The "Little Five" Of The Kruger National Park
The Little Five, as the name suggests, are smaller creatures that have the names of the Big Five in their common name: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo. These creatures are fascinating and are just as interesting as their 'bigger five' cousins.
What Are The Little Five?
Antlions are a group of insects in the family Myrmeleontidae (sometimes misspelled as "Myrmeleonidae"). The most well-known genus is Myrmeleo. There are about 2,000 species. Strictly speaking, the term "Antlion" applies to the larval form of the members of this family, but while several languages have their own terms for the adult, there is no widely used word for them in English. Very rarely, the adults are called Antlions. **
The Leopard tortoise is a large and attractively marked tortoise found in the savannas of eastern and southern Africa, from Sudan to the southern Cape. It is the only member of the genus Stigmochelys, but in the past it was commonly placed in Geochelone instead. This chelonian is a grazing species of tortoise that favours semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats, although some leopard tortoises have been found in rainier areas. In both very hot and very cold weather they may dwell in abandoned fox, jackal, or aardvark holes. Leopard tortoises do not dig other than to make nests in which to lay eggs. Not surprisingly, given its propensity for grassland habitats, it grazes extensively upon mixed grasses. It also favours the fruit and pads of the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.), succulents and thistles. The African Leopard Tortoise typically lives 80 to 100 years. **
Elephant shrews or jumping shrews are small insectivorous mammals native to Africa, belonging to the family Macroscelididae, in the order Macroscelidea. Their traditional common English name comes from a fancied resemblance between their long noses and the trunk of an elephant, and an assumed relationship with the true shrews (family Soricidae) in the order Insectivora because of their superficial similarities. As it has become plain that the elephant shrews are unrelated to the shrews, the biologist Jonathan Kingdon has proposed that they instead be called sengis, a term derived from local languages. **
Dynastinae or Rhinoceros Beetles are a subfamily of the scarab beetle family (Scarabaeidae). Other common names – some for particular groups of rhino beetles – are for example Hercules beetles, unicorn beetles or horn beetles. There are over 300 known species of rhino beetles. **
Red Billed Buffalo Weaver:
The Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver (Latin name Bubalornis niger) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 798 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 1003 also a picture of the Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver on page 1009. The Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver belongs to the family of birds classified as Ploceidae and is also known as the Buffalo Weaver.
**information and pictures of the Antlion, Elephant Shrew and Rhino Beetle obtained from Wikipedia.org**