Afrotropical Lepidoptera Workshop

By: Jeremy Dobson

The 2nd Afrotropical Lepidoptera Workshop was held at Kibale Forest in western Uganda last month (19 to 25 October 2014). This followed the successful Ghana workshop, held 3 years ago. David Agassiz (who attended the first workshop) was the chief organizer and he was assisted locally by Perpetra Akite, a professional biologist at the Makarere University field station, which is where we were based.

Thirty-eight people attended the workshop: 18 from Europe, Asia or Australia, 9 South Africans and the balance from elsewhere in Africa including a strong Kenyan delegation containing ABRI's Steve Collins. We agreed at the Workshop to use the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa website as a forum for delegates to share experiences, photographs, information and comments regarding the Uganda workshop and (hopefully) to plan similar ventures in future!

Our webmaster, Henk Nel, is working at making this page more interactive, enabling you all to post your own material directly. In the meantime, please forward any submissions you may have to me at jchdobson.co.za and I'll ensure that your article or photos are displayed in this site.

It would be hard to imagine a better venue for the workshop than Kibale. The field station contained plenty of accommodation, basic, but comfortable. The food was good and cold beer was available. What not to like!

The station is situated within a large tropical rainforest, with an extensive network of tracks and trails. Most of the paths were fairly easy follow, although I managed to get Safi and Zdenek lost on one occasion - I persuaded Safi that the exercise would be of benefit for his upcoming visit to Mount Cameroon. Kibale is the richest site for primates on the African continent, containing 13-species. We saw several of these, including chimpanzees and the rare Bosman's Potto. Numerous birds were observed, including the conspicuous Great Blue Turaco and Crowned Hornbill. Felicity Grundlingh is going to put together provisional lists of the birds, mammals and dragonflies; if any other people made relevant observations, please forward these to Felicity (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Graham Henning is busy compiling a list of the butterflies that we saw at Kibale; please forward any observations / records that you may have to Graham (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or myself. Could the moth-enthusiasts try and do the same for the moths within your particular field of expertise?

From my perspective, the only negative factor was the wet and cloudy weather, although to be fair, we did not have a single day that was a complete write off. When the sun did come out, the butterflies were really good, including local Kibale specials such as Euphaedra christyi and Telipna sheffieldi. A lifer for me - to use birder terminology - was the Blue Evening Brown (Melanitis ansorgei).

I can't speak with any authority on the moths that were found at Kibale, but by all accounts the diversity that was encountered was impressive; most of the moth specialists were very happy with what they encountered.

Due to its altitude (1500m above sea level), the climate at Kibale is not excessively hot, although (as the butterfly enthusiasts will vouch), there is no shortage of rain! We were at the beginning if the wet season, apparently a particularly opportune time for the Moth-ers, who made up by far the largest number of the delegates.

Presentations / talks were held daily, commencing at 14h00 (ish). A list of papers presented at the conference is included.

The atmosphere at the workshop was very informal and convivial; more than half the delegates at Kibale had attended the Ghana conference and it was great to catch up with old acquaintances and to make new ones. Thanks to the organizers, principally David Agassiz and Perpetra Akite, for putting together such an enjoyable and educational conference.

There was some discussion, led by Paul Waring, regarding future workshops; no firm plans were implemented, but it was felt that the momentum gained by the first two workshops must be retained. It was agreed that an interval of 2 to 3 years (taking cognizance of other planned Entomological / Lepidoptera conferences) was about right.

I can't wait for the next one!

Talk about it here Afrotropical Workshops Forum

Download the list of species recorded from the Kibale Forest Research Station here.

Delegates

  • Leif Aarvik (Norway) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • David Agassiz (UK) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Perpetra Akite (Uganda) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Vasiliy Anikin (Russia) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Thomas Baron (Turkey/Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Klaus-Rüdiger Beck (Germany) via Timm Karisch
  • Jacob Bwerere (Uganda) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Piero Carlino (Italy) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Steve Collins (Kenya) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Jeremy Dobson (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Chris Dobson (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Antonio Durante (Italy) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Zdenek Fric (Czech Republic) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Felicity Grundlingh (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Graham Henning (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Timm Karisch (Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Esther Kioko (Kenya) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Jalia Kiyemba (Uganda) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Lars Kühne (Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Knud Larsen (Denmark) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Wolfram Mey (Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Sergio Montagud (Spain) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Joseph Mugambi (Kenya) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Maryann Ngugi (Kenya) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Flora Njeri (Kenya) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Michael Ochse (Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Jan Praet (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Lukasz Przybylowicz (Poland) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Gration Rwegasira (Tanzania) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Szabolcs Safian (Hungary) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Alexander Schintlmeister (Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Raimund Schutte (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Harald Selb (South Africa) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Beatrix Selb (South Africa)
  • Dirk Stadle (Germany) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Esther Toloa (Uganda)
  • Geoffrey Wanjohi (Kenya) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Peter Ward (South Africa/Nigeria) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Paul Waring (UK) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Vadim Zolotuhin (Russia) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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