Fanie Rautenbach’s Great LepiMAP Challenge 2020/21

Fanie Rautenbach has worked his way through the LepiMAP records for South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, has identified data gaps, and is challenging us to fill them. Fanie is the member of LepSoc Africa who takes the main responsibility for doing the identifications of butterflies in LepiMAP.

This blog does two things. Firstly, it lists all the species of butterfly for which we don’t have a photographic record in LepiMAP. Secondly, it lists the species for which there are photographic records in LepiMAP, but for which the most recent record was made more than five years ago, i.e. in 2014 or earlier. The Great LepiMAP Challenge for the summer of 2020/21 is to “refresh” the records for these species.

The LepiMAP database contains 477,000 records of butterflies, getting on for half a million. This is one of the largest databases of its kind in the world. For the butterfly atlas of South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini (the SABCA project), we computerized every specimen record we could find. This included museums and private collections. This database goes back to the 19th century, although most of the records used for the butterfly atlas were made after the Second World War, in the second half of the 20th century, and from 2000 to 2010.

This blog consists of a series of four tables. Each table covers a time period. The first three tables are the 112 species that are not in LepiMAP as photographic records. The fourth table selects the 56 species that have not been “refreshed”, even once, since 2014. The column headers are mostly self-explanatory; the numbers in the column QDGC give the number of quarter degree grid cells in which the species has been recorded; the column records gives the total number of records for the species in the database. The two-letter codes are abbreviations for the provinces of South Africa, eS is eSwatini (Swaziland) and Les is Lesotho. The crosses show which of these political regions the species has been recorded in. Locality gives the general area where the species has been recorded. The numbers in the first column are in date order.

So Fanie’s first challenge to all LepiMAPpers is to get photographic records for these 168 species, and to upload them into the Virtual Museum. In the tables he has indicated the political regions they occur in, and there is a general description of the locality.

Fanie’s second challenge is to find the species in areas where they have not been recorded previously. (Many species have “traditional” sites where they get recorded, and for some species it is believed that they occur only on a single hilltop.) And then people have unexpectedly bumped into them at other sites, often at a considerable distance. Steve Woodhall’s talk at a BDI Citizen Scientist Hour called “Looking for butterflies” will help you learn how to go about doing butterfly fieldwork. And his book: “Fieldguide to Butterflies of South Africa” (reviewed here) gives the flight period for each species, so you know when to look. You can order a copy of this field guide by sending an email to Steve Woodhall.

We asked Steve to comment on this challenge: “This challenge is vital, as it carries on the great work done by LepSoc Africa and citizen scientists during the original SABCA project. Our understanding of our butterflies’ biogeography was increased immensely by SABCA, but LepiMAP record collecting for the project ended in July 2010, leading up to the publication of the Red List and Atlas in 2013. Environmental change has accelerated in the past 10 years, and we need to rise to this challenge to fill in the new gaps that Fanie has identified.”

This first table lists the 18 species for which there is not a single record in the LepiMAP database this century. The most recent record was made two decades ago. Amazingly, 12 of these 19 species are regarded as “Least Concern”. But this is due to the reality that many of them have wide ranges farther north in Africa. But it would be nice to know that the species persists at the edge of its range, in the southern end of Africa. (Because of the constraints of this format, you need to scroll out to the right to see the far ends of the tables – sorry! You can also download the tables as an Excel spreadsheet, or as a PDF)

