The Lepidopterist's Society of Africa approached Kalkheuvel residents last year for permission to undertake a butterfly census in the area. Kalkheuwel is within the Cradle of Humankind.
"We were hoping to find about 80 different species in this biodiverse region," said Martin Lunderstadt, one of the researchers. "To our delight we had a spectacular find of 112 species!"
The search was on for Hutchinson's Highflyer (Aphnaeus hutchinsonii ) which feeds off the 'wild syringa' (Burkea Africana), which abounds on the slopes in Kalkheuvel West. The closest locality where this butterfly has previously been found is on the north side of the Magaliesberg. The photograph provided here is by Steve Woodhall, taken at Utopia in the Magaliesberg.
Martin said he'd given up finding it when he spotted a few male Trimen's Sapphires (Iolaus trimeni) sporting about a large Protea caffra tree. "I realized one was a bit darker than others! Upon its capture I found it was a Hutchinson's Highflyer, the furthest south ever recorded!
"The next day I recorded another male about 500 metres further, proving that it's well established in Kalkheuvel!"