One of the most rewarding things in life - is to see life begin in and around us - in all its entirety, from birth to the conclusion of its own destiny - all by itself. Butterflies are one of the most rewarding life cycle experiences one could hope to witness.
Earle Whiteley has lived with butterflies from an early age in his life under the guidance of his father Deryck Earl Whitey and several famous collectors of the time - such as Dr. Vari, Dr. David A Swanepoel, Dr. David Edge and Ivor Migdoll. And throughout his life has had the opportunity to collect with many new collectors and upcoming experts such as Dr. Rainier Terblanche, Dr. Mike Mostovski and others.
Although he has been collecting butterflies since the age of five, and written several books on the subject - it was in his early thirty's that he discovered his true passion - breeding butterflies. He became an expert in the breeding of butterflies - and in the development of butterfly breeding techniques. These are now his trade secrets. He has bred over 200 butterfly species successfully - and is still discovering new things about butterflies every day.
Setting up several Butterfly Breeding Centers in South Africa - and being instrumental in the development and design of butterfly sanctuaries - climate control - presenting courses (COC) - and has been involved in the development of the Ramsgate Butterfly Farm - Sun City Butterfly Sanctuary and several Butterfly Breeding Centers in South Africa.
On numerous occasions appearing in many well known newspapers, magazines - radio stations - TV such as 50/50 - Kyknet - Landbousake - AGRI TV and holding Butterfly Conservation and Butterfly Breeding workshops throughout South Africa.
And after all that he has now perfected the actual "Butterfly Farm" - not Lepidome or Sanctuary - but actual farming with butterflies. This has never been done before. It took him five long years of testing the land - propagating plants and breeding butterfly species that actually work for an open air farm environment. - including adaptations for the different provinces and climates.
Truly a heart felt - must for all. The butterfly on the right is is a rare one - an intermediate form of the butterfly Precis seseamus octavia and Precis octavia. This intermediate form appears with the change of seasons from summer to winter - but not from summer to winter. A butterfly of absolute uniqueness. This rare form is called form transience - a transition between two forms - between summer and winter. Hence the name. In all my years of collecting butterflies I have only seen two specimens in other collectors collections.
Another butterfly - Eurytela hairbas vashti is one of those extremely rare butterflies of which I have had the privilege to breed - The breeding program for this particular species was purely for their safety From two females captured - we managed to get 89 eggs and from these eggs we managed to breed 63 perfect specimens. Of this only 12 specimens were kept for scientific recording and identification purposes - while two gravid females were kept for the winter brood. The remainder were release back into their natural habitat. From the 2 gravid female kept for the purpose of breeding and recording the entire life cycle. From these we managed to get 142 eggs and eventually managed to breed through 114 perfect specimens. All of which were released back into their natural habitat. I has been a remarkable and exhilarating experience.
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