29 May, 2023

Plants possibly extinct in the Eastern Cape (& to be resurrected)

Plants that are possibly extinct in the Eastern Cape, and those that have yet to be resurrected from extinction.

When exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitats at appropriate times throughout a species' historic range fail to record an individual, the species is presumed to be extinct. To be declared extinct, a species must have no reasonable doubt that its last individual has died. The species that are presumed to be extinct and those that are listed as extinct are listed below. As stated in each species' rationale below, recommendations were made for each species to be thoroughly searched before such a conclusion is made; additionally, those listed as Extinct (EX) have reached the time limit for their search (50 years), but this does not mean that they cannot be resurrected from extinction!

Users of iNaturalist in the Eastern Cape, as well as visitors, are therefore encouraged to look for the following plant species, which are currently listed as Critically Endangered, Possibly Extinct (CRPE), and to share any information/data they may have on the species listed as Extinct (EX).

iNaters are also kindly asked to submit any data/information they may have about these species by writing a comment below each species about which they may know. These species are:

Species Listing.

Ordered by status and then family


EX APOCYNACEAE Brachystelma schoenlandianum Uitenhage Little Crown
Known from type specimen only, described in 1893. The area where this species was collected is transformed as a result of urban development, and it has not been found despite numerous searches over the past 15 years and is thus considered extinct.

EX APOCYNACEAE Ceropegia bowkeri bowkeri Collywobble Bushpipe
Last seen over 100 years ago. Its former habitat is degraded. Searches by Ceropegia experts over many years have failed to locate any surviving populations. Heavy grazing over the past 100 years is likely to have caused its extinction.
Currently: Extinct!

EX APOCYNACEAEXysmalobium baurii Bizana Cartwheel
Known from one collection made in 1890 in Bizana and has not been collected since. A large area (500 km²) in and around Bizana has been transformed for subsistence agriculture and what habitat remains between ploughed areas has been severely degraded by overgrazing and trampling. Searches failed to relocate this species and it is therefore considered extinct.

EX FABACEAE Cyclopia filiformis Van Stadens Honeybush
Not seen since the type collection was made in 1897. Repeated searches in the area have failed to relocate it. Afforestation and alien plant invasions have likely led to this species extinction.

EX ROSACEAE Cliffortia bolusii Lost Caperose
A very poorly known species with only a single surviving fragment remaining of a collection made over a century ago. This collection was made near Graaff-Reinet on the Nardouwsberg. Weimarck resisted naming this species until more information became available, despite the fact that it was distinct both taxonomically and biogeographically. No further collections have been made seventy years after his monograph, but the trifoliate leaves, lacking stipules and with flat oblong leaflets, are distinctive. More searches for the species are encouraged in order for it to be included in the red list assessment and other conservation plans for the area. (Whitehouse, C. M., & Fellingman, A. C. (2007). New species and notes on the genus Cliffortia (Rosaceae). Bothalia, 37(1), 174 - 177.)

Presumed Extinct - Critically Endangered if not ...

CR PE AIZOACEAE Delosperma hollandii Albany Sheepfig
Delosperma hollandii is a rare species that was discovered in 1950. It may be locally extinct as a result of habitat loss due to urban and industrial development, but field surveys are required to confirm this.
We have nice records on iNat: please survey surrounding areas

CR PE AIZOACEAE Trichodiadema stayneri
This species was last collected on the eastern outskirts of Uitenhage in 1960. It is very likely extinct in this area due to habitat loss caused by urban and industrial development. However, because another similar habitat in the area has not yet been thoroughly surveyed for remaining subpopulations, this species cannot yet be classified as Extinct.
This is found: we have nice records on iNat: please survey surrounding areas

CR PE ALLIACEAE Tulbaghia cominsii Buffalo Garlic
An extremely range-restricted species (EOO 7 km²), the known existing subpopulations of which were all destroyed as a result of a road construction project. Urgent searches are needed to determine whether any other wild subpopulations exist.

CR PE APOCYNACEAE Ceropegia tomentosa
This species is only known from a single collection, which was collected between Butterworth and Umtata. Because of the growing human population and high stocking rates, the survival of this species is highly unlikely. Field surveys must be completed before this species can be declared extinct.

