Conservation management recommendations for the Karkloof blue butterfly, Orachrysops ariadne (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)

  • Published source details Lu S. & Samways M. (2002) Conservation management recommendations for the Karkloof blue butterfly, Orachrysops ariadne (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). African Entomology, 10, 149-159.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use rotational burning

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Use rotational burning

    A replicated study in 1998–1999 in three mistbelt grasslands in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa (Lu and Samways 2002) reported that populations of Karkloof blue butterfly Orachrysops ariadne persisted for at least a year following prescribed burning. In 1999, after prescribed fires in 1998, the authors recorded adults at Stirling, 90 hatched eggs at The Start and adults and 170 hatched eggs at Wahroonga.  In March–June 1999, vegetation was searched for eggs at three mistbelt grasslands – Stirling (1–2 ha of Karkloff blue habitat), The Start (1 ha of habitat) and Wahroonga (10 ha of habitat).). Each egg was marked with a tag and a serial number so its hatching progress could be recorded. Details of adult butterfly recording were not provided. All three sites were in long term prescribed rotational burning regimes. Half of The Start was burned in July 1998, all of Wahroonga was burned in August 1998, and most of Stirling was burned in October 1998. No burning happened in 1999. Additionally, at The Start 50 Indigofera woodii H. Bol. var laxa saplings were planted in November 1998 and bramble was controlled with herbicide in January 1999. Stirling was cattle grazed each summer.

    (Summarised by: Eleanor Bladon)

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