Malawi, September-October 2008

Page 15: Mammals, Reptiles and Insects

All dates between 22nd and 30th relate to September, all dates from 1st to 10th relate to October.

 

MAMMALS

No attempt was made to count most of the mammals so numbers are not given in square brackets as with the birds.

 

Yellow Baboon Papio cynocephalus

Yellow Baboon, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 Yellow Baboon, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Yellow Baboon, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

Yellow Baboon, Nyika, 7-Oct-08  

Yellow Baboon, Nyika, 7th October

 

Vervet Monkey Cercopithecus (aethiops) pygerythrus

Vervet Monkey, Thyolo, 30-Sep-08 Vervet Monkey, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08

Vervet Monkey, Satemwa Guest House (Thyolo), 30th September

 

Vervet Monkey, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

Fruit Bat sp. Pteropodidae

A large number of large bats were seen flying over the bridge over the Shire near the entrance to Liwonde 22nd. We were told by staff that a rather Scops-Owl-like call at Lujeri Guest House (Mulanje) was a Fruit Bat which could explain a similar noise heard at Zomba Forest Lodge.

 

Smith's Bush Squirrel Paraxerus cepapi

Smith's Bush Squirrel, Liwonde, 25-Sep-08 Smith's Bush Squirrel, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Smith's Bush Squirrel (left) and unidentified squirrel, perhaps also Smith's Bush Squirrel (right), Liwonde, 24th-25th September

 

Mutable Sun Squirrel Heliosciurus mutabilis

Squirrels with clearly barred tails lacking a pale halo were seen at Malosa 23rd and near Zomba Forest Lodge 27th, and a very reddish squirrel was seen at Nyika 7th.

Mutable Sun Squirrel, Zomba Plateau, 27-Sep-08 Mutable Sun Squirrel, Zomba Plateau, 27-Sep-08

Mutable Sun Squirrel, near Zomba Forest Lodge, 27th September (thanks to Steve for confirming)

 

Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo

A group of 4 Liwonde 24th. In addition this is the best, though not entirely satisfactory, answer I can come up with for two mammals which resembled large stoats (complete with black-tipped tail) between Dzalanyama and Lilongwe and at Vwaza Marsh, both 3rd.

 

Spotted Hyaena Crocuta crocuta

1 Liwonde 23rd was apparently a very unusual observation for this location as they prefer to keep close to inhabitated areas where they can scavenge.

Spotted Hyaena, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08  

Spotted Hyaena, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

Leopard Panthera pardus

1 Nyika 6th was very high on the list of highlights of this holiday. We were aware that Nyika holds one of the largest densities of Leopard anywhere but had been told that it was still very unusual to see them. We were talking about Leopards at the moment I picked this one up, so my call was initially greeted with some skepticism!

Leopard, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Leopard, Nyika, 5-Oct-08
Leopard, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Leopard, Nyika, 5-Oct-08

Leopard, Nyika, 5th October

 

Four-toed Elephant Shrew Petrodromus tetradactylus

An Elephant Shrew wasn't specifically identified at the time but I'm tentatively identifying it as Four-toed from the fact that it appeared to be much larger than a mouse (ruling out the Lesser Elephant Shrews Elephantulus spp.) and from the pattern which rules out Chequered Elephant Shrew Rhynchocyon cirnei.

Four-toed Elephant Shrew, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08  

Four-toed Elephant Shrew, Liwonde, 24th September

 

Southern Tree Hyrax Dendrohyrax arboreus

A squat-looking tail-less mammal in the valley near Chelinda (Nyika) 6th was tentatively identified as a Hyrax. The fact that it was standing on a branch in a small bush reaching up and eating leaves probably makes it a Southern Tree Hyrax.

 

African Elephant Loxodonta africana

Common at Liwonde and Vwaza Marsh.

