oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Population explosion of butterflies

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0013-8789



During the autumn months of 1966 most of South Africa experienced an unprecendented upsurge in butterfly numbers which spread roughly eastwards from north-westerly localities. Although the precise reasons for this outbreak remain obscure, the heavy rains after months of drought experienced by parts of the north-west Cape, South West Africa and probably also the adjacent regions of Bechuanaland must have contributed largely towards providing the favourable conditions necessary to trigger such a population explosion. These rains commenced in January 1966 and continued intermittently into February.

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