  Family Scientific name Common name Status QDGC Rec-ords Last observed Li Mp Ga NW KZN FS NC WC EC eS Les Locality
1 LYCAENIDAE Deloneura immaculata Bashee river buff Extinct 1 2 29/12/1863                 X     Bashee River near Gwetyibeni (Fort Bowker)
2 NYMPHALIDAE Tirumala petiverana Dappled monarch, blue monarch Least Concern 2 2 26/06/1976 X                     Malta forest (Lekgalameetse NR)
3 NYMPHALIDAE Ypthima antennata antennata Clubbed ringlet Least Concern 4 21 03/02/1979 X                     Buffelsberg near Munnik (NE of Polokwane)
4 NYMPHALIDAE Stygionympha dicksoni Dickson’s hillside brown Critically Endangered 3 32 31/08/1985               X       Tygerberg, Kapokberg (Darling)
5 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides mbuluensis Mbulu’s copper Least Concern 3 30 20/11/1990         X       X     Mbulu (Transkei) Lotheni
6 NYMPHALIDAE Pseudonympha southeyi southeyi Southey’s brown Least Concern 7 53 10/11/1991                 X     Joubert’s Pass (Lady Grey), Ben MacDhui
7 HESPERIIDAE Andronymus caesar philander White dart Least Concern 4 6 16/05/1993 X X     X             Kosi Bay, Pafuri (Kruger park) Swadini resort
8 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes druceanus solitarius Silver-barred charaxes Least Concern 1 4 19/07/1993 X                     Blouberg
9 LYCAENIDAE Thestor calviniae Dickson’s skolly Least Concern 1 46 11/11/1993             X         mear Calvinia, Hantamsberg
10 NYMPHALIDAE Coenyropsis natalii poetulodes Natal brown Data Deficient 3 27 06/03/1994 X                     Chuniespoort, Tubex (Wolkberg)
11 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes xiphares staudei Forest-king charaxes Least Concern 1 16 14/03/1994 X                     Blouberg
12 NYMPHALIDAE Dira swanepoeli isolata Swanepoel’s widow Least Concern 1 23 12/02/1996 X                     Blouberg
13 LYCAENIDAE Thestor protumnus terblanchei Terblanche’s skolly Vulnerable 2 8 15/02/1996           X           Korannaberg
14 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia malagrida malagrida Scarce mountain copper Critically Endangered 1 120 26/02/1996               X       Lion’s Head, Twelve Apostles
15 NYMPHALIDAE Neptis serena serena Serene sailer Least Concern 5 6 10/09/1996 X                     Near Mpaphuli Cycad Reserve
16 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis lyncurium Tsomo river opal Vulnerable 4 84 18/12/1997                 X     Mbulu Forest, Tsomo River
17 NYMPHALIDAE Sevenia rosa Rosa’s tree nymph Least Concern 5 17 19/01/1998         X             Ngoye Forest Reserve
18 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia wykehami Wykeham’s silver-spotted copper Least Concern 8 176 11/12/1999             X X       Verlatenkloof Pass (Sutherland), Nuweveld mountains (Beaufort West)

The next table contains the 19 butterfly species that were last recorded between 2000 and 2007.