African Elephant, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 African Elephant, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08
African Elephant, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 African Elephant, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08
African Elephant, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 African Elephant, Liwonde, 25-Sep-08
African Elephant, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 African Elephant, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08
African Elephant, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 African Elephant, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08
African Elephant, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 African Elephant, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

African Elephants, Liwonde, 23rd-25th September

 

African Elephant, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08 African Elephant, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08
African Elephant, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08 African Elephant, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08
African Elephant, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08 African Elephant, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08

African Elephants, Vwaza Marsh, 4th October

 

Common Zebra Equus quagga

Just a handful at Nyika, and never very close.

Common Zebra, Nyika, 5-Oct-08  
Common Zebra, Nyika, 5-Oct-08

Common Zebras, Nyika, 5th October

 

Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius

Common at Liwonde and Vwaza Marsh.

Hippopotamus, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 Hippopotamus, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08
Hippopotamus, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 Hippopotamus, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08

Hippopotamuses, Liwonde, 23rd-24th September

 

Hippopotamus, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08 Hippopotamus, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08

Hippopotamuses, Vwaza Marsh, 4th October

 

Bush Pig Potamochoerus larvatus

6 Nyika 6th.

 

Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus

Common at Liwonde.

Common Warthog, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 Common Warthog, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08

Common Warthogs, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

African Buffalo Syncerus caffer

At Liwonde 1 23rd and a large herd 25th.

African Buffalos, Liwonde, 25-Sep-08  

African Buffalos, Liwonde, 25th September

 

Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus

Bushbuck, Liwonde, 25-Sep-08 Bushbuck, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Bushbucks, Liwonde, 24th-25th September

 

Bushbuck, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Bushbuck, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
Bushbuck, Nyika, 5-Oct-08  

Bushbucks, Nyika Plateau, 5th-6th October

 

Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros

Greater Kudu, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 Greater Kudu, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08

Greater Kudu, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

Greater Kudu, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08  

Greater Kudu, Vwaza Marsh, 4th October - this was intended to be a photo of the Yellow-billed Oxpeckers that you can just see on the further animal!

 

Eland Taurotragus oryx

Only seen at Nyika where not very numerous and never close.

Eland, Nyika, 5-Oct-08  

Eland, Nyika, 5th October

 

Bush Duiker (Common Duiker) Sylvicapra grimmia

3 Liwonde 24th. These were seen in spotlight during the night game drive.

 

Suni Neotragus moschatus

1 Zolo-Chipolo Forest (Nyika) 7th. This was seen on the forest floor where it was incredibly well camouflaged and very hard to see. Many thanks to Steve Bailey for the identification.

Suni, Nyika, 7-Oct-08 Suni, Nyika, 7-Oct-08

Suni, Zolo-Chipolo Forest (Nyika), 7th October

 

Klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus

A small group (4?) of these small but beautiful antelopes at Nyika 4th.

Klipspringer, Nyika, 4-Oct-08 Klipspringer, Nyika, 4-Oct-08
Klipspringer, Nyika, 4-Oct-08 Klipspringer, Nyika, 4-Oct-08
Klipspringer, Nyika, 4-Oct-08 Klipspringer, Nyika, 4-Oct-08

Klipspringers, Nyika, 4th October

 

Southern Reedbuck Redunca arundinum

Only at Nyika where fairly common.

Southern Reedbuck, Nyika, 4-Oct-08 Southern Reedbuck, Nyika, 6-Oct-08

Southern Reedbuck, Nyika, 4th-6th October

 

Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus

Waterbuck, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 Waterbuck, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08

Waterbucks, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

Impala Aepyceros melampus

Probably the commonest antelope at Liwonde and Vwaza Marsh.

Impala, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08 Impala, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08

Impalas, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

Lichtenstein's HartebeestAlcelaphus buselaphus lichtensteinii

2-3 in the Rhino Enclosure at Liwonde 25th. Hartebeest was extinct in Malawi (at least round here, I think in the whole country?) - the ones at Liwonde have been re-introduced.

Lichtenstein's Hartebeest, Liwonde, 25-Sep-08  

Lichtenstein's Hartebeest, Liwonde, 25th September

 

Roan Antelope Hippotragus equinus

Common on Nyika Plateau 4th-7th.

