Africa - Spiders, Critters & Other Insects

On this page you will find pictures of spiders, critters and insects, other than butterflies, photographed by me in Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali and South Africa.

You can scroll down to see all photo's or you can click on the underlined English name in the list (link) to see the respective photo.

  1. Purseweb Spider sp. - Aardspin sp.
  2. Orb Weaver sp. - Latrodectus sp.
  3. Orb Weaver sp. - Caerostris sp.
  4. Orb Weaver sp. - Caerostris sp.
  5. Darwin's Bark Spider - Caerostris darwini
  6. Spiny-backed Orb Weaver sp. - Gasteracantha sp.
  7. Madagascar Silk Spider - Nephila madagascariensis
  8. Tree Trunk Spider sp. - Hersiliidae sp.
  9. Unidentified Spider - Onbekende Spin
  10. Jumping Spider sp. - Springspin sp.
  11. African Bushhopper - Phymateus leprosus
  12. Unidentified Grasshopper - Orthoptera sp.
  13. Unidentified Grasshopper - Orthoptera sp.
  14. Unidentified Grasshopper - Orthoptera sp.
  15. Unidentified Grasshopper - Orthoptera sp.
  16. Unidentified Grasshopper - Orthoptera sp.
  17. Unidentified Grasshopper - Orthoptera sp.
  18. African Grasshopper sp. - Holopercna gerstaeckerii
  19. Bush Cricket sp. - Sabelsprinkhaan sp.
  20. Red Rock-dweller - Bradinopyga strachani
  21. Kirby's Dropwing - Oranje Zonnewijzer
  22. Madagascar Dragonfly sp. - Thermorthemis madagascariensis
  23. Phantom Flutterer - Rhyothemis semihyalina
  24. Northern Banded Groundling - Noordelijke Bandgrondlibel
  25. Slender Scarlet - Crocothemis divisa
  26. Skimmer sp. - Orthetrum azureum
  27. Globe Skimmer - Pantala flavescens
  28. White-legged Damselfly - Breedscheenjuffer sp.
  29. African Damselfly sp. - Sapho ciliata
  30. Damselfly sp. - Nesolestes ranavalona
  31. African Giant Black Millipede - Afrikaanse Reuzenmiljoenpoot
  32. Madagascar Millipede sp. - Madagaskar Miljoenpoot sp.
  33. Madagascar Millipede sp. - Madagaskar Miljoenpoot sp.
  34. Common Madagascar Fire-Millipede - Aphistogoniulus hova
  35. Madagascar Fire-Millipede - Aphistogoniulus sakalava
  36. Ghana Red-banded Millipede - Ghanese Gebandeerde Reuzenmiljoenpoot
  37. Pill Millipede sp. - Sphaerotheriida sp.
  38. Pill Millipede sp. - Sphaerotheriida sp.
  39. Unidentified Millipede - Onbekende Duizendpoot
  40. Forest Cockroach sp. - Boskakkerlak sp.
  41. Forest Cockroach sp. - Boskakkerlak sp.
  1. Praying Mantis sp. - Bidsprinkhaan sp.
  2. Paper Wasp sp. - Belanogaster sp.
  3. Fly sp. - Vlieg sp.
  4. Stiletto Fly sp. - Viltvlieg sp. (Therevidae sp.)
  5. Crane Fly sp. - Langpootmug sp.
  6. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  7. Tiger Beetle sp. - Zandloopkever sp.
  8. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  9. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  10. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  11. Flower Beetle sp. - Cetoniinae sp.
  12. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  13. Scarab Beetle sp. - Bladsprietkever sp.
  14. Leaf Beetle sp. - Bladhaantje sp.
  15. Leaf Beetle sp. - Bladhaantje sp.
  16. Leaf Beetle sp. - Bladhaantje sp.
  17. Longhorn Beetle sp. - Boktor sp.
  18. Longhorn Beetle sp. - Boktor sp.
  19. Longhorn Beetle sp. - Boktor sp.
  20. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  21. Unidentified Beetle - Onbekende Kever
  22. Giraffe-necked Weevil - Trachelophorus giraffa
  23. Giraffe-necked Weevil sp. - Giraffekever sp.
  24. Weevil sp. - Snuitkever sp.
  25. Giant Coreid Bug - Anoplocnemis madagascariensis
  26. Assasin Bug sp. - Censorinus ferrugineus
  27. Stink Bug sp. - Chinavia sp.
  28. Coffee Bug sp. - Antestiopsis sp.
  29. Milkweed Bug sp. - Grondwants sp.
  30. Jumping Plant Louse sp. - Bladvlo sp.
  31. Antlion sp. - Mierenleeuw sp.
  32. Cicada sp. - Cicade sp.
  33. Cicada sp. - Cicade sp.
  34. Cicada sp. - Cicade sp.
  35. Leaf Hopper sp. - Dwergcicade sp.
  36. Stick Insect sp. - Wandelende Tak sp.
  37. Stick Insect sp. - Wandelende Tak sp.
  38. Water Stick Insect - Staafwants

