Dr John Midgley recently represented the KZN Museum Department of Natural Sciences at the 10th International Symposium on Syrphidae in Lesvos, Greece. A symposium on a single family of insect might seem quite specialised, but hoverflies (Syrphidae to entomologists) are incredibly interesting. Members of this family fill many ecological roles. Most adults are flower visitors, making them important pollinators; some larvae feed on aphids, making them important in pest control; while others are important decomposers, feeding on a variety of decaying material. Dr Midgley presented a checklist of the South African hoverflies, an important step in understanding and conserving South Africa’s natural environment. By looking through natural history collections in South Africa, the research presented added more than 80 species to the South African list, an increase of more than 55%!
Nelson Mandela Month. In July, South Africa celebrates former president Nelson Mandela's birthday. 18 July has been declared Nelson Mandela International Day, but as South Africans we embrace the chance to celebrate Nelson Mandela's life for the whole of July