Roan Antelope, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Roan Antelope, Nyika, 5-Oct-08
Roan Antelope, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Roan Antelope, Nyika, 5-Oct-08
Roan Antelope, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Roan Antelope, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
Roan Antelope, Nyika, 4-Oct-08 Roan Antelope, Nyika, 4-Oct-08

Roan Antelopes, Nyika, 4th-6th October

 

Sable Antelope Hippotragus niger

Common at Liwonde 23rd-25th.

Sable Antelope, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08  

Sable Antelopes, Liwonde, 23rd September

 

 

OTHER WILDLIFE OF INTEREST

 

Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus

Common at Liwonde 23rd-25th; 1 at Lilongwe 10th.

Nile Crocodile, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08
Nile Crocodile, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08
Nile Crocodile, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Nile Crocodiles, Liwonde, 24th September 2008 - 3 generations of croc!

 

Nile Monitor Varanus niloticus

1 Liwonde 24th and 1 Makuzi Lodge 8th. Thanks to Steve Bailey for confirming which species of Monitor was involved.

Monitor, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 Monitor, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Nile Monitor, Makuzi Lodge, 8th October 2008

 

Nile Monitor, Liwonde, 24th September 2008

 

Gecko sp. Gekkonidae

5 Malosa 22nd and 2 Lujeri Guest House 28th.

Gecko, Mulanje, 28-Sep-08 Geckos, Malosa, 22-Sep-08

Geckos, Lujeri Guest House (Mulanje), 28th September 2008 (left) and Malosa, 22nd September 2008 (right)

 

Other Lizards

Lizard, Thyolo, 29-Sep-08 Lizard, Thyolo, 29-Sep-08
Lizard, Thyolo, 29-Sep-08 Lizard, Thyolo, 30-Sep-08

Skinks, possibly Speckle-lipped Mabuyas, Satemwa Guest House (Thyolo), 29th-30th September 2008 - thanks to Josef Uyeda for help with the ID

 

Five-lined Skink, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 Five-lined Skink, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08
Five-lined Skink, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 Five-lined Skink, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08

Five-lined Skinks (I think - please correct me if I'm wrong...), Makuzi Lodge, 8th October 2008

 

Blue-headed Tree Agama, Senga Bay, 9-Oct-08 Lizard, Senga Bay, 10-Oct-08

female (left) and male (right) Blue-headed Tree Agamas, Senga Bay, 9th-10th October 2008 - thanks to James Christensen for the ID

 

Lizard, Dzalanyama, 1-Oct-08 Tree Gecko, Senga Bay, 9-Oct-08

Lizard, Dzalanyama, 1st October 2008 - apparently there's a species called Orange-headed Lizard and I guess that's what this is, but confirmation would be welcome...

 

Tree Gecko, Mua Mission (right), 9th October 2008 - thanks to James Christensen for the ID

 

Snake sp.

1 Liwonde 23rd was described by the guide as a Green Spotted Snake, but I can't find any serious reference to a snake with that name.

Snake, Liwonde, 23-Sep-08  

Snake sp., Liwonde, 23rd September 2008

 

Butterflies, Dragonflies and other insects

At the time I had no references on African butterflies, dragonflies or other insects, so the only IDs were where nice people like you had told me what they are. I now have a book on South African butterflies which has enabled me to put tentative names (at least to genus or family) on some more but please feel free to contact me with any further help if you can!

Large Striped Swordtail, Liwonde, 25-Sep-08 Common Sailer, Lilongwe, 22-Sep-08
Large Striped Swordtail, Liwonde, 25th September 2008 - thanks for Duncan and Jay for help with the ID

 

Common Sailer (or similar), Lilongwe, 22nd September 2008 - thanks to Duncan for the ID

 

Sailer sp, Ku Chawe, 27-Sep-08 Gaudy Commodore, Zomba, 27-Sep-08
Sailer sp., Ku Chawe (Zomba Plateau), 27th September 2008 - a different species of Sailer?