 

Purseweb Spider sp.
Aardspin sp. (Atypidae sp.)
Bobiri Forest, Ghana
4 September 2010
Orb Weaver sp.
Wielwebspin sp.
(Latrodectus sp.)

Andasibe, Madagascar
10 January 2014

This is probably Latrodectus menavodi or Latrodectus obscurior.
Orb Weaver sp.
Wielwebspin sp.
(Caerostris sp.)
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014
Orb Weaver sp.
Wielwebspin sp.
(Caerostris sp.)
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
13 January 2014
Darwin's Bark Spider
Wielwebspin sp.
(Caerostris darwini)
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014
Spiny-backed Orb Weaver sp.
Wielwebspin sp.
(Gasteracantha sp.)

Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014

There are many species in the Gasteracantha family, of which 4 occur in Madagascar:
G. versicolor, G. sanguinolenta, G. thorelli and G. rufithorax.

I am uncertain which species this is.
Madagascar Silk Spider
Zijdespin sp.
(Nephila madagascariensis)
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014
Tree Trunk Spider sp.
Hersiliidae sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
10 January 2014

The tree trunk spiders are members of the tropical and semi-tropical family Hersiliidae. There are about 150 species in this family.
These spiders have two very prominent spinnerets that are almost as long as their abdomen. So they are also sometimes known as "two-tailed spiders".
Unidentified Spider
Onbekende Spin
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014
Jumping Spider sp.
Springspin sp. (Salticidae sp.)
Bamako, Mali
27 February 2010
African Bushhopper
Phymateus leprosus
Tsitsikamma NP, South Africa
15 November 2005
Unidentified Grasshopper
Orthoptera sp.
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014
Unidentified Grasshopper
Orthoptera sp.
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
18 January 2014
Unidentified Grasshopper
Orthoptera sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
13 January 2014

Unidentified Grasshopper
Orthoptera sp.
Hotel Feon' ny Ala area,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

This is quite a big Orthoptera sp. with very long antennae.
It broke its right hindleg which lies next to it.

Unidentified Grasshopper
Orthoptera sp.
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014
Unidentified Grasshopper
Onbekende Sprinkhaan
Attewa Forest, Ghana
5 September 2010
African Grasshopper sp.
Holopercna gerstaeckerii
Attewa Forest, Ghana
5 September 2010

Bush Cricket sp.
Sabelsprinkhaan sp.
(Tettigoniidae sp.)

Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014

Insects in the family Tettigoniidae are commonly called katydids or bush crickets. There are more than 6,400 species. They are also known as long-horned grasshoppers, although they are more closely related to crickets than to any type of grasshopper.

Red Rock-dweller
Bradinopyga strachani
Bamako, Mali
26 February 2011
Kirby's Dropwing
Oranje Zonnewijzer
(Trithemis kirbyi)

Madikwe, South Africa
21 November 2005

 

Madagascar Dragonfly sp.
Thermorthemis madagascariensis
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
10 January 2014
Phantom Flutterer
Vlinderlibel
(Rhyothemis semihyalina)

Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014

Rhyothemis semihyalina is an Afrotropical species widespread in Africa, Middle East, southern Asia, and Indian Ocean Islands.
Northern Banded Groundling
Noordelijke Bandgrondlibel
(Brachythemis impartita)
Bamako, Mali
24 February 2010

This species was split in 2009 in two different species: B. impartita and B. leucosticta (Southern Banded Groundling) which wings at the end, beyond the black band, has black veins, whereas the veins of B. impartita are white. In addition, in B. leucosticta the band around the pterostigma is much more dark en complete.
Slender Scarlet
Crocothemis divisa
Bamako, Mali
26 February 2010

Skimmer sp.
Orthetrum azureum
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014

This may possibly be Orthetrum azureum.

