Here’s a truly useful app for the butterfly chasers among us. Why not download it before you come on the LepSoc field trip to Verloren Valei on 1 December.
Developed by Steve Woodhall, this app is based on the Struik Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. It contains many more photographs than the guide, Steve says, and offers numerous ways to search in the effort to identify a butterfly. When visiting a specific location the location can easily be saved by dropping a pin, and then the app will show the species within a wide radius of the pin. Thus, by saving Verloren Valei as the location, the app will list the 306 species that are found in the vicinity.
If an unknown butterfly is spotted, the “smart search” functionality allows one to set the relevant criteria to come up with a short list. For example, if on Verloren Valei you happened to see a small blue butterfly the size of your fingernail, using these as filter criteria, the following would come up:
It would then be relatively easy to identify the one you actually saw.
There’s a comprehensive text and pictorial entry on each species, as well as a map based on the SABCA predictive maps to indicate where, in the right habitat, you have the best chance of finding the butterfly.
The app costs R290. Download it here.
Steve Woodhall has been fascinated by butterflies and moths since he was a boy, and has authored numerous books on the subject, among them Gardening for Butterflies, Butterflies of South Africa (pocket guide), What’s that Butterfly? and Field guide to Butterflies of South Africa. For more info, visit his site.