CR PE APOCYNACEAE Xysmalobium winterbergense Winterberg Cartwheel
Only known from the type collection, A. Nicholas (Asclepiad expert) has searched for and failed to find this species. Because members of this genus are extremely sensitive to livestock grazing, it is possible that this species has become extinct as a result of overgrazing. More surveys are needed to confirm this.

CR PE ASTERACEAE Phymaspermum peglerae Bronze Sheepdaisy
The last record of this little-known species was in 1910. It may be extinct as a result of habitat loss due to urbanization, but field surveys are required to confirm this.

CR PE ASTERACEAE Senecio hirtifolius Swartkops Ragweed
Ecklon and Zeyher collected it in 1895 at Uitenhage on the Swartkops River. It has not been recorded since and is most likely extinct because the type of area has been almost completely transformed by urban development and crop cultivation.

CR PE CONVOLVULACEAE Merremia malvaefolia Albany Merremia
Merremia malvaefolia hasn't been collected in over a century, and it's only known from a few scattered collections with no specific location. Recent searches in the coastal hills around Port Alfred, where this species is thought to live, revealed that the habitat has been drastically altered and that if it were confined to this area, it would almost certainly become extinct. More searches are being conducted between Port Alfred and East London in similar suitable habitats.

CR PE HYACINTHACEAE Albuca nana Little Tamarak (Dwarf Slimelily)
Albuca nana is only known from the type, which was collected more than 100 years ago at Redhouse, an area that has been extensively transformed due to Port Elizabeth's urban and industrial expansion. It is most likely extinct, but surveys are still required to confirm this. A large proportion of Albuca remains unrevised, and this species has been overlooked and may have been misidentified in the past because it belongs to an unrevised section of Albuca. Furthermore, a number of species previously thought to be extinct and known only from Port Elizabeth have recently been relocated around the city, so there’s some hope that this species can still be located.

CR PE HYACINTHACEAE Albuca prolifera Baakens Tamarak
Albuca prolifera is a one-of-a-kind species known only from the type collection from an area of Port Elizabeth that has been extensively transformed due to urban expansion. It was overlooked in previous checklists (Germishuizen et al. 2006) and similarly to Albuca nana, it may have been misidentified in the past as the genus Albuca is still being revised. Furthermore, a number of previously thought-extinct species known only from the Port Elizabeth area have been rediscovered, and it is likely that these species will be relocated.

CR PE LOBELIACEAE Lobelia zwartkopensis Limepool Lobelia
Only two collections, presumably from the same location in the early 1800s, are known. Due to urbanization, they are most likely extinct.

Restricted to the area between Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth along the Swartkops River. All historical sites have been completely transformed or are currently under dense stands of invasive alien plants since they were last collected in 1967. This species is almost certainly extinct.

Posted on 29 May, 2023 09:39 by vats vats | 1 comment | Leave a comment

12 April, 2023

North West Province's possibly extinct plants...

APOCYNACEAE Brachystelma canum
South African endemic, last collected in 1956. The locality is well-documented. Several attempts to relocate this species at the type locality and surrounding areas have been futile (Hahn 2013). It is possibly extinct due to habitat loss.

Reference: Hahn, N. 2013. Rare, endangered and endemic flora of the North West Province. Unpublished Report to the Department of Economic Development, Conservation and Tourism, North West Provincial Government.

APOCYNACEAE Miraglossum laeve
A very rare and poorly known species. It has been collected twice only: first in 1930, from hills south of Pretoria, and again in 1960, from the hills of the Vredefort Dome north-east of Parys, a disjunction of about 130 km. Despite dedicated searches, this species has not been found again (@sp_bester pers. comm.). The 1960 collection has a fairly precise locality description, which indicates that it occurs in Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld, a vegetation type with a limited distribution on the rocky ridges of Gauteng and adjacent areas in North West Province. The older collection's locality description is too imprecise to determine its habitat, but hills to the south of Pretoria also has another limited vegetation type on them, Gauteng Shale Mountain Bushveld, which is found on three ridges across Gauteng Province, and also extending somewhat into North West Province. It is therefore likely that this species is a rare, localized endemic of ridges in Gauteng Province.

