Research programme

RESEARCH PROGRAMME

A research programme which commenced in 2009 has already established:

1)                   Adult butterfly behaviour and habitat requirements

2)                   Female butterfly oviposition (egg laying) behaviour

3)                   The population of the butterfly at its various locations.

4)                   The vegetation communities occurring in the habitat of the butterfly, both in terms of species composition, but also structure and age.

5)                   The ant species assemblages and other associated insect populations at the places where the butterfly occurs.

6)                   A new locality for the butterfly near Coney Glen

The following activities are still outstanding:

7)                   Observations of the larval stages of the butterfly, including the association of the larvae with ants and Homopterans or other insects.

8)                   The preferred microclimate conditions necessary for the butterfly, its early stages and its insect associates.

9)                   The impact of various management techniques (burning; cutting of vegetation to create open areas) on the butterfly’s presence and breeding success.

RESEARCH PERSONNEL

Liz Bazin

A resident of Wilderness who has enrolled to do her Masters degree in Environmental Science at North-West University will be making Thestor brachycerus the subject of her research for her dissertation, to be submitted during 2014.

 David Edge

A resident of Knysna who spearheaded the campaign to save the Brenton Blue butterfly (Orachrysops niobe) and has published several papers on the ecology of the Brenton Blue which inform the management of its habitat. He has a doctorate in Environmental Science from North-West University (Edge 2005) and is now a senior lecturer at the university.