of dry tropical habitat: Madagascar II
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image. The thumbnails are
arranged into 2 categories: Plants (and a fungus), and Animals.
The number by each photo corresponds to its caption below .
Plants (and a fungus)
7. 8.9.10. 11.
12. 13. 14. 15.
- 1. Madagascar is full of strange plants. The plant in the
foreground is one of the coralliform Euphorbias that are
so diverse on the island, so named because the odd branching
of the stems reminded early botanists of corals.The tree in the
background is Alluaudia comosa (Didieriaceae). Photographed
near Tulear in the southwest.
- 2. Alluaudia comosa near Tulear. This strange
tree has branches that are very thick at the base and then taper
almost immediately to fine, spiny branchlets. Tulear's landmark
plateau La Table can be seen in the background.
- 3. Bismarckia palms on the plains in the Isalo area,
in the southern central part of the island.
- 4. Flower of Phylloctenium, a prickly shrub in the
Bignoniaceae family. This one was found in the Mikea Forest on
the southern part of the west coast.
- 5. and 6. Flower and fruit of Grewia sp. (Tiliaceae),
an important component of dry vegetation in Madagascar and other
parts of the Old World. This was found in the Mikea Forest.
- 7. Earthstar fungus from the Mikea forest.
- 8. Flowers of a plant in the Malpighiaceae from the Mikea
- 9. The spiny branches of Azima tetracantha (Salvadoraceae),
photographed on the west coast.
- 10. A low-growing tuberous Euphorbia growing among
the quartz in southern central Madagascar.
- 11. Nepenthes madagascariensis (Nepenthaceae), a carnivorous
pitcher plant, and the fern Gleichenia (Gleicheniaceae)growing
in a seep in the southeast.
- 12. The fat-bellied bottle palm Dypsis decipiens groing
in the central southern part of the island.
- 13. The dense inflorescence of the liana Combretum
(Combretaceae) is borne directly on the trunk near the ground.
This one was photographed in dry forest in the Ankarana Reserve
in northern Madagascar.
- 14. Another view of Erblichia (Turneraceae) from
Ankarana. Look at the brush- like stigmas!
- 15. The fruit of this Uncarina species from northern
Madagascar is covered with very sharp miniature grappling hooks.
Uncarina is in the Sesame Family (Pedaliaceae).
1. 2. 3.
- 1. Furcifer oustaleti, a common chameleon in northern
- 2. Furcifer verrucosus is common in parts of the south.
It bears striking white, black, green, and turqoise spots when
- 3. - 5. Phelsuma geckos are a perfect example of how
Madagascar is different from other parts of the world. In most
places, lizards in the gecko family are active at night. Phelsuma
geckos are active in the day. Geckos from other areas for the
most part have colors that blend in well with their surroundings.
Phelsuma geckos are often blazingly bright colors, such
as 3. and 4., Phelsuma madagascariensis, photographed
in the far north.. 5. is Phelsuma mutabilis. It
can change color very quickly. When I found this one in the southeast,
it was bright green and turquoise. After it saw me, it quickly
lost these bright colors.
- 6. Madagascar is wonderful for its lack of snakes poisonous
enough to be dangerous to people. This is Mimophis mahafalensis
from the southeast (thanks to Chris Raxworthy for the ID!).
- 7. Acrantophis dumerilii, a boa from the dry south.
- 8. A Leioheterodon geayi eating a Chalarodon
lizard in the Mikea Forest.
- 9. Dromicodryas bernieri in the Mikea Forest.
- 10. A "pill millipede" from the southeast. These
short, fat millipedes act just like sowbugs: when alarmed, they
curl up in tight balls!
Please get in touch! email@example.com
© 1999 Mark E Olson except Isalo Bismarckia which
is © 1999 Sylvain G Razafimandimbison and Euphorbia
and Dypsis which are ©1999 Simon T Malcomber