The Butterfly Man

The Butterfly Man
Tuesday 15th October 2018

A Splendid Day
Breakfast Rock and George Peak
Dave, Kyle, Nicky, Mike, Bill and I set off on the George Peak Trail early on Friday morning. It was a simply gorgeous day and the Fynbos was beautiful in its Spring mood. Dave and Kyle moved at pace as they were going to George Peak. With our destination being Breakfast Rock, Bill and I tottered up at a more leisurely pace to suit our advanced age. Mike and Nicky combined and reminded me of the famous Nursery Rhyme. Nicky is good uphill, but struggles on the descent. Mike struggles on uphills and sails downhill.
Jack Spratt could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so between the two of them,
They licked the platter clean

There were the usual crop of rares
Lobelia ardisiandroides – Rare (See Nicky’s beautiful close-up of the minute flower on the Album)
Leucadendron conicum – Near Threatened
Erica unicolor ssp georgensis – Rare
Mimetes pauciflorus – Vulnerable
Mimetes splendidus – Endangered

It was a real battle though head-high Fynbos to reach Mimetes splendidus, but it was so worth it to find it in full flower. There are two populations on this track, but realistically we can reach only one and enjoy the other one from afar. The second clump is about 500m into thick fynbos and it would take me all day to get there. Dave and Kyle were disappointed not to find anything earth-shattering on their ascent of George Peak, but they were pleased to see Erica georgica thriving on the stretch from the saddle to the Peak. Youth vs age – it took them slightly less time to do George Peak than it took us to get to Breakfast Rock. Humph!!


A party of 6 ventured up the Soetkraal road as far as Hel Hol - which looks down onto the Soetkraal valley. Dave and the Lamprechts bundu bashed up to Witberg - the high ridge above Soetkraal - while Nicole did the road traverse with macro at the ready.

The veld is about 3 years old and starting to regenerate nicely. Orchids are popping out like hairs on a dogs back and will be spectacular in another month. At this stage the front runners are Satyrium acuminatum, Disa ophrydea and Disa cylindrica, but many others are waiting to make an entrance.

On the peak of Witberg we discovered a reseeding Phylica which can't quite be placed yet - it looks like the very hairy cousin of Phylica abietina .... but it might be something new..........? The resprouters Cyclopia subternata and Leucospermum cuneiforme are flourishing on the ridges while Hypocalyptus coluteoides decorates the Hel Hol descent.


The Butterfly Man
On Tuesday, Nicky Gail, Sandra and I joined Dr Dave Edge at Hartenbos Heuwels. This piece of land to the north of Hartenbos is is going to be developed into a retirement estate. Dave’s interest was the butterflies that occur there and a short report of his findings follows below. The focus of the CREW team was the plants. We are in the process of developing a “Place on iNat” to showcase what we have found. This should give the developers another marketing tool, but also demonstrate to them what areas need to be preserved. We were anxious about the forecast heat, but a cool south-westerly saved the day.

The finds of the day went to Sandra with Polygala pubiflora (Vulnerable) and Haworthia pygmaea var pygmaea (Not evaluated). There were a couple of yellow Freesias, that we are battling to id. We were very interested to see the Butterfly host plants, Lantana rugosa ( Lepidochrysops patricia - Patricia Blue) and Hermannia lavendulifolia (Aloeides trimeni southeyae). I for one, wasn't aware that there were indigenous Lantanas.