Globe Skimmer
Wereldzwerver
(Pantala flavescens)

Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014

This species is also called: Wandering Glider.
This is the most widespread dragonfly in the world, however, rare in Europe.
It is the highest-flying dragonfly, recorded at 6,200 m in the Himalayas.
White-legged Damselfly sp.
Breedscheenjuffer sp. (Mesocnemis sp.)
Bamako, Mali
24 February 2010
African Damselfly sp.
Beekjuffer sp. (Sapho ciliata)
Attewa Forest, Ghana
5 September 2010

Damselfly sp.
Nesolestes ranavalona
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
18 January 2014

This is possibly Nesolestes ranavalona.

African Giant Black Millipede
Afrikaanse Reuzenmiljoenpoot
Madikwe, South Africa
22 November 2005

The African Giant Black Millipede, is one of the largest millipedes, growing up to 38.5 centimetres in length and has 256 legs.

Madagascar Millipede sp.
Madagaskar Miljoenpoot sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014
Madagascar Millipede sp.
Madagaskar Miljoenpoot sp.
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014

Common Madagascar
Fire-Millipede

Aphistogoniulus hova
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Fire-Millipedes are big red millipedes.

Aphistogoniulus hova is distinguised by its red head, antenna, collum, legs and telson.

It occurs in eastern lowland rainforests of Madagascar.

Madagascar Fire-Millipede
Aphistogoniulus sakalava
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014

Aphistogoniulus sakalava is distinguised by its yellow legs.

It occurs in eastern lowland rainforests of Madagascar.

In all 9 species of Aphistogoniulus in Madagascar the females are usually larger than the males.

Ghana Red-banded Millipede
Ghanese Gebandeerde Miljoenpoot
Aboabo (Kakum NP), Ghana
3 September 2010

Pill Millipede sp.
Sphaerotheriida sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
13 January 2014

Pill millipedes are short compared to other millipedes, with only eleven to thirteen body segments, and are capable of rolling into a ball when disturbed (next photo).

Pill millipedes feed on decomposing plant matter, usually in woodlands.

Pill Millipede sp.
Sphaerotheriida sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014

Pill millipedes can roll into a ball when disturbed. When they are rolled-up, most pill millipedes reach a maximum size of a cherry or golf ball, but some species from Madagascar can even reach the size of an orange.
When rolled-up, predators are unable to unravel pill millipedes since the margins of their second and last dorsal plates fit perfectly into one another, creating a sealed ball.

Unidentified Millipede
Onbekende Duizendpoot
Ankasa, Ghana
1 September 2010
Forest Cockroach sp.
Boskakkerlak sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
14 January 2014
Forest Cockroach sp.
Boskakkerlak sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014
Praying Mantis sp.
Bidsprinkhaan sp.
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014
Paper Wasp sp.
Belanogaster sp.
Bamako, Mali
26 February 2010
Fly sp.
Vlieg sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
14 January 2014
Stiletto Fly sp.
Viltvlieg sp. (Therevidae sp.)
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Crane Fly sp.
Langpootmug sp.
(Tipulidae sp.)

Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014

Crane flies are found worldwide, though individual species usually have limited ranges.
They are most diverse in the tropics, and are also common in northern latitudes and high elevations.

Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014

Tiger Beetle sp.
Zandloperkever sp.
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014

Tiger beetles were traditionally classified as the family Cicindelidae but most authorities now treat them as the subfamily Cicindelinae of the Carabidae (ground beetles).
This one is probably Hipparidium equestre.

Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014
Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
16 January 2014
Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014
Flower Beetle sp.
Cetoniinae sp.
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014
Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
13 January 2014
Scarab Beetle sp.
Bladsprietkever sp.
(Melolontha sp.)

Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014
Leaf Beetle sp.
Bladhaantje sp.
(Chrysomelidae sp.)
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014
Leaf Beetle sp.
Bladhaantje sp.
(Chrysomelidae sp.)

Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Leaf Beetle sp.
Bladhaantje sp.
(Chrysomelidae sp.)
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
14 January 2014

Longhorn Beetle sp.
Boktor sp.
Bobiri Forest, Ghana
4 September 2010

The longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) are a cosmopolitan family of beetles, typically characterized by extremely long antennae, which are often as long as or longer than the beetle's body.

