Common Rough Scaled Lizard (Meroles squamulosus)
Photo by Hayley Davis
Mottled Shovel Nosed Frog (Hemisus marmoratus)
Photo by Hayley Davis

When you come to Africa you tend to only think about the big things like elephants, giraffe, lions, rhinos, hippo, wildebeest, buffalo etc, but the little animals matter just as much. There are so many small and wonderful things in this world that we don’t really know much about from inverts and amphibians to reptile and small mammals.

With the Wild Volunteers we carried out pitfall traps to see what small animals we could find, a lot of what we found were inverts but they are an animal that go unnoticed a lot of the time as people aren’t really interested in them.

East African Shovel Snout (Prosymna stuhlmanii)
Photo by Hayley Davis

In the traps we have found a range of different spiders, rain, baboon, jumping, fishing, wolf and many more. A whole bunch of different beetles and bugs, such as dung beetles, assassin bugs, thrips, weevils, longhorn beetles, there have been a few praying mantis, a lot of frogs especially after the rain, lizards, snakes even the occasional shrew and field mouse. There is a huge list of what we have found and its only going to get longer. Even though pitfall traps aren’t the most fun thing to do, you do find some really cool animals that you may never see or find without them and you never know you may even find a new species or two that shouldn’t be in that habitat.

I’m not a massive fan of inverts I do prefer reptiles, amphibians and small mammals (when they don’t bite) but inverts are quite an interesting animal to learn about. Just look at the dung beetle their whole life evolves around dung and some people don’t give them the credit they deserve. They play a huge part in helping the environment by cleaning up the dung and burying it, by doing that they are putting the nutrients that are in the dung under the soil to feed the plants. They are also helping with germination by burying the dung as there are seeds from the plants that have been eaten and passed through the animals stomach, how cool is that.

There are so many things we don’t know about this world and the animal kingdom is one of them.

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