Date: 9 October 2018
Accompanied by: Di Turner, Nicky van Berkel, Sandra Falanga, Gail Nootenboom
Weather: Fine, fairly warm, fresh south-westerly breeze
Duration: 10.00 to 14.30
Butterflies seen:
Pontia helice (Meadow White) – plentiful
Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) – fairly common
Lepidochrysops patricia (Patricia Blue) – > 6 males; > 3 females – one ovipositing on Lantana rugosa
Spialia nanus (Dwarf Sandman) – quite a few, difficult to spot (small and fast), buzzing around the low shrubs such as H. lavandulifolia.
Pseudonympha magus (Silver-bottom Brown) – a few
Zizeeria knysna (Sooty Blue) – a few seen in the low-cut grass around the reservoir
Cacyreus fracta (Water Bronze) – seen around Pelargonium sp. near the reservoir.
Ant observations:
11.12 WP 749 Camponotus maculatus nest found under a large stone (c. 25cm) – fairly large yellowish ant, sluggish. More active at night.
11.18 WP750 Lepisiota capensis nest found under a small stone (c. 10cm) – small black shiny ant, very fast moving.
11.29 WP751 Pheidole capensis nest found under a large stone (c. 20cm) – small brown ant with large soldiers – fairly slow moving.
12.04 WP752 Lepisiota capensis nest found under c. 10cm stone – close to Hermannia lavandulifolia
12.09 WP753 Lepisiota capensis nest found under c. 10cm stone – close to Hermannia lavandulifolia
12.11 WP754 Lepisiota capensis nest found under c. 10cm stone – close to Hermannia lavandulifolia
12.15 WP755 Lepisiota capensis nest found under c. 10cm stone – close to Hermannia lavandulifolia
Several other Pheidole nests were found, always under larger stones, and never close to H. lavandulifolia plants – rather H. saccifera. It seems that the Lepisiota ants prefer the smaller stones, often quite loose on the surface (see pictures below). Typically they bring their brood up close to the surface under the stone to get some “solar heating” and promote emergence.

The Lepisiota colonies will increase in size over the next few weeks and by the time the butterflies emerge they will be quite widespread and plentiful.

Dr David A. Edge

Monate to Oubaai with WAGS
As we arrived at Monate just east of Herolds Bay, we were surprised by a light squall of rain, which was not forecast. We almost decided to abandon the walk, but fortunately common sense prevailed and we set off some time before the others.

For most of the walk, the conditions were cool and overcast with a pleasant southwesterly wind. Monate to Oubaai is a pleasant thereandback to the Oubaai Whale Lookout, which makes an excellent lunch stop. The views of our rugged coastline are good and there is a fine display of Coastal Fynbos to keep the plant enthusiasts happy.

The first stretch into Dollies Bay and across the rocky beach is tricky on crutches, but a magnificent display of Gladiolus grandiflorus provided an excellent incentive to keep going. Aspalathus laricifolius was in early flower and both Erica discolor and the unusually-coloured lime-green version of Erica glandulosa ssp fourcadei (Vulnerable)were present, with Erica formosa providing a foil in white. Agathosma ovata was densely covered with pale mauve flowers and looked spectacular. The cryptic Acrolophia cochlearis caused quite a stir, but was fairly common on the stretch close to the turnaround point at Oubaai. Strongly scented Agathosma apiculata was common along the trail. The plants were incorrectly labelled as Agathosma collina, which occurs further west. Metalasia muricata and acuta were both there, with Indigofera heterophylla providing gorgeous spots of colour along the way.

The day ended with the obligatory visit to Duttons Cove watering-hole for a cool one. It was a great day out with good friends in wonderful Fynbos


Moraea regalis discovered by Jan Vlok and only known from 1 location near De Rust has been found on Blesberg in the Swartberg by a plant enthusiast from California who posted it on iNat. This is very exciting news and gives this tiny plant a better chance of survival. It is Redlisted as Critically Endangered. (photo taken from Wikipaedia)

from Peter Thompson (The Mathematician)
I thought I'd share some photos from my recent trip in the Hex with MO! I was lucky enough to see Protea effusa for the first time. I also have a new camera that has been wonderful to play with, especially for astrophotography!

From Brian du Preez (Mr Fab)
When it rains, it certainly pours in the Cape. I have not done very much fieldwork this year, but when I do, there always seems to be something interesting (will tell you more at a later stage). Here are just a few things from a CREW trip to the Montagu area yesterday.

We were on a recently burnt farm along the R318 on the Montagu side of Rooihoogte Pass. Probably most exciting was what I am fairly sure is a new Otholobium with the sericeous leaves. I checked types on Jstor and does not look anything like argenteum. Also strange in that it flowered early September by the progression of the fruits, which also look strange to me. The leaves are also deeply obcordate, the placement of the hook is seen nicely in picture 3. It was a stiff and untidy resprouter growing mostly near the ground.

Another possible new species is the adnates Aspalathus. It was a densely resprouting bush. I at first thought it was just cliffortioides, but closer inspection shows that is more similar to the pigmentosa subgroub of Adnates (just look at the linear-terete calyx lobes, bract single foliate), but being different in that the flowers are singular along the branches instead of terminal clusters.

