Rediscovery of the threatened Stoffberg Widow butterfly, Dingana fraterna: the value of citizen scientists for African conservation

Abstract

The Stoffberg Widow, Dingana fraterna (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae), was only known from a single highly localised population near Stoffberg, South Africa. This butterfly is univoltine, with historical records indicating that adults fly for approximately 10 days in early October. It was last seen in 2002 and was Red-Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). The cause of the extirpation of the type population was inappropriate burning of its habitat during the adult flight period. A new colony was recently discovered in October 2014 at a site 46 km N of the type locality by citizen scientists from the Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa. This study clearly highlights that developing countries, which are often limited in resources, can benefit hugely from the contributions of citizen scientists to conservation initiatives.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Ball JB (2012) Lepidopterology in southern Africa: past, present and future. In: New TR (ed) Insect conservation: past, present and prospects. Springer, New York City, pp 279–300

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  2. Braschler B (2009) Successfully implementing a citizen-scientist approach to insect monitoring in a resource-poor country. Bioscience 59:103–104

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. CREW (2009) Custodians of rare and endangered wildflowers: operations manual. SANBI, Pretoria

  4. Deutschländer MS, Bredenkamp GJ (1999) Importance of vegetation analysis in the conservation management of the endangered butterfly Aloeides dentatis (Swierstra) (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Koedoe 42:1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Edge DA (2011a) Custodians of rare and endangered Lepidoptera (COREL). Metamorphosis 22:81–96

    Google Scholar 

  6. Edge DA (2011b) The Brenton Blue butterfly—twenty years of conservation. Environment 6:34–35

    Google Scholar 

  7. Edge DA, Mecenero S (2015) Butterfly conservation in Southern Africa. J Insect Conserv. doi:10.1007/s10841-015-9758-5

    Google Scholar 

  8. Henning GA, Terblanche RF, Ball JB (2009) South African red data book: butterflies. SANBI, Pretoria

  9. Mecenero S, Ball JB, Edge DA, Hamer ML, Henning GA, Krüger M, Pringle EL, Terblanche RF, Williams MC (2013) Conservation assessment of butterflies of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland: red list and atlas. Saftronics, Johannesburg

  10. Mucina L, Rutherford MC (2006) The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19, SANBI, Pretoria

  11. New TR (2012) Introduction to insect conservation, an emerging discipline. In: New TR (ed) Insect conservation: past, present and prospects. Springer, New York City, pp 1–17

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  12. Steenkamp C, Stein R (1999) The Brenton blue saga. Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

  13. Woodhall SE (2013) Genus Dingana van Son, 1955. In: Mecenero S, Ball JB, Edge DA, Hamer ML, Henning GA, Krüger M, Pringle EL, Terblanche RF, Williams MC (eds) Conservation assessment of butterflies of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland: red list and atlas. Saftronics, Johannesburg, pp 236–241

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Graham Henning, Dave Edge and Mark Williams for their valuable assistance with this study.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James M. Lawrence.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lawrence, J.M. Rediscovery of the threatened Stoffberg Widow butterfly, Dingana fraterna: the value of citizen scientists for African conservation. J Insect Conserv 19, 801–803 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-015-9787-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • COREL
  • Critically Endangered
  • Lepidopterests’ Society of Africa