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Flora Fauna Diary 01

by Bali Cartoon Teller

“Like the ocean, land plants hold about three times as much carbon as the atmosphere. While oceans take many centuries to exchange this mass with the air, flora take only a few years. “

Gregory Benford
Hello, I am Maong. I am the teller of flora and fauna story in Peh! Bali Cartoon. Follow my environmental journal and discoveries through Flora Fauna Diary tag


Hummingbird Hawk-Moth that Looks Like Colibri


Some foreigners ask, “Do you have colibri in Bali?

The answer is no. But we have a moth that looks like colibri, flaps its wings like colibri and even make the humming sound while flying with their wings and we call it kebebek; hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum). It is a species of moth. It looks remarkably like a hummingbird/colibri while feeding on nectar.

This moth was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema.

Balinese “kebebek” is a day-flying moth with a wingspan of about two inches (50-58mm). It sucks flower with its long straw like proboscis. And it has some beautiful colours in its parts of the body; black tail, olive to golden olive thorax, spotted abdomen, orange underside of wings, yellow or pale legs, olive to tan head.

Mangrove Tree

a Hero of the Earth

There is nothing which is useless from a mangroves tree. Its leaves that fall into the swamp are very nutritious and consumed by several types of crabs. Some of those crabs, in their turn, are eaten by monkeys living in the mangrove forest. In India where tigers still exist and roam in a number of mangrove forests, monkeys are the big stripped cat’s prey.

The mangroves that exist throughout the year attract and feed the bees abundantly. Mangrove forest is one of the best places to put beehives. The honey from mangrove nectar has a lot of qualities including anti-cancer. The mangrove roots firmly grip the coastal swamp and protect it from erosion.

If the density and area of ​​mangrove forest are well preserved, it protects the land and its inhabitants from the threat of a tsunami. If the coast of Aceh was not bare when the tsunami hit it in 2004 , there would be less than 200.000 victims, because the dense mangrove forests could break the tsunami waves and decrease its height.

There are various types of fish (for example red mangrove snapper, mudskipper) and shrimps that shelter and make the roots of mangrove forests as a place to live and lay their eggs. The mangrove roots area is the field of growth for young fish and shrimp. The Predatory fish such as jambian fish catch prey there.

Often people make shrimp ponds and cut down mangroves to raise shrimps, but actually preserving mangrove forests is the best way to conserve shrimp thus shrimp can not only be exploited by big investors and theirs industrial ponds but by all fishermen.

Breathing Roots of Mangrove

Some species of mangroves such as Sonneratia and Avicennia develop the breathing roots that stick up straight from the swamp to get oxygen. These breathing roots or pneumathopores are the extension of the mangrove’s under ground roots. In some cases swamp mud is anaerobic (oxygenated or oxygen poor), so the breathing roots are a respiration solution for some mangroves such as Sonneratia alba in our illustration below.

The breathing root can be woody and rise up to 3 meters, although generally it s height is less than 50 cm. For the avicennia mangrove, the maximum height of its breathing root is 30 cm.

Writer: Guntur Suyasa, All Crayon drawing: Guntur Suyasa, Maong Strip Cartoon : Putu Ebo

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Laurent Volk
Laurent Volk
10 months ago

Super chouette! Your drawings are an exquisite mix of tropical naïf trend and traditionnal balinese painting.

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