  Family Scientific name Common name Status QDGC Rec-ords Last observed Li Mp Ga NW KZN FS NC WC EC eS Les Locality
19 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides carolynnae aurata Carolynn’s copper Near Threatened 5 77 21/02/2000               X       De Hoop Nature Reserve, Still Bay
20 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis thysbe mithras Common opal Data Deficient 2 48 01/09/2000               X       Brenton-on-sea, Struisbaai
21 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis oreas Drakensberg daisy copper Near Threatened 10 197 16/10/2000         X             Bulwer Mountain, Lotheni, Bushman’s Neck”
22 LYCAENIDAE Thestor petra tempe Tempe skolly Least Concern 5 73 29/12/2000               X       Elandsberg, Seweweekspoort
23 NYMPHALIDAE Pseudonympha southeyi kamiesbergensis Southey’s brown Least Concern 5 26 03/10/2001             X         Grootvlei pass (Kamieskroon)
24 HESPERIIDAE Kedestes sarahae Sarah’s ranger Least Concern 1 13 14/10/2001               X       Cedarberg Mountains (Welbedacht)
25 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides monticola Cedarberg copper Least Concern 1 43 21/10/2001               X       Cedarberg Mountains
26 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis blencathrae Waaihoek opal Least Concern 2 72 21/01/2002               X       Waaihoek Mountains (Worcester)
27 LYCAENIDAE Zintha hintza krooni Hintza pierrot Least Concern 4 4 16/12/2002             X         Witsand
28 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia wallengrenii wallengrenii Wallengren’s silver-spotted copper Critically Endangered 1 21 17/11/2003               X       Kapokberg near Darling
29 NYMPHALIDAE Torynesis orangica Orange widow Least Concern 4 282 15/02/2004           X           Golden gate, Clarens
30 LYCAENIDAE Virachola dinomenes dinomenes Orange playboy Least Concern 17 240 18/06/2004         X             Hluhluwe False Bay Park
31 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides stevensoni Stevenson’s copper Endangered 2 64 06/11/2004 X                     Haenertsburg
32 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis adonis adonis Adonis opal Least Concern 2 186 14/11/2005               X       Gydo Mountain (Ceres)
33 NYMPHALIDAE Neita lotenia Loteni brown Least Concern 7 103 07/01/2006         X           X Bushman’s Neck, Lotheni
34 NYMPHALIDAE Torynesis pringlei Pringle’s widow Least Concern 4 42 28/01/2007                     X Rafoletsane, Sehonghong Valley
35 NYMPHALIDAE Cassionympha camdeboo Camdeboo brown Least Concern 3 35 14/11/2007                 X     Aberdeen
36 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops jefferyi Jeffery’s blue Endangered 2 160 17/11/2007   X                   Barberton
37 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops swanepoeli Swanepoel’s blue Endangered 2 140 17/11/2007   X                   Barberton
38 LYCAENIDAE Thestor barbatus Bearded skolly Data Deficient 1 13 15/12/2007               X       Spitskoppie (Herold)

This big table contains the 74 butterfly species which were last recorded between 2008 and 2011, and which are not in LepiMAP as photographic records.

