenidae. Photo taken in Pretoria 31 May 2017.
Worm.
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Worm. Photo taken in Pretoria 31 May 2017.
Praying mantids.
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Praying mantids order Mantodea. Convex compound eyes, raptor fore legs, solitary, found mostly on vegetation, carnivorous. Photo taken in Pretoria 30 May 2018.
Weevil.
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Order Coleoptera (beetles), Curculionidae, Weevil. Photo taken in Pretoria 9 January 2017.
Insect.
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Insect. Photo taken in Pretoria 31 May 2017.
Insect.
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Insect. Photo taken in Pretoria 31 May 2017.


PlantTo top of page.

PhotoDescription
Gooseberry.
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The edible gooseberry (Afr. appelliefies) consist of a juicy flesh with plenty of seeds, yellow in colour when ripe to eat and round in shape with scientific name Physalis peruviana. The berry itself is enclosed in a big calyx. The characteristic flavour of the gooseberry make it a delicious and refreshing addition to the diet.The gooseberry plant is from the family Solanaceae underneath Plantae Kingdom. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Gooseberry.
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Gooseberry. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Burn jelly plant.
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The leaves of the burn jelly plant consist of a soothing juice and pieces of this plant are easily transplanted to provide excellent groundcover with a host of insects nesting in the undergrowth. The scientific name of this beautiful and useful succulent is Bulbine frutescens. Another name for this plant is stalked bulbine and the subfamily is Asphodeloideae. The burn jelly plant grow wonderful with regular good watering and is distributed across southern Africa. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Avocado Fuerte.
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Avocado is a subtropical fruit. Fuerte with a rich and creamy flesh, a healthy green colour and a thin waxy skin make a welcome addition to a delicious meal and is favourable eaten on its own. Other avocado varieties are Pinkerton, Hass, Reed, Edranol, Ryan. Read more www.avocado.co.za. Photo taken in Pretoria.
Sweet potato.
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Delicious and healthy sweet potato. Photo taken in Pretoria 19 April 2017.
Sweet potato flower.
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Beautiful sweet potato flower. Photo taken in Pretoria 19 May 2018.
Flower.
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Beautiful flower. Photo taken in Pretoria 22 May 2018.
Flower.
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Beautiful flower. Photo taken in Pretoria 22 May 2018.
Flower.
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Beautiful flower. Photo taken in Pretoria 16 June 2017.
Flower.
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Beautiful flower. Photo taken in Pretoria 16 June 2017.
Flower.
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Beautiful flower. Photo taken in Pretoria 21 January 2017.
Bean.
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A harvest of healthy beans. Photo taken in Pretoria 16 April 2018.


HabitatTo top of page.

Mountain escarpment - mountain fold, mountain slope.

Coastal bush - compact evergreen plants, thick undergrowth, growing on sandy soil.

Forest - big trees as a result of high rainfall, that form a secure canopy, may be at different altitudes.

Woodland - savannah, tropical and sub-tropical areas, grass grow on ground level with trees spaced apart with no secure canopy.

Grassland - highveld, mountain slopes.

Semi-desert - an arid landscape with sparse or barren vegetation.

Desert - vary from flats to mountains, very dry landscape with specialized fauna and flora, regular source of moisture is dew.

Fynbos - magnificent floral kingdom situated in southern and south-western Cape.

Mangroves - estuaries, mangrove trees.

Tropical coast - rivers, lakes, swamps, valleys, pans.

Tropical interior - swamps, seasonal rainfall.

Steppe - may be described as an area with a large difference in day and night temperature, semi-dessert, a steppe climate, where the total yearly rainfall is less then the total yearly evaporation. The vegetation consist of grasses with very sparse trees. Steppe may be dry and cold with snow in the winter or dry and warm with thundershowers. Steppe across the globe: Asia (half-dry areas of South Russia known as the Swartland, China, Mongolia), North-America (central and south-west states of the USA known as the prairies and a part of Mexico. The Rockies prohibit the moisture in the air of the Pacific Ocean to reach the prairies). South-America (in Argentina known as pampas. The Andesgebergte prohibit the moisture in the air to reach the pampas). South-Africa (in the Free State and Gauteng known as the Highveld consist of typical steppe plant growth. In the northern Karoo, West Free state, Northern Gauteng, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the eastern parts of Namibia consist of a typical steppe climate.) Plant growth usually consist of hardy grasses, shrubs and bushes. Underground water and rivers provide water for trees. The steppe exist as a result of a combination of topography and a climatic state. 1) topography 2)topography 3) climate In the subtropical high pressure areas, where the air movement is anti-cyclonic the most vast steppe areas exist. In these areas with high pressure the atmosphere is very stable especially in the winter. The air that descend does not assist in forming clouds and rain. The steppe in Africa, Australia and Siberia is dry and warm as a result of winds blowing out of the steppe. Heat scattered thunder showers provide rain in the summer. The Llanos of Venezuela and Colombia, the Chaco of Brasilia is more tropical and subtropical savannah containing long grass and dispersed trees.



Read MoreTo top of page.

Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths, Alan Weaving. 2002. Field Guide To Insects of South Africa. Struik Publishers: South Africa ISBN 1 86872 713 0

Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths. 2011. Alien & Invasive Animals a South African Perspective. Struik Publishers: South Africa ISBN 978 1 77007 823 9

E Holm, WM de Villiers. 1983. Ons Eie Insekte. Tafelberg: South Africa ISBN 0 624 01945 4

CH Scholtz, E Holm. 1985. Insects of Southern Africa. Butterworths: South Africa ISBN 0409 10487 6





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