Reference: http://redlist.sanbi.org/species.php?species=2707-3

ASTERACEAE Senecio holubii
only known from the type specimen, collected in 1876 in a remote area of South Africa near the border with Botswana. This area is botanically relatively poorly explored, and it may be overlooked. However, a recent field survey of rare, endangered, and endemic plants of North West province found the area to be severely degraded, and the species could not be relocated (Hahn 2013). The status and trend of the population is not known, and it is possibly extinct, but more field surveys are needed to confirm this.

Posted on 12 April, 2023 10:19 by suvarna suvarna | 1 comment | Leave a comment

07 April, 2023

Plants Possibly Extinct in Limpopo

CR PE ASPHODELACEAE Kniphofia crassifolia
Last seen in 1880. More than 80% of the grasslands in the Woodbush area, where this species presumably grew, has been converted to commercial pine plantations since the type collection. Remnant fragments are severely degraded either due to too frequent fire, or to thick infestations of invasive alien plants. If, like many congeners, this species grew in marshy areas, the possibility of its persistence is particularly poor as pine plantations lower the water table in open grassland fragments. Searches in the area have failed to relocated this species.
Full Red List Account

Described in 2004 from a single plant at a site that has subsequently been destroyed by livestock overgrazing and erosion. Searches in the area have not yet relocated any other surviving individuals. The site of another unconfirmed record seen in the 1960s was destroyed by dam construction.
full red list account

EW ZAMIACEAE Encephalartos brevifoliolatus Escarpment Cycad
When this species was described in 1996, there were thought to be five mature plants in one site in the Limpopo Province. Collectors removed most of the remaining plants and left only a few damaged stems. These were removed by conservation officials for ex situ conservation.
full red list account

EW ZAMIACEAE Encephalartos nubimontanus Blue Cycad
Surveys conducted in Limpopo province show a decline from 66 plants in the 1990s, to eight plants in 2001 and no recorded plants in 2004. As with other cycad species in Limpopo province it was mostly impacted by illegal collecting.
full red list account

Posted on 07 April, 2023 07:42 by jennagbsn jennagbsn | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Plants Possibly Extinct in Mpumalanga

CR PE APOCYNACEAE Asclepias dissona
This species was last recorded in 1932. In spite of extensive survey efforts by the Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency, this species has not been found. Its habitat is extensively degraded and it is possibly extinct.
Full Red List Account

EX MYRTACEAE Eugenia pusilla Amsterdam Myrtle
Last collected in 1920, and never seen again despite numerous searches. The area where it was last seen have been transformed to wattle plantations.
full red list account

Posted on 07 April, 2023 07:23 by jennagbsn jennagbsn | 0 comments | Leave a comment

13 March, 2023

KZN Plants that may be extinct in the wild... or awaiting a rediscovery

iNatters across KZN are required to search for these plant species, currently listed as Critically Endangered, Possibly Extinct (CRPE):

APOCYNACEAE Ceropegia rudatisii Hillcrest Lanternflower
Known from a few collections in an area extensively transformed by agriculture, forestry, and invasive alien plants. Searches across KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld vegetation revealed very little pristine vegetation remains within the known range of this species and no subpopulations were found.
(full red list account)

APOCYNACEAE Pachycarpus rostratus Nkandla Pachycarpus
Known from a single record from an unspecified site in the Nkandla district. This area is extensively transformed and degraded as a result of overgrazing by livestock, a deleterious fire regime, afforestation and crop cultivation. It has not been seen in more than 100 years.
(full red list account)

APOCYNACEAE Riocreuxia woodii Inanda Candlevine
Known from an inexact type locality at Inanda near Durban, where it was collected in 1884. Searches have been unsuccessful, however, experts believe that it may still be relocated as intact habitat remains in the area.
(full red list account)

ERICACEAE Erica natalensis Mont-Aux-Sources Heath
Only known from the type collection, which came from Mont-Aux-Sources in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg. The area where it is thought to have been collected is degraded due to livestock overgrazing. Search efforts are ongoing, but have not been successful to date.
(full red list account)

