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Karkloof Blue Butterfly

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Karkloof Blue Butterfly

Have you identified the rare and vulnerable butterfly which adorns the Midlands Meander Tourism Association logo? How exciting, we just learnt these facts to share with you.

Midlands Meander Logo

Scientific name is Orachrysops ariadne, this beautifully unique butterfly is currently on the ICUN Red List as Vulnerable (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

Endemic to the moist KwaZulu-Natal Midlands grass lands, with only three colonies, these beauts are a rare sighting. The Karkloof Blue Butterfly is in flight between late March and early April, and as the name suggests a colony exists in the Karkloof area.

Unfortunately burning of grass; invasive alien plants, along with livestock are the main causes for these little creatures to be on the ICUN Red list

The female butterfly use the Indigofera woodii var. laxa, as their larval host plant and have a relationship with the sugar ant, who carries the larva to the food source.

The Midlands Meander Association presented Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife with a R10 000 cheque (in 2013) to assist in the research that works to ensure the survival of the Karkloof Blue Butterfly.

Lori Voss

loriv@n3gateway.com

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