May 2012 be a wonderful year for each member and may you all be very successful in finding new and interesting butterflies and butterfly behaviours that will be of benefit for the Society, science and conservation. May we all grow this Society to be a great success!
Butterfly Census Week 4 - results
A great success again, and it all would not have been possible without our generous sponsor Incledon's.
We had some great media exposure and coverage for this 4th butterfly census week, which made it a great success, and certainly caused a buzz amongst the public.
Congratulations to all the teams that entered as well as to all the winners!
The dates for the new BCW 5 is out.
The next counting will take place on 21 - 29 April 2012, so make sure to keep this week aside for butterfly counting. For more information and on how to register, please read the terms and conditions for entering.
An Out Of Africa experience
In November of 2011, members of our Society embarked on a trip to Ghana for a Workshop for Lepidoptera Research in Afrotropical region. The team consisted of Silvia Mecenero, Bennie & Andrè Coetzer together with Jeremy Dobson. They had quite an interesting trip, a real survival course as I understood it. And what more can I say, they discovered a new species of moth - Lady of the Night Green Hairstreak...for information you can contact Bennie for more information.
A few strange things have been experienced by expert Lepidopterist, Prof. Mark Williams. He recently rediscovered Anthene crawshiwi juanitae at Lekgalameetse, with a little bit of luck. Congratulations on a excellent find.
He also scratched through his old stock in the freezer (behind in some admin work for obvious reasons) and saw spotted something different in one of the sailers that he caught in Manguzi forest. Read more ...
The Waterberg is delivering
Raimund Schutte visit the Waterberg in November in search of Dingana jerinae Jerine's Widow. According to Steve Woodhall's book, this butterfly is only known from upper southern scree slopes of the Kransberg. He was extremely lucky, given the weather that was fore casted for him, and we are glad that you manage to find some. Read more ...
The year kicked off well for the Bode's. For the New Year weekend we packed out bags and went of to Highlands Wilderness in the Waterberg. It was a lovely weekend, nice and hot. We discovered some very interesting insect behaviour at a tavern in the bush. The bar was packed, and the insects enjoyed themselves thoroughly...we took some video clips of this party.
He also came across a very odd looking Macomo Ranger. The first time we saw it, it was a female ovipositing on grass. We went back there the weekend of 21 January with Mark Williams and he managed to caught a few males this time, but unfortunately, no females has been caught as yet. Read more...
By now you'll have realised that there are some big changes afoot. Metamorphosis is about to go 100% electronic, for a number of reasons. Cost of publishing is one, but another is the difficulty of maintaining a regular issue flow when everything is done by volunteers. Many of you will have scratched your heads at receiving a spring 2011 issue in summer 2012! This has been unavoidable and is not a reflection on Andy Mayer and Martin Kruger - it is just a reflection of the difficulties they have faced whilst doing a sterling job. Going electronic means we can publish papers as soon as they are ready and we don't have to 'wait until the taxi is full before it leaves' - no need to wait until we have enough to fill an issue. Also we can publish colour plates without having to charge authors for the cost of printing.
But we also realise the value of having a hard copy fall on your mat once a quarter. This is the reason we have developed our relationship with Environment magazine. You will have received copies of this and seen the one page of paid copy that we have done for the last few issues. But it goes beyond that. All members can publish suitable articles and photographs in the magazine without LepSoc having to pay, providing the copy is acceptable to the Editor.
Environment has themes; below are the themes of the following four issues. Issue 10 is just about to pass its deadline so it's too late for that, but if there are hot topics that you as members would like to write about and they don't fit into the themes below, please send the suggestion anyway, as John Ledger and his team could find a space for them if necessary.
a. Issue 10 - Forests and Biodiversity
b. Issue 11 - Agriculture and Biodiversity
c. Issue 12 - Fresh Water
d. Issue 13 - Growth and Biodiversity
I'm sure all of you could find something relevant to Lepidoptera in all those themes.
You can also submit articles for the regular sections that appear in Environment: here are descriptions of what they are, and how to tailor them so that they fit John's editorial policy:
Envirobytes: Short news items, local or international, of environmental importance and of interest to the general readership.
Research Highlights: This may be one in-depth article of local or global importance, or two or three shorter items about published research of interest to the lay reader. Generally this fits with the thematic topic of the issue, as you will see from the last magazine with its marine theme.
Photo Essay: Linked to the theme for the issue, hence in Environment #10 the photo essay is on seabirds. It could just as easily have been on fish, corals or marine mammals. Or, seaside butterflies! For the current issue on forests, the rather broad brief was to find a gallery of interesting forest creatures.
Last Word: They are very flexible here, and look for topical or amusing essays that make the reader smile or shake their heads. Of course we have no shortage of these in LepSoc and Reinier Terblanche has already been immortalised in this section!
Hot Topic: Updating some important environmental subject, usually of a controversial nature, such as the proposed industrial park in Namibia (#9) or fracking in the Karoo (#11) or a proposed wind farm in Lesotho (#10).