  Family Scientific name Common name Status QDGC Rec-ords Last observed Li Mp Ga NW KZN FS NC WC EC eS Les Locality
39 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops loewensteini Loewenstein’s blue Least Concern 5 56 13/01/2008                 X   X Sehonghong river valley Dulcies neck
40 LYCAENIDAE Orachrysops nasutus remus Nosy blue Least Concern 16 84 13/01/2008         X       X   X Ongeluksnek Sehonghong river valley
41 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides pringlei Pringle’s copper Least Concern 2 77 15/02/2008                 X     Groot Winterberg (Between Adelaide and Tarkastad)
42 LYCAENIDAE Anthene minima minima Little hairtail Least Concern 25 81 14/03/2008 X X     X         X   Mhlosinga Mkuse
43 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes marieps Marieps charaxes Least Concern 1 121 29/03/2008 X X                   Mariepskop
44 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops penningtoni Pennington’s blue Data Deficient 4 23 03/09/2008             X         Wolfhok
45 HESPERIIDAE Spialia agylla bamptoni Grassveld sandman Least Concern 4 43 21/09/2008             X         Hondeklip bay
46 PIERIDAE Colotis celimene pholoe Lilac tip Least Concern 3 6 27/09/2008             X         Tswalu Nature Reserve
47 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis turneri wykehami Wykeham’s opal Least Concern 3 78 18/10/2008             X         Hantamsberg Sutherland
48 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis nigricans rubescens Dark opal Least Concern 1 26 05/11/2008               X       Gamka nature reserve
49 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis azurius Azure opal Least Concern 11 200 21/11/2008             X         Sutherland Roggeveld escarpment
50 NYMPHALIDAE Serradinga bowkeri bella Bowker’s widow Least Concern 6 10 02/12/2008                 X     Compass berg Swaershoek Pass (Cradock)
51 LYCAENIDAE Thestor overbergensis Overberg skolly Least Concern 3 15 08/12/2008               X       De Hoop nature reserve Cape Agulhas
52 LYCAENIDAE Chloroselas mazoensis Purple gem Least Concern 17 145 21/12/2008 X X     X         X   Watervalsrivierpas (Lydenburg) Tembe Elephant park
53 NYMPHALIDAE Neita durbani D’Urban’s brown Least Concern 13 114 05/01/2009                 X     Bedford Pearston
54 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis thysbe schloszae Moorreesburg Common opal Critically Endangered 1 52 01/03/2009               X       Koringberg (Moorreesburg)
55 PAPILIONIDAE Papilio ophidicephalus zuluensis Emperor swallowtail Least Concern 5 110 10/03/2009         X             Nkandla Forest
56 NYMPHALIDAE Stygionympha geraldi Gerald’s hillside brown Least Concern 11 80 17/04/2009             X         Port Nolloth, Hondeklipbaai
57 LYCAENIDAE Capys penningtoni Pennington’s protea Endangered 6 330 26/09/2009         X             Bulwer mountain
58 NYMPHALIDAE Tarsocera cassus outeniqua Spring widow Least Concern 17 87 10/10/2009               X       Calitzdorp Anysberg
59 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis beaufortia charlesi Beaufort opal Least Concern 3 132 18/10/2009             X         Sutherland
60 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis violescens Violescent opal Least Concern 7 239 18/10/2009             X         Sutherland
61 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops jamesi jamesi James’s blue Least Concern 6 111 18/10/2009             X         Sutherland
62 LYCAENIDAE Phasis pringlei Pringle’s arrowhead Least Concern 4 78 18/10/2009             X         Sutherland
63 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides caledoni Caledon copper Least Concern 8 27 22/10/2009               X X     Lootsberg pass Shaw’s pass
64 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides merces Wakkerstroom copper Least Concern 7 49 08/11/2009   X     X             Dirkiesdorp Mhlonganvula
65 NYMPHALIDAE Dingana alaedeus Wakkerstroom widow Near Threatened 4 74 08/11/2009   X                   Kastrolnek (Wakkerstroom)
66 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides pallida liversidgei Giant copper Least Concern 3 29 11/11/2009                 X     Baviaanskloof
67 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis zeuxo cottrelli Cottrell’s daisy copper Least Concern 10 76 11/11/2009               X       Gamka Nature Reserve, Millwood NR
68 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops quickelbergei Quickelberge’s blue Least Concern 4 73 21/11/2009               X       Gydo Mountain (Ceres)
69 LYCAENIDAE Thestor camdeboo Camdeboo skolly Least Concern 4 48 17/12/2009                 X     Cambedoo Mountains (Aberdeen)
70 LYCAENIDAE Thestor compassbergae Compassberg skolly Least Concern 3 112 18/12/2009                 X     Compassberg (Graaf-Reinett)
71 NYMPHALIDAE Neita neita Neita brown Least Concern 18 211 27/12/2009   X     X             Watervalsrivierpas
72 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis daphne Daphne’s opal Least Concern 1 100 29/12/2009               X       Kammanasie mountains (Uniondale)
73 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis pyramus balli Ball’s opal Least Concern 3 110 29/12/2009               X       Kammanasie mountains (Uniondale)
74 LYCAENIDAE Orachrysops brinkmani Brinkman’s blue Least Concern 1 76 29/12/2009               X       Kammanasie Mountains (Uniondale)
75 NYMPHALIDAE Serradinga kammanassiensis Kammanassie widow Least Concern 2 75 29/12/2009               X       Kammanasie Mountains (Uniondale)
