Water Leguaan, Nile monitor, Water Monitor…

Don’t ask me what the difference is, I don’t know. I grew up knowing these as Leguaan.

The Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus), also called Water Leguaan, or River Leguaan, is a large member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae).

In South Africa they are commonly referred to as leguaan, from the Dutch for iguana.

Monitors can grow to about 9 ft. (2.7 m) in length. They have muscular bodies, strong legs and powerful jaws. The teeth are sharp and pointed in juvenile animals and become blunt and peg-like in adults. They also possess sharp claws used for climbing, digging, defence, or tearing at their prey. Like all monitors they have a forked tongue, with highly developed olfactory properties.

Their nostrils are placed high on the snout, indicating that these animals are highly aquatic, but are also excellent climbers and quick runners on land.  Monitors feed on fish, snails, frogs, crocodile eggs and young, snakes, birds, small mammals, large insects, and carrion.

Which ever member of the Varanidae family this is, I don’t know, what I do know it’s a leguaan…

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A little one… sunning it’s self…

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And this is one verrrrry.. big one… see the size compared to the Impala….

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And at some stage he has had a fight.. look at the teeth marks on his tail..

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Pompom weed (Campuloclinium macrocephalum (Less.) DC.)

This an ornamental South American herb belonging to the daisy family, Asteraceae. It is rapidly becoming the most serious threat to the conservation of grasslands in South Africa. Infestations become conspicuous when the plants are in flower between December and March, transforming the veld from green to pink. This weed displaces native species, reducing both the biological diversity and carrying capacity of the veld.

This weed is listed as a category one plant under the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (Act No 43 of 1983). Plants from this category are prohibited on any land or water surface in South Africa and must be controlled or eradicated where possible. Pompom weed is drought tolerant and possibly allelopathic i.e. it might have a chemical defence mechanism that inhibits the growth of other species.

Pompom weed retreats underground during winter and people tend to forget about it. Pompom is expanding at such a rate that chemical control will soon become unpractical and unaffordable. Biological control is the only sustainable control option against pompom weed.

And yet doesn’t it look beautiful… the flowers were probably brought in foe their show and the rest remains history… a few photos I took Thursday..

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