Also of interest is the uniflora type Aspalathus just starting to flower, well out of range for the species and needs to be investigated further. And finally, I'm guessing the last Otholobium is spissum? It was resprouting to about 1m tall and looking very pretty. Indeed a very good day in the field.

Forthcoming Field Trips
On Thursday 18th, LOT will be visiting Potjies Pass near Uniondale with Priscilla Burgoyne (Curator of the Southern Cape Herabrium). There is a Weed Forum meeting on Friday 19th. Also on the 19th, SIM will again be visiting the Ruigetvlei plantations and Spioenkop to continue our planned 2-monthly post-burn monitoring trips. So far this area has produced
Dioscorea burchelllii (Vulnerable,
Lobostemon belliformis (Critically Endangered) in a second location,
Acmadenia alternifolia (Endangered)
Selago burchellii (Vulnerable)
Nemesia elata (Vulnerable)
And all these threatened plants have only been found post-burn.
Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape

All id’s subject to confirmation by Doc Annelise and Jan Vlok, Steven Molteno, Dr Tony Rebelo, Nick Helme, Prof Charlie Stirton, Dr Robert Archer, Dr Robert McKenzie, Dr Ted Oliver, Dr Christopher Whitehouse, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
Cola Conservancy -
Dune Molerat Trail -
Featherbed Nature Reserve -
Gouriqua -
Heaven in the Langkloof -
Herolds Bay -
Kammanassie -
Klein Swartberg -
Kouga Mountains Kliphuis -
Kranshoek -
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch -
Masons Rust -
Mons Ruber and surrounds -
Mossel Bay Aalwyndal -
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve -
Mossel Bay - :

Mossel Bay -
Mossel Bay -
Mossel Bay St Blaize Trail -
Natures Valley -
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg -
Outeniquas Camferskloof -
Outeniquas East -
Outeniquas Eseljagt -
Outeniquas Eseljagtpoort -
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock -
Outeniquas Lange Berg -
Outeniquas Paardekop -
Outeniquas Paardepoort East -
Outeniquas Paardepoort West -
Outeniquas Southern Traverse -
Rooiberg -
Spioenkop -
Strawberry Hill -
Swartberg Spitskop -
Uitzicht Portion 39 -
Uitzicht -
Western Head -
Western Head –
Western Head -
Western Head -
White Heather -
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail –
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail -
Outramps Projects on iNaturalist
Lianes and Creepers in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo -

Veg Types of South Africa -

Abbreviations Glossary

MCSA – Mountain Club of South Africa
MSB - Millenium Seed Bank based at Kew in the UK
WIP – Work in Progress
HAT – High Altitude Team
LOT – Lowland Team
SIM – Somewhere in the Middle Team
WAGS – Wednesday Adventure Group
VB – Vlok Boekie “Plants of the Klein Karoo” and our Plant Bible
ITRTOL – Another thread “In The Rich Tapestry Of Life”(It describes a challenging situation, usually to do with the Buchu Bus)
ITFOT – In the fullness of time
WOESS – Fair Weather Hiker
FMC and JW – too vulgar to translate, but the equivalent is “Strike me Dead” - An expression of surprise and delight on finding a new “Rare”
Kambro – same as above
Fossick – A meter per minute, scratching around looking for rares
SIDB – Skrop in die Bos – Another name for a field trip, this one coined by Prix
BAFFING – Running round like a blue-arsed fly
SYT – Sweet Young Thing - Anyone under the age of 40
TOMB – Get a move on
Mayhem - Needless or willful damage or violence
SESKRYNG – “Sit en staan kry niks gedaan” ,with thanks to Brian
SOS – Skelms on Scramblers
FW – Idiot
BOB – Another name for the Buchu Bus when she’s misbehaving.
CRAFT – A symptom of Old Age
DDD - Metalasia tricolor (Damned Diabolical Daisy)
VP – Vrekplek – Retirement Village
Qàq – Self-explanatory Inuit word describing some of our local problems
Mr Fab – Our Fabaceae specialist, Brian Du Preez – originally Boy 1
Muisvoel -The Mathematician – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time and is now the Curator of the Garden Route Botanical Garden
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNatFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”.
FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old
Hoedown - redneck gathering, usually involves shouting catchy phrases like "yee-haw" and "the south will rise again"
VHF - Vat Hom Fluffie - our nickname for furry or woolly plants
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, October 15, 2018 12:55


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