FABACEAE Lotononis dichiloides Fernham Lotononis
This species was last collected in the 1930s. Its habitat, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland, is >90% transformed due to urban expansion, and agriculture and is degraded due to overgrazing and too frequent fire.
(full red list account)

MELIACEAE Turraea streyi Daintyleaf Honeysucklebush)
Two known wild sub-populations disappeared as a result of dense invasive alien encroachment, and one introduced sub-population of three individuals remains near the type locality. More than 80% of its coastal habitat has been transformed due to sugarcane cultivation, coastal development, and alien plant invasion. There is little hope that it could be found elsewhere in the former range.
(full red list account)

PASSIFLORACEAE Adenia natalensis Natal Elephantroot
Known from two collections made in 1865, this presumably very rare species may still be relocated in the area where it is thought to have been collected as intact habitat still remains. Search efforts are ongoing, but have not been successful to date.
(full red list account)

Posted on 13 March, 2023 12:01 by suvarna suvarna | 12 comments | Leave a comment

Plants possibly extinct in Gauteng

Calling all Gauteng iNatters to assist in searching for these 4 plant species across the province:

APOCYNACEAE Ceropegia discoideum (CRPE)
(was Brachystelma discoideum)
This species is possibly extinct at the type locality (Shoshanguve, north of Pretoria) where it has not been seen since 1968, despite many repeated searches. There are some indications that it possibly has a wider distribution in similar sandy bushveld habitat in North West and Mpumalanga provinces, but there has been no other collections or confirmed records. It is possibly extinct, but more field surveys in suitable habitat is needed.
(full red list account)
Ralf Peckover describes the flower colour variation here:

APOCYNACEAE Miraglossum laeve (CRPE)
A rare and very poorly known species, last collected in 1960. Dedicated searches on the hills south of Pretoria and the Vredefort Dome north-east of Parys have thus far failed to relocate it and is possibly already extinct due to habitat loss and degradation.
(full red list account)

ASTERACEAE Macledium pretoriense Pretoria Karmedik (EX)
(was Dicoma pretoriense)
The only known locality for this species - hillsides in Pretoria - has been transformed by urban development. It was last collected in 1925.
(full red list account)

ORCHIDACEAE Holothrix micrantha Egoli Hair Orchid (CRPE)
A rare, range-restricted species last recorded in 1925. Several searches within its habitat - Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld, Egoli Granite Grassland - have thus far failed to relocate this species in the wild. It is possibly extinct, but also cryptic and easily overlooked, and a small chance remains that it may still be relocated.
(full red list account)

Posted on 13 March, 2023 09:26 by suvarna suvarna | 5 comments | Leave a comment

03 March, 2023

Summary by Provinces

as per request.

Posted on 03 March, 2023 12:37 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 10 comments | Leave a comment

20 July, 2018

Summary of iSpot discussions.

(Just for the record)
The current status and full listing and updates can be found here:


There are many extinct species. This is to do tribute to them.

Those that would never had made it onto iSpot except by some quirk of fate.

This may include species officially declared extinct in the past, but since rediscovered. Or that vanished for over the 50 year limit as per the IUCN definition of extinct. And those that are Extinct in the Wild because their last remaining home has been destroyed, but which still survive in cultivation - as which may have active restoration programmes. Also included are species presumed extinct (Critically Endangered: Presumed Extinct) because all known populations are gone and it may be totally wiped out.
It may even include "false species" in futile attempts to reconstruct Extinct species (or subspecies).

Tag: Extinct. Extent: Global.
Also tags: Extinct in the Wild; Historically Extinct; Presumed Extinct.


