Image Source: Edited screen capture from Yahoo Images.

Today’s Creature Feature takes us to the southern tip of Africa, where we will find a neat little insect.

The Basking Malachite (aka, the Amatola Malachite) is an Endangered species. This insect can only be found near the Kubusi and Thorn River of South Africa. Scientists roughly estimate there are less than 1,000 adults per generation and the population is on the decline. Basking Malachites prefer wetlands or areas with shallow streams/creeks as their habitat.

Unfortunately for them, cattle also prefer streams—or at least to trample along them—and fish prefer to eat these particular insects. In addition to that, they face threats from pollution, invasive species, and agricultural practices. Another downside to this is none of their current locations are protected. However, conservationists are trying to work with local farmers to at least fence off areas so the cattle won’t destroy their habitat any more than they already have.

To find out more about this creature, check out these links:

Animal Planet Endangered Species Guide
Arkive
UNEP-WCMC Species Database

By Heidi Marshall