Main section for thematics: Here there is scope for special interest articles within the main theme. For 'Forests', 'forest butterflies' is appropriate.
And last but not least there is our paid-for section. We are at present an 'associate partner' but once we get to 500 members (not too far off!) we can hope to become a full partner. Look at what the partners are putting into Environment - news, achievements and milestones reached, and short articles that will entice readers to become members of LepSoc and support us.
So please will you all put your writing caps on. Post your trip reports on the site's forums. If for example you make a new foodplant record, describe a new species, review a genus, of have a paper to publish on the ecology of a lepidopteran, get hold of Dave Edge and publish it in e-Metamorphosis. And for articles of a more general nature, which you would like to go to a circulation of nearly 20000, write for Environment. If you want to do this, initially send the copy and low-res jpegs of any pix to Dave McDermott, copy me, so we can discuss it with Yolan Friedman and John Ledger before we submit it to Environment.
Of course, you could always just go on TV, like some certain celebrities did recently...
We always kick the year off with a braai. It is a fun time were we can all get together with our families and butterfly friends and enjoy a nice summer day in Gauteng . This year the braai was again held on Hermann Staude's farm, a lovely venue. Justin also awarded his famous awards. Read more ...
The ADU's 20th anniversary is taking place this year at the Pietermaritzburg National Botanical Gardens on the 11th of February 2012. This is an event not to be missed. For more information, you are welcome to contact Doug Harebottle at email@example.com.
A few events and trips took place since the previous newsletter:
On behalf of the Society we want to congratulate Chris & Julie Botha on the award that they received from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal for their book " Bring butterflies back to you Garden" . I myself received this book as a prize in the photographic competition 3 years ago, and it is a very nice book to have, also a fun book.
Western Cape Branch
A big thank you goes out to Andrew Mourton, you is doing and remarkable job down in the Western Cape with the co-operation of this fellow members there.
The Western Cape branch of Lepsoc has managed to secure a research agreement with Table Mountain, Bontebok, Cape Agulhas & West Coast National parks. If you would like to participate in surveying and monitoring of Lepidoptera in these parks you must contact the branch chairman, Andrew Morton @ firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what paperwork is required, including indemnity forms, and all the conditions of the permit.
Those of you that applied to participate in the Western Cape Lepidoptera survey and were issued with a Cape Nature permit by Hermann, would have signed an agreement to submit a report on your activities every 3 months. The first of these reports was due 15 November 2011. It is imperative that your report is sent to Bennie Coetzer @ email@example.com timeously. If you haven't sent in your report, please do so as a matter of urgency.
The guys have also been driving tanks of fuel out looking for new, or interesting butterfly spots:
This is a forum where member can sell items. Anything from your old camera, to collecting cabinets, books and so on.
We are selling clothes again. This time the catalogue has grown. If you wish to order LepSoc bush clothing , please fill in the order form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org together with your proof of payment. An order will only be placed once the proof of payment has been send through. One order at a time will be placed to make the admin work easier. The cut-off date for the first orders will be 15 March 2012. So please send all you orders in before that.
We urge all members to make more use of the forum. It you need some butterflies to be identified, there is forum where you can do so. We have a few different boards on the forum:
Photography: Don't delete all you photo's that were not to your satisfaction, post them on this forum.
Observation records: If you are not sure what butterfly or moth you have photographed, post a photo here and our expert panel will identify it for you.
Social Discussion: If you want to raise an issue, or discuss something with members of the Society, you can post it in here.
Welcome Mat: This is a place where you can introduce yourself to the Society so that we all can get to know each other. We are such a small Society, and sometimes we feel like a small familiy, so it would we nice to get to know one another.
"Tears of blood are streaming down my face!" If you can put this picture in you mind, then you can just imagine how this rhino must feel that is pleading for all South African citizens to help them.
As members of LepSoc, we all feel very strongly about nature conservation. One of our members, Richard Stephens has asked me to post this in our newsletter, and I think you would all agree, that this is a cause that we will all support 100%:
Good day to All at Lepsoc
I thought I would send this on to fellow-conservationists in case there were any among you who might be interested in supporting this worthy cause and also in sending the link to your contacts.
The project has been started by my daughter who has worked in game parks over the years and seen the need at first hand amongst the people on the ground in the Anti-Poaching Units.
I would much appreciate it if you could share this message as far a possible with your friends, family and colleagues. Each one of us can make a difference in fighting rhino poaching. > Best regards
And then last, but not the least, I urge you to get you My Planet forms through to Peter Sharland as quickly as possible. You can now scan you form instead going all the way to the post office to post it.
We still need to 50 form to be at our target of 200 for registrations, but that does not mean that your task is over. We need to get in as much as possible to make a difference. So ask you family, you colleagues, you friends, everybody to fill in a form to help our butterflies survive!