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- Journal of East African Natural History
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- Volume 1965, Issue 111, 1965
Journal of East African Natural History - Volume 1965, Issue 111, 1965
Volume 1965, Issue 111, 1965
Author E.M. LindSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 76 –91 (1965)More Less
An unexpected temporary appointment in the Botany Department of University College, Nairobi, provided the opportunity to make a survey of the phytoplankton of some Kenya inland waters. Attention has previously been paid to some of the larger lakes, particularly those in the Rift Valley, but little information is available about the smaller lakes and reservoirs. The account which follows is an attempt to present the results of the survey in a form which can be understood by those who have had no specialist training in botany.
Author E.M. TweedieSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 92 –94 (1965)More Less
Most species of flowering plants in East Africa flower in relation to the rains, either before, during, or after, but there are some which flower at very long intervals, and then en masse. This phenomenon has been noted before, and is well known in the bamboo (Arundinaria alpina K. Schum.), where the interval between flowerings has been estimated to be as much as 40 years (Wimbush 1945). Again, Fey (1964, p. 55) states ""This plant, known to the Kikuyu as Songoya (probably Mimulopsis solmsii Schweinf.) is of particular interest ... Its life span is nine to ten years during which it grows to a height of about twelve feet. It then produces a profusion of pale mauve flowers..."" Fey mentions that the plant last flowered in 1953 on the Western Aberdares.
Author J.R.M. TennentSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 95 –100 (1965)More Less
Thanks to its remoteness from Nairobi, Kakamega Forest has seldom been regularly visited by ornithologists, so although the following notes are based only on sight records, they add considerably to what is known about the species of birds to be found there. As is well known, the Kakamega Forest is, in its botanical composition, different from any of the other Kenya forests, being in fact an outlier of Uganda and West African types. It contains some valuable timber trees which are being exploited and as a result there are large parts of the forest where the majority of the trees which formed the canopy have been felled. In these areas, thanks to the high rainfall, a dense secondary growth twenty to forty feet high has quickly formed. The Forest Department is carrying out a programme of ""enrichment"" of the cut-over areas and of some untouched areas which contain few valuable trees. For this purpose small clearings are made so that useful timber trees can be introduced in the natural habitat. Such small clearings are attractive to some species for feeding. Another feature of the forest is the occurrence of scattered grass glades, fringed with scrub, some having a fire-climax cover of scattered trees.
Author L.H. BrownSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 101 –107 (1965)More Less
This paper brings together scattered observations made in various parts of Kenya between 1947 and 1964. Little seems to have been published on the behaviour and habits of this owl, so that these details on breeding habits and food may be of value. The majority of the observations were made at a breeding site in Karen, 13 miles from Nairobi, in August-September 1963, but some observations were also made in Embu district, and at scattered localities elsewhere in Kenya.
Author C.J. TweedySource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 108 –109 (1965)More Less
With regard to the separation of the Paradise Whydah, Steganura paradisaea (Linnaeus) and the Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah, Steganura orientalis (Heuglin) as distinct species, it may be of interest to note an occurrence of both species in the same locality. In May, June and July 1964 I could be almost certain of seeing S. orientalis on or near a small open 'shamba' at Msati, near Chidya, in the Masasi district of southern Tanzania. But on June 28th, near this same 'shamba' and immediately after my observing S. orientalis, a single adult male S. paradisaea appeared, and perched openly at about 20 ft. up. The two central tail-feathers of S. orientalis were seen as usual to be broad to their tips, but those of S. paradisaea were seen as two broad and short with bare shafts when blown or held apart coming thinly into one when joined. Distinction when feathers are seen separately is absolutely unmistakable.
