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Archive for September, 2010

Monday to Wednesday this week I had a work conference in Montagu staying at the Avalon Springs Hotel & Spa Resort. I had most of the afternoons of Monday & Tuesday free & spent a few hours chasing butterflies on the 440m hill behind the resort. Monday afternoon was breezy, cloudy, & cool & not much was flying. Tuesday was sunny, clear & much warmer & a lot more species were active.
On Monday I saw a Painted Lady Vanessa cardui as well as this Chrysoritis species. I didn’t get a photo with its wings open, nor did I really see the upper surface, but I think its a Burnished Opal Chrysoritis chrysaor.

On Tuesday I had a lot more success:

Meadow White Pontia helice.

The best find was another Chrysoritis species, a lifer for me. It took a lot of chasing but I got pretty good photographs of them:


Plutus Opal Chrysoritis plutus.

There were a number of specimens of a tiny Blue flying:



Pretty sure these are Dwarf Blue Oraidium barberae.

There were a few Browns flying, but they were very difficult to photograph. I managed to get decent photographs of one specimen:

Spring Widow Tarsocera cassus. This was another lifer.

I collected another Brown later to discover that it was a different species, the Western Hillside Brown Stygionympha vigilans; also a lifer – though alas, no photographs.


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui. These were quite common, but I find them quite difficult to photograph.

Finally, I took this horrible photo of small blue- any ideas as to its ID?

Observed but not photographed were:
Protea Scarlet Capys alphaeus
Citrus Swallowtail Papilio demodocus
Cape Black-eye Leptomyrina lara
Western Hillside Brown Stygionypha vigilans
Common Hairtail Anthene definita

All in all, a very enjoyable few hours with 3 lifers.

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I made a return trip to Het Kruis with Andrew & Kevin on on July 24. (See the 2009 trip report here.) We wanted to see what was active at this time of year. Het Kruis is particularly known as a good location for the King Copper Butterfly Tylopedia sardonyx peringeui.
We had a very successful trip that resulted in an extension of the flight times for a number of species.

King Copper Tylopedia sardonyx peringeui

King Copper Tylopedia sardonyx peringeui – dorsal surface. Getting a clear shot of the dorsal surface can be very difficult in some species.

The Warrior Silver-spotted Copper Argyraspodes argyraspis was our second target species. I had much better views of it than in 2009.

There were a number of other butterflies around as well:

Boeland Brown Melampias huebneri

Cape Black-eye Leptomyrina lara

Dwarf Blue Oraidium barberae. This tiny butterfly is the second smallest butterfly in Southern Africa and was a new species for me.

We then moved localities slightly to a flatter sandy area on the other side of the road. Here we also saw one specimen of the King Copper Tylopedia sardonyx peringeui. There were a number of Osteospermum (Chrysanthemoides) incana plants in flower – the food plant of the Donkey Daisy Copper Chrysoritis zonarius and we found a few specimens of this species — again earlier than has previously been recorded. This was also a new species for me.

There were plenty of flowers out as well:

Babiana sp.

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