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Butterfly run an annual occurrence

   10 February 2017   l   Justin Steyn    l   Views: 76   l   3 months ago  


The mass amount of butterflies found in our gardens and fields during February play an important role in sustaining the environment. Photo: Nhm.ac.uk

Butterflies have become more evident in the gardens and open fields of South Africa.

These flying insects have appeared more and more in the past few weeks with various species grouped together where they land.

According to Twanet van der Linde, a wildlife expert from Bela-Bela, the congregation serves a very important purpose to the environment.

“Butterflies are more evident in our gardens and open fields. I have noticed this at game lodges and farms especially at Bela-Bela and realized that the butterfly run is upon us.

This phenomenon is very important to the eco-system as this is when the butterflies gather to mate and lay eggs,” she said.

Van der Linde added that, after mating, the butterflies lay their eggs near invasive plant species.

“As soon as the eggs have hatched, the larvae will immediately start eating the invasive plant it hatched from. Common plants where these eggs are hatched, include skeleton weed, black wattles and Napier grass. This is essential to the eco system as it prevents all invasive plants from overwhelming our indigenous plant species and spreading to such an extent that it causes human health risks.”

She has since requested that the butterflies remain untouched during this natural and important process.

“Although butterflies are very pretty I urge people not to interfere with this process as it is very important to our environment. Just sit back in your garden and enjoy the cascade of colours,” she said.

Van der Linde said the butterfly run is an annual occurrence which lasts for up to three weeks in February. She said that the most common butterflies found within the Waterberg are the Suffron Saphire and the Emperor Swallowtail.




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