Extinct Plant species in South Africa
9 September 2015 - 10:56AM Tony Rebelo
Extinct Plant species in South Africa - source: http://redlist.sanbi.org/
Extinct (EX):
Psoralea cataracta (1790s)
Leucadendron grandiflorum (1806)
Thamnea depressa (1815)
Liparia graminifolia (1829)
Disa forcipata (1870)
Barleria natalensis (1890)
Xysmalobium baurii (1890)
Brachystelma schoenlandianum (1893)
Erica foliacea subsp. fulgens (1895)
Vernonella africana (1895)
Cephalophyllum parvulum (1896)
Cyclopia filiformis (1897)
Nemesia micrantha (1897)
Aspalathus variegata (1898)
Osteospermum hirsutum (~1900)
Polhillia ignota (1900s)
Willdenowia affinis (1918)
Eugenia pusilla (1920)
Lampranthus vanzijliae (1921)
Macledium pretoriense (1925)
Psoralea gueinzii (1927)
Leucadendron spirale (1933)
Aspalathus complicata (1934)
Erica alexandri subsp. acockii (1940)
Isolepis bulbifera (1950)
Aspalathus cordicarpa (1950s)
Conophytum semivestitum (pre 1996)
Crassula subulata var. hispida (pre 1996)
Erica pyramidalis var. pyramidalis (pre 1996)
Macrostylis villosa subsp. minor (2002)
Helichrysum outeniquense (2006)
Ceropegia antennifera (known only from the type)
Ceropegia bowkeri (known only from the type)
Extinct in the Wild (EW) - only known from cultivation:
Erica verticillata (1908)
Encephalartos woodii (1916)
Erica turgida (1980s)
Encephalartos brevifoliolatus (1996)
Encephalartos nubimontanus (2004)
Erica bolusiae var. cyathiformis (2006)
Pleiospilos simulans (2007)
Presumed Extinct (CR PE) - no known populations surviving:
Helictotrichon quinquesetum (1800s)
Lobelia zwartkopensis (1800s)
Aspalathus ferox (1850s)
Euryops zeyheri (1850s)
Adenia natalensis (1865)
Athanasia imbricata (1865)
Riocreuxia woodii (1879)
Kniphofia crassifolia (1880)
Cyclopia laxiflora (1890s)
Senecio hirtifolius (1895)
Albuca prolifera (1898)
Erica kraussiana (1900s)
Ixia ecklonii (1900s)
Merremia malvaefolia (1900s)
Pachycarpus rostratus (1900s)
Phylica schlechteri (1900s)
Lebeckia zeyheri (1900s)
Marasmodes macrocephala (1907)
Alepidea multisecta (1910)
Albuca nana (1912)
Oxalis marlothii (1920)
Manulea ramulosa (1926)
Lachenalia martleyi (1929)
Riocreuxia flanaganii var. alexandrina (1930)
Oxalis pseudo-hirta (1930)
Leobordea magnifica (1930s)
Lotononis dichiloides (1930s)
Disa newdigateae (1931)
Globulariopsis pumila (1935)
Oxalis involuta (1935)
Oxalis perineson (1935)
Oxalis fragilis (1936)
Agathosma pallens (1940)
Agathosma propinqua (1940)
Polycarena silenoides Cape Granite Flax (1940s) - rediscovered August 2015
Tetraria paludosa (1945)
Lobelia barkerae (1947)
Lotononis racemiflora (1948)
Erepsia promontorii (1950)
Babiana foliosa (1951)
Euryops rosulatus (1960)
Marasmodes reflexa (1964)
Selago polycephala (1967)
Tritonia flabellifolia var. thomasiae (1968)
Pterygodium connivens (1970s)
Aspalathus amoena Bree Capegorse (1970s) - rediscovered May 2013
Ornithogalum hallii (1976)
Muraltia satureioides var. salteri (1980s)
Moraea minima (1981)
Agathosma involucrata (1984)
Leobordea lanata (1986)
Hesperantha saldanhae (1990s)
Amphithalea minima (2000s)
Oxalis variifolia (2000s)
Turraea streyi (2000s - EW)
Oxalis hygrophila (2001)
Orbea elegans (2004)
Ceropegia rudatisii (2005)
Conophytum herreanthus subsp. herreanthus (2006)
Ceropegia tomentosa (2007)
Jordaaniella anemoniflora (2011 - EW)
Tulbaghia cominsii (2011)
Xysmalobium winterbergense (?)
Previously Extinct - But since discovered!
Drosanthemum insolitum L.Bolus (CR PE) - is now sunk into Drosanthemum boerhavii (Eckl. & Zeyh.) H.E.K.Hartmann
Haworthia venosa (Lam.) Haw. subsp. woolleyi (Poelln.) Halda (CR PE) - is now sunk into Haworthiopsis woolleyi (Poelln.) G.D.Rowley (CR)

