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Archive for October, 2010

Whilst hunting for Barber’s Ranger Kedestes barberae bunta in Strandfontein recently I came across some Arum Lily Frogs Hyperolius horstocki. These small frogs frequently inhabit the flowers of the Arum Lily Zantedeschia aethiopica. I’ve looked for these frogs a few times without success but was fortunate to find two specimens while looking for the butterflies in question.

The arum Lily Frog’s call is descried as “a harsh nasal bleat every half second”. You can hear it here.

Pictures have been uploaded to the newly opened Virtual Museum of the Southern African Frog Atlas Project.

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A few weeks back I accompanied Steve & Andrew to a recently discovered colony of a subspecies of Barber’s Ranger Kedestes barberae bunta in Strandfontein. This subspecies is rare due to habitat loss & occurs only in a few locations in coastal fynbos in the Cape Penninsula & Cape Flats areas. It is currently listed in the Red Data Book of threatened species. The larvae feed on Cottonwool Grass Imperata cylindrica.
It was fantastic to find a small but apparently thriving colony of these butterflies. The grass was growing right beside a busy road in a quite degraded area where there are currently no protection measures in place.

Barber’s Ranger Kedestes barberae bunta

I also spotted a Silver Arrowhead Phasis Thero (no pics), as well as a lovely specimen of the Geranium Bronze Cacyreus marshalli and a Common Opal Chrysoritis thysbe thysbe.

Geranium Bronze Cacyreus marshalli (I messed up a very nice shot by not allowing for the shadow cast by a leaf.)

Common Opal Chrysoritis thysbe thysbe

All except the Geranium Bronze were lifers for me.

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Back in July I took a family holiday in the Hluhluwe area. We stayed at Malala Lodge which was quiet, comfortable, (though a queen bed rather than a double would have been nice), and had a nice selection of birds, animals & butterflies present. I spent a few hours surveying the area for butterflies & finished with 25 species positively identified species (list below). All photographic records were submitted to the South African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA) Virtual Museum. Here are a few photographs:

Small Orange Acraea Hyalites eponina

Window Acraea Acraea oncaea

Common Orange Tip Colotis evenina

Smoky Orange Tip Colotis euippe

Dry Season Form African Veined White Belenois gidica

African Common White  Belenois creona

Broad-bordered Grass Yellow Eurema brigitta ovidepositing

Natal Tree Nymph Sevenia natalensis

Squinting Bush Brown Bicyclus anyana

Common Blue Leptotes sp. (Members of this group of related species can only be distinguished by genital dissection.)

Topaz-spotted Blue Azanus jesous

Common Dotted Border Mylothris agathina

Black Pie Tuxentius melaena

Spialia sp. (Possibly Forest Sandman Spialia dromus, but difficult to tell without seeing the underside of the wing.)

Small Elfin Sarangesa phidyle

Long-horned Swift Borbo fatuellus

Other species observed included:
Yellow Pansy Junonia hierta
Blue Pansy Junonia oenone
African Monarch Danaus chryssipus
Club-tailed Emperor Charaxes zoolina
Citrus Swallowtail Papilio demodocus
Mocker Swallowtail (Flying hankerchief) Papilio dardanus female f. hippocoonides
Sulphur Orange Tip Colotis auxo
African Small White Dixeia charina
Green-marbled Sandman Gomalia elma
Common Hottentot Skipper Gegenes niso

I would expect there to be at least 80 species present in total but multiple surveys would need to be carried out at different times of the year.

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