 

Gaudy Commodore, Zomba, 27th September 2008

 

Butterfly, Ku Chawe, 27-Sep-08 Butterfly, Ku Chawe, 27-Sep-08
Probable Yellow Pansy , Ku Chawe (Zomba Plateau), 27th September 2008 - thanks to Duncan for suggesting the ID (as this or something very similar)

 

Angled Grass Yellow, Zomba Plateau, 26-Sep-08 Angled Grass Yellow, Zomba Plateau, 26-Sep-08
Angled Grass Yellow, Zomba Plateau, 26th September 2008

 

Brown Pansy, Mulanje, 28-Sep-08 Brown Pansy, Mulanje, 28-Sep-08
Brown Pansy (aka Brown Commodore), Lujeri Guest House (Mulanje), 28th September 2008 - thanks again to Duncan for suggesting the ID

 

Butterfly, Mulanje, 28-Sep-08 Butterfly, Mulanje, 29-Sep-08
Friar (left) and unidentified Admiral sp. (right), Ruo Gorge (Mulanje), 28th-29th September 2008

 

Common Hairtail?, Thyolo, 30-Sep-08 Orange-spotted Hooper, Thyolo, 30-Sep-08
probable Common Hairtail (left) and Orange-spotted Hopper (right) , Thyolo Mountain, 30th September 2008

 

Common Sailer, Thyolo, 30-Sep-08  
Common Sailer?, Thyolo Mountain, 30th September 2008

 

Long-tailed Blue, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Butterfly, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
Long-tailed Blue (left) and Lepidochrysops sp., Nyika Plateau, 5th-6th October 2008 - the Lepidochrysops looks extremely similar to Van Son's Blue but that species is supposed to range only as far north as Zimbabwe

 

African Clouded Yellow, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Common Grass Yellow, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
African Clouded Yellow (left) and probable Common Grass Yellow (right), Nyika Plateau, 5th-6th October 2008

 

caterpillar, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Two-striped Skimmer, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
caterpillar and Two-striped Skimmer, Nyika Plateau, 6th October 2008 - thanks to Dr Dijkstra for the ID of the Skimmer

 

Dragonfly, Lake Chilwa, 26-Sep-08 Dragonfly, Lake Chilwa, 26-Sep-08
unidentified dragonfly and damselflies, Lake Chilwa, 26th September 2008

 

Army Ants, Mulanje, 28-Sep-08 Sphecid Wasp, Mulanje, 29-Sep-08
Army Ants and Sphecid Wasp sp., possibly one of the Spider-hunters, Ruo Gorge (Mulanje), 28th-29th September 2008 (thanks to Martin for the ant ID and Tony for the Sphecid)

 

Cockroach, Thyolo, 29-Sep-08 Beetle, Mulanje, 28-Sep-08
Cockroach, Satemwa Guest House (Thyolo), 29th September 2008 - thanks to Tony for the ID

 

Beetle, Lujeri Guest House (Mulanje), 28th September 2008

 

Corn Cricket, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08 Mantid, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08
Corn Cricket, Vwaza Marsh, 4th October 2008 - a Huge and horrible insect that ran like an enormous spider; thanks to Tony for the ID (it doesn't actually seem quite so nasty now I know what it is, though it still looks quite devilish)

 

Mantid sp, Dzalanyama, 2nd October 2008

 

Ant-Lion, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08 Robber Flies, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08

Ant-Lion (one of three seen that day) and Robber Flies, Dzalanyama, 2nd October 2008 - thanks again to Tony for the fly ID

 

moth, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 Cuckoo Wasp, Nyika, 6-Oct-08

moth, Makuzi Lodge, 8th October 2008

 

Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysidae), Nyika Plateau, 6th October 2008 - thanks Tony for the ID

 

Grasshopper, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Phymateus, Mua, 9-Oct-08

Grasshopper, Nyika Plateau, 6th October 2008

 

Phymateus sp., Mua Mission, 9th October 2008 - thanks Tony for the ID

 

Phymateus, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Phymateus, Nyika, 6-Oct-08

Phymateus sp., Chelinda (Nyika), 6th October 2008 - this thing was seriously BIG! - thanks again to Tony for the ID

 

 

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