South Africa

By M.L. Chamorro and M.L. Buffington

Dates: October 10–28, 2023

Main purpose: To collect specimens for ongoing research to understand the weevil fauna of southern Africa. This trip will provide critical specimens for this collaborative research project aimed at mitigating the spread of invasive species and also aimed at increasing our knowledge about weevils of this unique and biological diverse region of the world

Permits: CapeNature

Summary: Simon VanNoort, Lourdes Chamorro and Matthew Buffington undertook fieldwork at three different sites in the Western Cape of South Africa; a region that is the source of cut flowers exported to the United States. Thousands of specimens were collected and several new observations on weevil host plants were made. At least three new previously unrecorded groups of weevils were discovered on proteaceous plants and on driftwood. 

Acknowledge: USDA, the owners and guides in the various lodges we visited while in South Africa; Iziko Museums of South Africa.

Grootbos, Western Cape

October 14–20, 2023

We collected in Grootbos Private Nature Reserve that protects the fragile and threatened fynbos habitat of the Western Cape of South AfricaThe environmental center along with the comfortable accomodation for scientists make this an ideal research hub.  Various trails and habitats exist including the highly threatened Milkwood forest.   We timed our visit to this area to coincide with spring flowering of most of the endemic flora of the region.  We used various methods to collect including V-FITs, night collecting, leaf litter sampling, and malaise and SLAM traps.  We are thankful to Paula Strauss for her help during our stay.  

Koensrust Sea Farm

October 20–23, 2023

In 2018 we visited Koensrust Sea Farm and in 2023 we decided to return to this beautiful proterty with a private beach, fynbos, and small patches of milkwood forest. Despite a heavy storm weeks earlier driftwood on the beach harbor large numbers of cossonines on driftwood. We sampled the leaf litter and managed to set up a couple of malaise traps in the short time we had and despite the rain and wind.  The property also extends into a unique habitat near the river, which we also sampled. 

Enjo Nature Farm

October 2327

Enjo Nature Farm is located in the Cederberg area north of Cape Town. The area is known for cultivation of Rooibos.  Collecting was a challenge at times due to the high winds.  The leaf litter is sparse but we managed to collect several weevils using a winkler extractor.  Beating vegetation at night was the most productive.  

We hope to soon return to South Africa to continue are exploration of the various weevils that develop and feed on this unique flora of the world. We thank our collaborator, Simon Van Noort for his companionship, collaboration, insight, and friendship. 

Last updated March 19, 2024