76 NYMPHALIDAE Pseudonympha penningtoni Pennington’s brown Least Concern 26 232 31/12/2009         X       X   X Ben McDhui, Mount-Aux-Sources, Moteng
77 NYMPHALIDAE Neptis kiriakoffi Kiriakoff’s sailer Least Concern 5 8 25/02/2010 X X     X             Mangusi, Mpaphuli Cycad Reserve, Kowyns Pas
78 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes karkloof trimeni Karkloof charaxes Least Concern 6 44 07/03/2010               X       Gouna Forest, Hoogekraal Pass
79 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia malagrida paarlensis Scarce mountain copper Critically Endangered 1 140 13/03/2010               X       Paarl Mountain, Paardeberg
80 NYMPHALIDAE Cyrestis camillus sublineata African porcelain Least Concern 5 19 20/03/2010 X                     Pafuri
83 PIERIDAE Dixeia leucophanes Spotless black-veined white   2 6 03/09/2010 X                     Mabelikwe
84 NYMPHALIDAE Tarsocera imitator Deceptive widow Least Concern 28 147 04/09/2010             X X       Springbok Wolfhok
85 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops jamesi claassensi James’s blue Least Concern 2 34 05/09/2010             X         Hantambsberg
86 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops badhami Badham’s blue Least Concern 10 173 02/10/2010             X         Springbok Caroulsberg
87 LYCAENIDAE Thestor dryburghi Dryburg’s skolly Least Concern 8 135 02/10/2010             X         Arkoop (N7 north of Kammieskroon) Springbok
88 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops bacchus Wineland blue Least Concern 23 158 03/10/2010               X X     Malmesbury, Coega (PE)
89 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis uranus schoemani Uranus opal Least Concern 6 41 09/10/2010               X       Gifberg
90 LYCAENIDAE Orachrysops regalis Royal blue Least Concern 6 48 09/10/2010 X                     Wolkberg
91 LYCAENIDAE Thestor rooibergensis Rooiberg skolly Least Concern 2 65 16/10/2010               X       Top of Rooiberg (Calitzdorp)
92 HESPERIIDAE Spialia secessus Wolkberg sandman Least Concern 10 97 06/11/2010 X X               X   Munnik, Sheba Mine
93 LYCAENIDAE Thestor pictus Langeberg skolly Least Concern 4 71 10/11/2010               X       Garcia’s Pass
94 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides pallida jonathani Giant copper Least Concern 1 93 19/11/2010               X       Kammanassie Mountains
95 LYCAENIDAE Anthene millari Millar’s hairtail Least Concern 47 220 19/11/2010 X X X X X         X   Various locations
96 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops balli Ball’s blue Least Concern 2 98 19/11/2010               X       Kammanassie Mountains
97 LYCAENIDAE Deloneura millari millari Millar’s buff   21 218 21/11/2010         X       X     Makatini Flats, Emanguzi Forest
98 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis adonis aridimontis Adonis opal Least Concern 1 67 08/12/2010               X       Elandsberg
99 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops littoralis Coastal blue Near Threatened 14 129 12/12/2010               X       Witsand Stillbay, Mosselbay
100 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops victori Victor’s blue Vulnerable 2 53 20/12/2010                 X     Huntley Glen, Long hill (Queenstown)
101 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis penningtoni Pennington’s opal Vulnerable 6 161 21/12/2010                 X     Hogsback Mount Kubusi (Stutterheim)
102 LYCAENIDAE Orachrysops nasutus nasutus Nosy blue Least Concern 17 101 21/12/2010                 X     Lundean’s Neck (Barkley East), Gaika’s Kop
103 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides dentatis maseruna Roodepoort copper Least Concern 24 145 22/12/2010           X           Heilbron
104 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides trimeni southeyae Trimen’s copper Endangered 5 64 22/12/2010               X       Albertinia
105 LYCAENIDAE Aslauga australis Southern purple Near Threatened 10 12 22/12/2010                 X     Tsomo, Cintsa Bay
106 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops oosthuizeni Oosthuizen’s blue Least Concern 17 106 23/12/2010           X     X   X Clarens Joubert’s Pass, Lundean’s Neck, Sterkspruit
107 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops southeyae Southey’s blue Least Concern 15 125 23/12/2010           X     X     Sterkspruit, Tarkastad
108 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops rossouwi Rossouw’s blue Least Concern 3 90 08/01/2011   X                   Stoffberg
109 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops outeniqua Outeniqua blue Least Concern 5 79 19/01/2011               X X     Tsitsikama National Park, Avontuur
110 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops vansoni Van Son’s blue Least Concern 12 67 12/02/2011 X X                   Loding, Kopje, Great Saltpan
111 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia malagrida maryae Scarce mountain copper Least Concern 2 110 22/02/2011               X       Near Vermaaklikheid
118 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops hypopolia Morant’s blue Extinct 1 1 26/10/2011       X X             Blue bank (Ladysmith), Potchefstroom
119 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis felthami dukei Feltham’s opal Least Concern 28 127 29/10/2011             X X       Worcester/Robertson area, Sutherland
120 NYMPHALIDAE Dingana clara Clara’s widow Endangered 4 68 30/10/2011 X                     Wolkberg