Longhorn Beetle sp.
Boktor sp.
Andasibe, Madagascar
10 January 2014
Longhorn Beetle sp.
Boktor sp.
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014
Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
16 January 2014
Unidentified Beetle
Onbekende Kever
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Giraffe-necked Weevil
Giraffekever
(Trachelophorus giraffa)

Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
13 January 2014

The Giraffe-necked Weevil is a weevil endemic to Madagascar. The long neck of the male is adapted for rolling a leaf to make a case for the single egg layed by the female.

Giraffe-necked Weevil sp.
Giraffekever sp.
(Trachelophorus sp.)

Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Trachelophorus is a genus of weevils in the leaf-rolling weevil family Attelabidae.
Several species are known as giraffe weevils because of their elongated "necks".
The best known species is Trachelophorus giraffa (see previous photo).

Weevil sp.
Snuitkever sp.
Andasibe, Madagascar
14 January 2014

Giant Coreid Bug
Anoplocnemis madagascariensis
Andasibe, Madagascar
13 January 2014

The endemic A. madagascariensis (Coreidae - tribe Mictini) closely resembles A. curvipes which is widely distributed throughout Africa, black and about 3 cm long. A. madagascariensis is greyish brown and smaller but otherwise similar in form. Males have a single large spine on each hind leg; females lack this. Dr. Harry Brailovsky, an entomologist at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and world expert on Coreidae helped me identifying this species.

Assassin Bug sp.
Roofwants sp.
(Censorinus ferrugineus)

Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
12 January 2014

The genus Censorinus, endemic to Madagascar, is with 10 described species a small genus belonging to the subfamily Reduviinae which is one of the largest subfamilies of the family Reduviidae, which includes assassin bugs, ambush bugs, wheel bugs and thread-legged bugs.
Dominik Chlond from the University of Silesia, Poland, and expert in Reduviidae, identified this species.

Stink Bug sp.
Wants sp. (Chinavia sp.)
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
17 January 2014

This is a bug in the family Pentatomidae.
Coffee Bug sp.
Wants sp. (Antestiopsis sp.)
Andasibe, Madagascar
14 January 2014

This is a bug in the family Pentatomidae, and in fact a mating pair.

Milkweed Bug sp.
Grondwants sp. (Lygaeidae sp.)
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
16 January 2014

Dominik Chlond from the University of Silesia, Poland, helped me identifying this species.

Jumping Plant Louse sp.
Bladvlo sp. (Psyllidae sp.)
Andasibe, Madagascar
14 January 2014

Jumping plant lice or psyllids form the family Psyllidae of small plant-feeding insects that tend to be very host-specific, i.e. each plant-louse species only feeds on one plant species (monophagous) or feeds on a few closely related plants (oligophagous).

Antlion sp.
Mierenleeuw sp. (Voltor sylphis)
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014

Belonging to the Myrmeleontidae family. It has long legs and the costal area (upper edge of the wing) is simple: the cells hardly have any cross veins; most of the costal veins are forked (Y shaped). The most distinctive feature is that the hind wings are longer than the forewings. V. sylphis has crenulate (not smooth) hind margins to the wings and apices (tips of the wing) are pointed. It is a rare and one of the largest species of Dendroleontini in Madagascar.

Cicada sp.
Cicade sp.
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

This big noisy cicade sp. flew from one tree trunk to the other.

Cicada sp.
Cicade sp.
Andasibe, Madagascar
10 January 2014
Cicada sp.
Cicade sp.
Mananara Lodge area,
Anjozorobe, Madagascar
16 January 2014
Leaf Hopper sp.
Dwergcicade sp. (Cicadellidae sp.)
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Stick Insect sp.
Wandelende Tak sp.
Mantadia National Park,
Andasibe, Madagascar
15 January 2014

Phasmatodea (stick insects) are an order of insects which can be found all over the world in warmer zones. Their natural camouflage can make them extremely difficult to spot.

This is most likeli Parectatosoma hystrix. Both males and females have sharp red and white spines along their bodies. Their green eyes are particularly striking.

Stick Insect sp.
Wandelende Tak sp.
Perinet Nature Reserve,
Andasibe, Madagascar
11 January 2014

The photo shows a mating pair: the much-smaller male can spend several days on the back of the larger female.

Water Stick Insect
Staafwants (Ranatra linearis)
Bamako, Mali
24 February 2010

Ranatra linearis is a species of aquatic bug in the Nepidae family.

Birds of Prey | Ducks & Gulls | Herons & Stilts | Small Song Birds | Large Song Birds | Other Birds | Mammals | Reptiles & Amphibians | Butterflies | Spiders, Critters & Other Insects |