Very interesting information about the parasites! We were lucky to see this guy on our last trip to Kruger. We thought he was in a fight, but now we know better
Nice sighting squirrel. Yes its facinating black Rhino carry all sorts of parasites a few even completely exclusive or specific to them. Gyrostigma rhinocerontis
for example is a facinating one, though this isn't the one that causes the weeping sores behind the shoulders on most Black Rhino......it the largest fly in Africa.
Gyrostigma, resembles a wasp, and is a beautiful metallic blue with scarlet legs and head stripe, but devoid of mouth parts. Once this fly has hatched from a pupa in the ground, it must find a living rhino within its five day life span in order to to begin its mysterious life-cycle anew.
The eggs of the Gyrostigma fly, which are minute, oblong shaped and white, are laid in the soft striated indentations of the skin around the neck and head, and after some six days hatch into tiny "inchworms" no larger than the comma of a typewriter. At first it was assumed that these worked their way along to either the nose or mouth of the animal, but in fact, by observing them we discovered that they simply bore straight through the hide and from there somehow end up within the stomach itself.
Another animal to look out for, stunning wasp looking fly!
Very little is known about this quaint and very beautiful insect not only because it's life span is so short and it is so easily mistaken for a wasp, but also because it is crepuscular and as such very elusive, active only at dawn and at dusk. Most of its life cycle is spent in the form of a large and rather revolting looking beetle like "bot" that shares the rhino's food resource actually inside its stomach in a seemingly symbiotic relationship. Many rhinos harbour large infestations of bots which might possibly become parasitic should the animal be in poor physical condition.
Love the word "crepuscular" active at dawn and dusk. Tigers are crepuscular and mosquitoes too
Nobody knows how long a bot remains in the stomach of the rhino, but eventually it is passed in the dung to pupate in the ground with the first rains, but only if the rains are going to be substantial and conditions promise to be just right - otherwise the bots simply stay put until the next season, sometimes appearing briefly at the anal orifice to take a look around, and if conditions don't suit them, hurrying back in! Dame Daphne Sheldrick/David Sheldrick