The table below the map & photo contains 56 species for which there are photographic records in LepiMAP, but the most recent record is five or more years old, and needs to be refreshed. The map and photo below are representative of this group of species. There are 56 records in the LepiMAP database going back to 1915. They come from 25 scattered quarter degree grid cells. But this species has eluded LepiMAPpers since Vaughan Jessnitz took this photo near Hoedspruit in 2011!

The map shows 55 of the 56 records for One-pip Policeman in the LepiMAP data (there is one record flagged as unreliable and it is not shown!). The green squares show the quarter degree grid cells for the species up to 31 December 2009. The two blue crosses mark the two most recent records, made in February 2010 (LepiMAP 11454) and in March 2011, featured above (LepiMAP 31045). This species MUST surely occur in many of the “in-between” grid cells in the distribution map. Maybe it occurs in eSwatini!

For a species to qualify for the table below, it needs to have a photographic record in LepiMAP. The cut-off date for being eligible is that the most recent record in LepiMAP must have been before 31 December 2014.

  Family Scientific name Common name Status QDGC Rec-ords Last observed Li Mp Ga NW KZN FS NC WC EC eS Les Locality
112 HESPERIIDAE Pyrrhiades anchises anchises One-pip policeman Least Concern 25 56 11/03/2011 X X     X             Imfolozi Nature Reserve, Linwood forest, Klaserie private NR
113 NYMPHALIDAE Ypthima condamini condamini Condamin’s ringlet Least Concern 2 2 15/03/2011 X                     Wolkberg farm at Letaba drift
114 NYMPHALIDAE Precis antilope Darker commodore Least Concern 40 72 22/04/2011 X X X             X   Nylsvley Nature Reserve, Mlawula Nature Reserve
115 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops wykehami Wykeham’s blue Least Concern 7 149 19/09/2011             X         Kamieskroon, Wolfhok
116 NYMPHALIDAE Pseudonympha trimenii nieuwveldensis Trimen’s brown Least Concern 5 68 19/09/2011               X       Molteno pass (Nuweveld mountains)
117 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides kaplani Kaplan’s copper Least Concern 13 91 20/09/2011             X X       Sutherland, Karoo National Park (Beaufort West)
121 NYMPHALIDAE Serradinga clarki ocra Clark’s widow Least Concern 2 43 04/11/2011   X                   Long Tom pass
122 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides barbarae Barbara’s copper Endangered 2 45 11/11/2011   X                   Barberton
123 LYCAENIDAE Iolaus lulua White spotted sapphire Least Concern 5 50 07/12/2011         X             Ndumu game reserve
124 NYMPHALIDAE Pseudonympha paragaika Golden Gate brown Vulnerable 5 148 02/01/2012           X           Golden gate
125 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops lerothodi Lesotho blue Least Concern 16 202 21/01/2012                 X   X Mokhotlong, Blue mountain pass, Lundean’s Nek
126 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes xiphares xiphares Forest-king charaxes Least Concern 12 98 19/03/2012               X X     Tsitsikama National Park, Saarsveld, Karatara
127 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes xiphares bavenda Forest-king charaxes Least Concern 10 118 29/03/2012 X                     Hangklip forest, Entabeni forest
128 LYCAENIDAE Durbania limbata Natal rocksitter Least Concern 23 426 21/04/2012         X X           Balgowan, Mooirivier, Harrismith
129 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis beaufortia stepheni Stephen’s opal Least Concern 5 351 06/10/2012             X         Hantamsberg, Wolfhok
130 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis phosphor borealis Scarce scarlet Least Concern 10 75 06/10/2012   X     X             Panorama gorge, Mhlopeni Nature Reserve
131 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides simplex Dune copper Least Concern 19 139 01/11/2012             X         Witsand, Kuruman
132 NYMPHALIDAE Charaxes pondoensis Pondo charaxes Least Concern 13 159 04/01/2013         X       X     Port St. Johns, Umtamvuma reserve
133 LYCAENIDAE Alaena margaritacea Wolkberg zulu Critically Endangered 2 259 05/01/2013 X                     Wolkberg
134 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops braueri Brauer’s blue Least Concern 21 153 08/01/2013               X X     Prince Alfred’s pass, Buffelsnek, Baviaanskloof
135 NYMPHALIDAE Stygionympha vansoni Van Son’s hillside brown Least Concern 17 158 24/04/2013             X         Springbok, Kamieskroon, Carolusberg
136 LYCAENIDAE Anthene talboti Talbot’s hairtail Least Concern 73 169 14/06/2013 X X X X X   X X X X   Various locations
