Presentation on theme: "This third and final PBI funded field trip to South African Eastern and Western Cape Provinces included Dr. Randall T. Schuh Dr. Gerry Cassis Brenda Massie."— Presentation transcript:
This third and final PBI funded field trip to South African Eastern and Western Cape Provinces included Dr. Randall T. Schuh Dr. Gerry Cassis Brenda Massie Third PBI South African Field Trip October 6 - 29, 2007
We collected plant bugs and host plants along the red dot route (see right). Our expedition 2007 Field Trip Route began and ended at the Table Mountain National Park on the Cape Peninsula. We drove through diverse habitats, from the fynbos biome on the Cape, to the succulent Karoo vegetation in the Klein Karoo, and on to the semi-arid Great Karoo.
The field team visited colleague Mike Picker (see below) at the University of Cape Town. Mike imparted his knowledge regarding local habitats and collecting sites in South Africa
Permits arrived and we headed out to collect Miridae in the fynbos vegetation at the Cape Point and Silvermine sections of Table Mountain National Park. Silvermine runs northwest-southeast across the Peninsula and Cape Point covers the southernmost area of the Cape Peninsula. Both areas are located very near the Cape of Good Hope.
Even though it was as dry at Buffelspoort as anyplace that we had seen up until then, we managed to collect some Lygaeoidea on sedges and Hypseloecus on a species of Loranthaceae. We met friendly locals interested in giving us access to their land in the name of scientific discovery. We call this locality, Matthews Piece of Paradise.
We collected bugs at the Grootfontein College of Agriculture, located in the semi-arid Great Karoo, near Middelburg, SA. Jacques, our guide, and Joan, the public relations point person, kindly recommended collecting sites on the 11,418 hectare farm. In a vegetation type that we had not seen elsewhere on this trip, the Great Karoo habitat was extremely dry. According to Jacques, the prospect of better collecting presents itself during the wet season, in late January and February.
We visited Grootfonteins Museum (right) and checked out a small plot of land (bottom left) that has been continuously at-rest since the 1960s. Notable residents included the tortoise and the long-haired sheep. Abandoned termite nest with aardvark damage
The diversity of plants in flower in South Africa never ceased to capture our imagination.
Here are three groups of plants that consistently produced bugs throughout the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces. Upper left is a species of Asteraceae. Upper right is a spent Aizoaceae. A Geraniaceae in the lower left. All three groups serve as hosts to the bugs in the subfamily Phylinae that are of interest to the PBI project.
For the PBI plant bug collector, collecting means keeping a sharp lookout for plants in flower. Periodically, a local farmer would inquire into our activity. Most farmers allowed us to continue to collect but one farm manager called the police. The police questioned us politely and then sent us on our way.
While we were collecting at Neuwoldts Pass, which is on the road to Algeria in the Cedarburg Mountains, a Landrover pulled up and the passenger asked Toby Collecting Miridae, I presume? Soon, another Landrover pulled up being driven by heteropterist colleague (upper left) from the Museum of the Humboldt University in Berlin. Considering how remote the locality is, this unexpected encounter was a real surprise. The upshot of stopping at that locality was a pleasant break talking to our colleagues about collecting insects in South Africa.