Custodians of Rare and Endangered Lepidoptera

Overview

corel-logo-200Custodians Of Rare and Endangered Lepidoptera (COREL) is a joint LepSoc-Brenton Blue Trust project to secure the survival of our threatened butterfly and moth species.

For more information see:  www.brentonbluetrust.co.za/corel-programme/endangered-butterflies-and-moths/

Wallengren's Silver-spotted Copper Trimenia wallengrenii wallengrenii

Wallengren's Silver-spotted Copper Trimenia wallengrenii gonnemoi (Steve Woodhall) *

This butterfly has only two remaining localities, neither of which can be described as strongholds. One is on the Kapokberg and the other on the Contreberg, south and south-east of Darling, respectively.

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Paarl Mountain Copper Trimenia malagrida paarlensis

Trimenia malagrida paarlensis male uns-ex-Field-Guide

As its name suggests, this species was originally discovered on Paarl Mountain, in the Western Cape, but is now probably extinct there, owing to severe invasion of alien vegetation and too frequent fires in summer/autumn.

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Knysna Skolly Thestor brachycerus brachycerus

Thestor brachycerus pal male thumbnail 27Dec2009 by Reinier Terblanche

This butterfly was discovered and described at Knysna by Roland Trimen, the discoverer of the Brenton Blue. Whilst it was originally very abundant, it has become very rare due to its very narrow habitat specificity, small geographic range (only known from Knysna) and the loss of habitat within this range. A declining population trend has been witnessed since the 1960’s and this has accelerated since 1980.

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Brenton Blue Orachrysops niobe

Orachrysops niobe female uns Brenton

This butterfly was first discovered during a visit to Knysna 150 years ago, in 1858, by Roland Trimen, curator of the South African Museum in Cape Town. It was not seen again anywhere else until it was found again at Nature’s Valley in 1977 by Dr Jonathan Ball, . Unfortunately, the butterfly had disappeared from Nature’s Valley by the late 1980s, as more and more houses were built there.

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Barber's Cape Flats Ranger Kedestes barberae bunta

Kedestes barberae bunta male uns

In 2013 it seemed that this butterfly has been reduced to one last population in Cape Flats Dune Strandveld which is bisected by a road, earmarked for a road widening project. The boundary markers for the road reserve were in the middle of stands of Cotton wool grass within the butterfly’s colony!

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Dickson's Strandveld Copper Chrysoritis dicksoni

Chrysoritis dicksoni female uns 1 ovipositing

This butterfly was originally found on the Cape west coast between Melkboschstrand and Mamre. Its last known colony in the area was near the Pella Research Site, where eight sub colonies were located over an area of 60ha. It disappeared from these habitats in the mid nineties, for reasons unknown. A population found in 1979 at Witsand over 200km from the type locality also disappeared, but fortunately further populations were discovered between Witsand and Vermaaklikheid in the southern Cape.

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Millar's Tiger Callioratis millari

Millar's Tiger Callioratis millari

This is one of a few species of ancient moths that can be regarded as living fossils called the diptychines. There are sixteen known species of diptychines, all confined to Africa. It is the most threatened of the Callioratis species. It disappeared from its type locality circa 1928 and had not been seen for over 75 years despite efforts by Hermann Staude, Neville Duke, Alf Curle and a media campaign to try and relocate it. It was regarded as extinct until a specimen was found by Glen Holland, the local conservator, at Entumeni Nature Reserve some 120km from the type locality, in 1997. It is known to use the Natal Grass Cycad Stangeria eriopus as host-plant.

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Juanita's Hairtail Anthene crawshayi juanitae

Anthene-crawshayi-juanitae-18360b-base-Abel-Erasmus-by-Allan-Gardiner

This butterfly was originally known only from the type locality at Manoutsa Park below the Strydom Tunnel in the Abel Erasmus Pass in Limpopo, where it had not been seen since its discovery – hence its "Critically Endangered" status in the previous Red Data Book for butterflies.

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Wolkberg Zulu Alaena margaritacea

Alaena-margaritacea-(Wolkberg Zulu)

In first week of January 2013, Haenertsburg botanist, Sylvie Kremer-Köhne, sent André a photograph of a butterfly taken while photographing wild flowers. It was a female Wolkberg Zulu! And it had been found about 10 km southeast of the original locality.

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