One gets forgotten

David Swanepoel was a wonderful lepidopterist back in the 1920’s to the ’60’s. He discovered many butterflies and some were named swanepoelii after him.

I wanted to find out more about him so went searching the ‘net for him (please don’t ‘google,’ use or or as more internet-friendly ways to search the internet).

Here’s what I got:

Candice Butterfly.jpg

Candice Swanepoel as a butterfly!

I then found this:

Mark Williams founded the SA Lepidopterists’ Society in 1983.

As a schoolboy in the mid-1960s Williams, accompanied by two friends, stumbled into a bush camp to find an old Chevy beside a tent and the well-known South African lepidopterist David Swanepoel, who had gorgeous azure butterflies pinned on a board.

Williams managed to annoy the old man, who had been collecting since the early 1900s, and who offered to show the boys where to find the creature. Though tantalized, Williams said he’d find it himself and watched in disgust as his two camping companions trotted after Swanepoel, “like obedient puppies.”

“He called me a hard head and a little bliksem and said I’d never find them. It took me three days. I worked my butt off.

“But I came back and held it up and said, ‘I found it.’ He leaned over conspiratorially and said: ‘Those other two will give up butterflies. But you will do this for the rest of your life.'”

And this:

David Abraham Swanepoel (1912–1990) began collecting in 1925.

His book Butterflies of South Africa—when, where and how they fly. Swanepoel DA (1953) Maskew Miller, Cape Town

There’s a David Swanepoel collection in the Transvaal Museum.

Dira swanepoeli and Papillio ophidocephalus entabeni, were discovered in 1939 by Mr. D.A Swanepoel, after extensive collecting in the Soutpansberg, near Mountain View Hotel.

The feature pic is Swanepoel’s Brown, Pseudonympha swanepoelii with thanks to Steve Woodhall’s lovely Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa.


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