137 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis lyndseyae Lyndsey’s Opal Vulnerable 1 1 25/09/2013             X         Hondeklipbaai (Wallekraal road)
138 LYCAENIDAE Orachrysops mijburghi Mijburgh’s blue Endangered 5 72 27/10/2013     X     X           Heilbron, Suikerbosrand
139 LYCAENIDAE Thestor vansoni Van Son’s skolly Least Concern 3 114 02/11/2013               X       Gydo mountain (Ceres)
140 HESPERIIDAE Platylesches dolomitica Hilltop hopper Least Concern 10 19 16/11/2013     X X               Utopia nature reserve, Hillshaven
141 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides molomo krooni Molomo copper Least Concern 13 93 18/11/2013             X         Kuruman, Witsand
142 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia wallengrenii gonnemoi Wallengren’s silver-spotted copper Vulnerable 3 32 18/11/2013               X       Piketberg
143 LYCAENIDAE Erikssonia edgei Erikson’s copper Critically Endangered 2 61 14/12/2013 X                     Bateleur nature reserve
144 LYCAENIDAE Orachrysops montanus Golden Gate blue Least Concern 3 45 18/12/2013           X           Golden gate
145 LYCAENIDAE Aloeides bamptoni Bampton’s copper Least Concern 27 172 09/01/2014             X         Springbok, Witsand, Steinkopf
146 PAPILIONIDAE Papilio ophidicephalus ayresi Emperor swallowtail Least Concern 15 138 31/01/2014   X     X         X   Mariepskop, Nongoma Ngome Forest
147 HESPERIIDAE Spialia depauperata australis Wandering sandman Least Concern 48 211 01/02/2014 X X X X X             Utopia nature reserve, Tswaing Nature Reserve
148 HESPERIIDAE Platylesches tina Small hopper Least Concern 6 13 15/02/2014 X                     Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve
149 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis aureus Heidelberg opal Endangered 5 215 08/03/2014   X X                 Alice Glockner Reserve
150 NYMPHALIDAE Neita extensa Savanna brown Least Concern 35 193 08/03/2014 X X                   Perdekop (Jan Trichardt pass), Verloren vallei (Dullstroom)
151 LYCAENIDAE Thestor dicksoni warreni Dickson’s skolly Data Deficient 2 45 05/04/2014               X       Graafwater
152 NYMPHALIDAE Cymothoe alcimeda marieps Battling glider Least Concern 17 143 12/04/2014   X                   Mariepskop
153 NYMPHALIDAE Torynesis mintha piquetbergensis Mintha widow Least Concern 4 123 07/05/2014               X       Hill NE of Moorreesburg
154 PIERIDAE Colotis celimene amina Lilac tip Least Concern 32 191 29/05/2014 X X X X X             Various locations
155 HESPERIIDAE Teniorhinus harona Arrowhead orange   2 2 14/06/2014 X                     Mphapuli Cycad Reserve
156 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis dicksoni Dickson’s Strandveld copper Critically Endangered 1 49 09/09/2014               X       Witsand
157 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis zonarius coetzeri Coetzer’s daisy copper Least Concern 7 96 12/09/2014             X X       Nieuwoudtville, Clanwilliam
158 NYMPHALIDAE Telchinia induna salmontana Induna acraea Endangered 7 62 13/09/2014 X                     Lajuma mountain retreat, Matshavhawe
159 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops mcgregori McGregor’s blue Least Concern 4 128 19/09/2014             X         Hantam national botanical garden
160 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis thysbe psyche Common opal Least Concern 6 189 20/09/2014               X       Bitterfontein, Lambert’s bay
161 NYMPHALIDAE Stygionympha scotina coetzeri Eastern hillside brown Least Concern 6 11 25/09/2014 X X                   Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve
162 PIERIDAE Colotis doubledayi Desert veined tip Least Concern 6 173 25/09/2014                 X     Vioolsdrift
163 LYCAENIDAE Trimenia argyroplaga cardouwae Large silver-spotted copper Least Concern 4 34 21/11/2014               X       Dasklip pass (Porterville)
164 NYMPHALIDAE Pseudonympha swanepoeli Swanepoel’s brown Data Deficient 4 43 26/11/2014 X X                   Verlorenvallei, Houtbosberg
165 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops gydoae Gydo blue Least Concern 1 87 05/12/2014               X       Gydo mountain (Ceres)
166 LYCAENIDAE Thestor petra petra Rock skolly Least Concern 4 245 05/12/2014               X       Gydo mountain (Ceres), Matroosberg
167 LYCAENIDAE Chrysoritis turneri amatola Turner’s opal Least Concern 12 97 14/12/2014                 X   X Gaika’s kop (Hogsback), Lootsberg pass, Mount Kubusie, Groot Winterberg
168 LYCAENIDAE Lepidochrysops procera Potchefstroom blue Least Concern 21 181 20/12/2014   X X X X             Badplaas, Welverdiend (Gauteng), Hillshaven (Gauteng)

