Butterfly survey on Welgevonden

The Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa approached Welgevonden requesting that they can come and look for the extremely rare butterfly the “Waterberg Copper” (Eriksonia edgei).

This butterfly was only known from one locality opposite Welgevonden at the base of Perdekop, but it has not been seen there for fifteen years.

Unfortunately no Waterberg Coppers were found but the preferred foodplant, Gnidia krausiana was found on Welgevonden in localized areas which may indicate that if the butterfly is present on the reserve, although it may also be quite localized.

Due to the short life cycle, and therefore presence, of the butterfly further surveys will have to be done to determine if the butterfly is actually present or not.

Although the aim of the visit wasn’t achieved it was a great opportunity for a basic survey of the butterflies in Welgevonden to be documented. Because the group was looking specifically for the Waterberg copper, the majority of the time was spent in the southern grasslands of Welgevonden.

In total, 32 species were observed although the predicted number of species for Welgevonden is a lot higher and further surveys in the different habitats and at different times of the year will need to be conducted.