Author C.R.S. PitmanSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 110 –115 (1965)More Less
Hood-spreading by the Cobras of the Asian and African genus Naja Laurenti is a well-known characteristic, but it is only those accustomed to handling Mambas or familiar with these relatively large snakes in the wild state who realise that all species of Mambas are capable of demonstrating what compared with Cobras can be descriptionbed as a modified hood. A variety of reasons, such as excitement, alarm, annoyance, anger, intimidation, contemplated aggression or to deter have been suggested and it is unquestionable that at times this behaviour constitutes a threat, but C.J.P. Ionides who has handled more Mambas (mainly Green Mambas) - thousands - than anyone else is of the opinion that this demonstration, which certainly seems often in the nature of a threat, does not necessarily signify impending attack. Much depends on circumstances and on the temperament of the individual.
Notes on Two East African Venomous Snake Populations-Echis carinatus pyramidum (Geoffroy), Egyptian Saw-scaled Viper and Vipera hindii Boulenger, Montane ViperSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 116 –121 (1965)More Less
Opportunities for intensive regional snake study are unfortunately rare, but when possible the results can be surprising. The density of a population is dependent on environment and climate and, most important, on food supply. For a number of years Ionides (see Puku 4, in press) has been engaged in the intensive collection of two highly venomous species of snakes Dendroaspis angusticeps (A. Smith), Green Mamba and Bitis g. gabonica (Dumeril and Bibron), Central African Gaboon Viper in southern Tanganyika and with occasional excursions to the southern extremity of Lake Tanganyika for Boulengerina annulata stormsi Dollo, Tanganyika Water Cobra. He has also visited the arid Northern Frontier region of Kenya for Echis and Kenya's Aberdare highlands for Vipera hindii Boulenger.
Author J. AsheSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 122 –124 (1965)More Less
This is a small Elapid snake, which seldom grows over 2 feet in length, though occasionally specimens are taken over that size. In colour it is commonly blue-black with pairs of narrow white bars running round the dorsal part of the body. Sometimes the two white bars enclose a red, orange or yellow one. The stomach is a pearly grey. The head is not very distinct from the neck, the nose horizontally chisel-shaped, and the eyes small.
Source: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 125 –128 (1965)More Less
The objectives of the trip were to collect specimens of Cerastes cerastes (Linnaeus), the Desert Horned-Viper, and of Echis coloratus Gunther, the Arabian Saw-scaled Viper. The habitat of both these snakes is desert, and in the case of the latter, semi-desert also. Al Aber is a fort in the Arabian Desert about 330 miles in a northerly direction from Mukalla which is on the coast, and 300 miles north-east of Aden itself. It is at an altitude of 3,300 feet. The area consists of isolated stony hills, sand, lava rocks and, in places, a certain amount of low scrub and coarse grass. There is no cultivation.
Source: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 129 –130 (1965)More Less
Thirty-nine skinks Ablepharus boutonii africanus (Sternfeld) a sub species which reaches a length of approximately 4? inches, were analysed for food items and parasites. The animals were collected during August 1963 and August 1964 from littoral rocks at Msambweni and between Mida Creek and Blue Lagoon in Kenya. They appear to inhabit rocky headlands. The greater number were observed on rocky faces on the seaward side but some were seen on top of rock cliffs. The skinks hunt their prey in crevices and holes in the rocks and in the beach strand line at the base of the cliffs. They were not observed to enter the water after prey but several which were placed in tide pools swam rapidly on the surface.
Author R.H. CarcassonSource: Journal of East African Natural History 1965, pp 131 –160 (1965)More Less
Pseudathyma neptidina Karsch, Jacksoni, ssp, novo (Figs. 1 & 2) Differs from the nominate race in the much greater development of the white discal markings in both wings above and below, in the absence of dark nervular streaks in the white markings of the forewing and in the reduction of the white streak in the fw cell. The sexes are similar, the female being larger and more rounded. This new subspecies was recently discovered in the Kakamega Forest of western Kenya by Mr. T.H.E. Jackson, the well known lepidopterist and small series of both sexes were secured by him and by the author. It is astonishing that such a conspicuous insect should have been overlooked for so long in a well collected area such as the Kakamega Forest, and this may be due to it being a surprisingly accurate mimic of Neptis strigata Aurivillius.