These 56 species have eluded LepiMAPpers since the beginning of 2015. Let us (a) refresh them, and (b) find new localities where they occur. Ten of the species are in threat categories. Two are “Data Deficient” (we don’t have enough information to classify them into a threat category). The rest are “Least Concern” (we have no worries about the persistence into the future). The way to confirm this “Least Concern” status is to get a better understanding of their distributions, and to maintain a steady stream of records, so we are certain that they are still present.

Although this blog focuses on the southern end of Africa, LepiMAP covers the whole continent, and the offshore islands. Within a few years, it would be fantastic to have sufficient data to do a blog like this for other countries and regions of Africa.


 The Seventh BDI Citizen Scientist Hour, on 9 September 2020, was devoted to butterflies and LepiMAP. Fanie did a presentation on the Great LepiMAP Challenge. You can watch it here:

There were two other presentations on butterflies during this Citizen Scientist Hour. Oskar Brattström’s title was Butterflies – Africa’s most exciting animals and you can watch it here:

And the third presenter was Steve Woodhall, talking about Looking for butterflies. Here it is:

The BDI Citizen Scientist Hours are Zoom events. The presentations are recorded, and are uploaded to the BDI’s YouTube channel, which is here. To find out when the next Citizen Scientist Hour will take place, go to the Facebook page of BDI Citizen Science, and search under “events”.

Les Underhill
Les Underhill
Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics. He was awarded his PhD in abstract multivariate analyses in 1973 at UCT and what he likes to say about his PhD is that he solved a problem that no one has ever had. He soon grasped that this was not the field to which he wanted to devote his life, so he retrained himself as an applied statistician, solving real-world problems.