Tag Archive: Eastern Cape

Depicta Copper – Aloeides depicta

The Depicta CopperAloeides depicta is pretty small butterfly ranging from 26mm to 29mm in the males and 29mm to 35mm in the females. Depicta is a relatively variable butterfly, colour-wise. The upperside being a ground colour orange with a wide grey-black border.  The hind wing underside is sandy to buff-brown, occasionally reddish.
The distribution of  this Aloeides is fynbos, Nama Karoo along mountain chains from Matjiesfontein to Gydo Mountain and also Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth. It’s habitats include hillsides and rocky ledges. It’s flight period is in the warmer months of the year being September to June. The Depicta Copper’s larval food is  Aspalathus. Aspalathus is the genus to which the rooibos tea plant belongs, is the largest member of the pea family endemic to South Africa.
These pictures were taken in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Depicta copper - Aloeides depicta

Another Shot of a different Depicta copper:

Depicta copper - Aloeides depicta

Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa

The Pearl Emperor – Charaxes varanes varanes

From the Genus, Charaxes – Emperors, comes this absolutely stunning Pearl Emperor.  The Charaxes species are generally brightly colours in shades of orange and red or iridescent blue. They are aggressive and territorial and will chase or push other butterflies away from food sources. The larva are usually green. The pupae are also green, sometimes with white stripes or streaks, rounded with more or less pointed head.
The Pearl Emperor, however, has orange and pearly-white wings and very conspicuous against foliage. The underside colour us quite variable, often golden brown, but can look like the picture below with almost a greenish-brown-silver look to it. The wings’ veins are also green in colour. These are relatively big butterflys with males from around 65mm – 70mm and females from 70mm – 90mm.
The distribution of the Pearl Emperor is Eastern Cape from Mossel Bay to Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West provinces.
Their habitats include: forest edges, flatlands and the coast. They fly all year round in warmer areas with a week peak in September to November and a stronger peak from January to June.
Their larval foodplant consist of: Allophylus africanusAllophylus dregeanusAllophylus natalensis and also Cardiospermum halicacabum. This shot was taken at “The Island” reserve, near Seaview Lion Park, outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Most of this information was supplied from Steve Woodhalls book “Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa“.

Pearl Emperor - Charaxes varanes varanes

A shot with the wings open of the same butterfly.

Pearl Emperor - Charaxes varanes varanes

Bar-Throated Apalis

The Bar-throated Apalis is a small African passerine bird (relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by having feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds) belonging to the genus Apalis of the family Cisticolidae.

The Bar-throated Apalis or Apalis thoracica inhabits forest and scrub in Southern and East Africa from southern and eastern parts of South Africa north as far as the Chyulu Hills in Kenya.
The Bar-throated Apalis is a slender bird with a long tail and is 11 to 13 cm in length. The plumage varies depending on the subspecies: the upperparts can be grey or green while the underparts are white or pale yellow. All forms have a narrow black band across the breast, white outer tail-feathers and a pale eye. The black bill is fairly long and slender and is slightly curved. Females have a narrower breastband than that of the males. Juveniles have buffer underparts and may have an incomplete breastband.
Pairs sing a duetting song with the female’s call being higher-pitched than that of the male.
The oval, purse-shaped nest is made mainly of plant material. Three eggs are laid, these are bluish-white with reddish-brown spots. The breeding season lasts from August to January.
This species forages for caterpillars and other insects amongst vegetation, often forming mixed-species flocks with other birds.
This photo was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Information from Wikipedia

Bar-throated Apalis

A Rose from Addo

Every year without fail, the Addo Rose & Garden Show will be hosted. As the name suggests, this takes place in a small town called Addo, in the Eastern Cape. This is usually hosted in or around the October time of the year. It’s a great outing for the entire family where one can look at and purchase many different kinds and types of roses and other flowers such as Orchids.
I noticed this particular rose because of its stunning colour. I used Gimp to remove the colour from the background just to enhance the rose some more.

Addo Orange Rose

Out of Bounds Malachite Sunbird

I have been trying to be more creative with my photography of late and try different things.  I belong to a camera club in Port Elizabeth South Africa and we post most of the pics we take on a Facebook group page for others to see and to criticize just to improve our overall composition of the photos.  On going through the pictures here, I noticed a beautiful picture of a horse and carriage exiting through a frame.  I did some searching around and found out that this type of editing is called ‘out of bounds‘.  I decided to try one of my own and at the end of the day I was more than satisfied with my results. Most of the tutorials for this type of editing are for Photoshop, but this one I did in Gimp.
The bird in the picture is a Malachite SunbirdNectarinia famosa.  This particular one has not got all it’s normal colours yet, usually is a metallic green colour with a longish black tail.  The female is a lot more dull and pale with a bit of mottling on the breast and has a white outer tail.  They make a tseep-tseep sound when calling, but their song is series of twittering notes.
Their diet mainly consists of bugs (insects), spiders and nectar. Malachites are quite plentiful in South Africa and the Eastern Cape.

Malachite Sunbird

Malachite Sunbird

The Malachite Sunbird, Nectarinia famosa is a small nectivorous bird found in the southern part of the Southern African region. The sunbirds are a group of small birds, and are placed within the family Nectariniidae, which is found across Africa, the Middle East and into South-east Asia. The breeding male Malachite Sunbird, which has very long central tail feathers, is 25cm long, and the shorter-tailed female 15 cm. The adult male is metallic green when breeding, with blackish green wings with small yellow pectoral patches. In non-breeding plumage, the males upperparts are brown apart from the green wings and tail, the latter retaining the elongated feathers. The underparts in are yellow, flecked with green. The female has brown upperparts and dull yellow underparts with some indistinct streaking on the breast. Her tail is square-ended. The juvenile resembles the female. This large sunbird is found in hilly fynbos (including protea stands as well as areas with aloes) and cool montane and coastal scrub. It also occurs in parks and gardens. It is resident, but may move downhill in winter. This species, like most sunbirds, feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects. This Malachite Sunbirds photo was taken at Schoenmakers Kop outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Malachite Sunbird

Cape Bulbul

This Cape BulbulPycnonotus capensis is found in the coastal bush and fynbos of the Western and Eastern Cape.
The colouration of the bulbul is a dull, blackish brown – the colour extending further down the underparts than in the related Red-eyed and Common Bulbuls. The undertail coverts are bright yellow. The most notable feature though is the prominent white eye-ring, which usually appears much wider at the front (towards the bill) than the rear. The Bulbul’s diet consists of fruit, nectar,seeds and insects. This one was caught on camera at Thunzi Bush Lodge outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Cape bulBul

Female Scarlet Chested Sunbird

The male Scarlet Chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra Senegalensis) is easily identified by its mainly black body and scarlet breast, its green crown and throat. The female is dark greyish-olive in colour. Its breast is more darker and mottled than the Amethyst Sunbird. The Scarlet Chested Sunbird’s diet consists mainly of nectar, insects and spiders. The Afrikaans name for this bird is the Rooiborssuikerbekkie. This specimen was photoed at Thunzi Bush Lodge outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Female Scarlet Chested Sunbird

Map to Thunzi Bush Lodge

View Thunzi Bush Lodge in a larger map

Old Style African Elephant

On game drive through Lalibela Game Reserve we came upon a small herd of African Elephants – Loxodonta Africana. They seemed not to care too much that we were there watching them, but one of them kept giving us one of those ‘Keep your distance’ looks every now and again. We did just that, and the herd was on its way. The elephant is part of the Big 5. Lalibela Game Reserve is located about 90km outside Port Elizabeth of the road to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. I posted this photo in sepia, because I was thrilled about the way it came out.

African Elephant