Extinct Vertebrate species in South Africa
27 July 2015 - 7:29PM Tony Rebelo

Extinct Vertebrate species in South Africa.
Bluebuck - Hippotragus leucopheaus (1800 - Renosterveld)
Cape Lion - Panthera leo ?? (1858 - Cape Flora)
Cape Warthog - Phacochoerus aethiopicus aethiopicus (1870 - Cape Flora)
Quagga - Equus quagga quagga (1878 - Grassveld and Nama Karoo)
None. A few locally extinct
(African Skimmer, Yellowbill Oxpecker (1910, reintroduced), Egyptian Vulture)
Eastwoods Longtail Seps - Tetradactylus eastwoodiae (1928 - Zoutpansberg)
Gunters Dwarf Burrowing Skink - Scelotes guentheri - (1887 - Durban)

Extinct Invertebrate species in South Africa
28 July 2015 - 11:31PM Tony Rebelo

Extinct Invertebrate species in South Africa.
Table Mountain Hairy Crawling Waterbeetle - Algophilus lathridioides (? - Back Table) - unlikely to be extinct**
Table Mountain Water Scavenger Beetle - Allocotocerus mixtus (? - Back Table) - unlikely to be extinct**
Bashee River Buff - Deloneura immaculata (1863 - EC)
Morants Blue - Lepidochrysops hypopolia (1879 - KZN, NW)
Dicksons Monkey Blue - Lepidochrysops methymna dicksonii (1964 - Tygerberg)
Lion Velvetworm - Peripatopsis leonine (? - Signal Hill)
**see below!!

Table Mountain Hairy Crawling Waterbeetle
28 July 2015 - 11:11PM Riaan Stals
Megad! Whomever devised this common name for Algophilus lathridioides (note spelling or else you will not find the information you needed!) has never seen a haliplid! Hairy they are not: http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Haliplidae. The common name is besides the point; the wrong spelling of the species name is exactly part of the point.
I am very highly critical of the papers in which Algophilus lathridioides and hordes of other invertebrates (51 beetles in total) were declared extinct or variously endangered on the flimsiest of grounds, if reasons were given at all. Sorry, Mr Lead Author, but I think that 2011a is dangerous and the list it contains irresponsible. I could keep you busy on the phone for several hours explaining my numerous reasons.
But let's stick to Algophilus lathridioides, which should likely not be in a genus of its own, but a member of the cosmopolitan genus Haliplus. The jury was out and came back, but the reviser was sentimental and Algophilus was not synonymised (Vondel 2010).
The reason why nobody finds Algophilus lathridioides on Table Mountain is probably because it never occurred there. The type locality is "Kapland, Lange Vley" (1903), which I believe is at Simons Town, and I would guess on the Flats. Other known localities for this species are Ottery Vlei, Dabchick Vlei and Isoetes(?) Vlei, all on the Cape Flats. Yes, the species may perhaps now be extinct there, or it may not be. Just as if it would have occurred on Table Mountain, NOBODY KNOWS!!, and a committee without a coleopterist should not write a paper in which they list this (and other) species as either extinct or so fantastically rare and endangered in the complete absence of evidence.
When Gilbert Challet collected a long series of Algophilus lathridioides 2 km south of Velddrif on 24 August 2006 nobody got excited except me, and my reason was only that I considered that to be either a mislabelling or a significant (and strange) range extension. Only five years later did two papers appear that declared the little animal extinct. Or ... let me be fair ... almost-extinct (2011a: "Extinct?"; 2011b: "probably extinct"). But those papers misspelled the name, probably copying old Clive's earlier paper (Turner 2007a).
Much the same should be said for the other water beetle presently listed above (Allocotocerus mixtus ... http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Allocotocerus ), except that it has not recently been collected. AND SO WHAT IF IT HAS NOT RECENTLY BEEN COLLECTED?? By dog, it is a beetle! It is small! It lives in water! It is possibly naturally scarce! On Table Mountain it is in the safest of care! There are only alarmist reasons to consider it "probably extinct" or "Extinct?". On these same grounds, unclear as they may be, it will take me an hour or two to generate a list of 5,000+ other South African beetles that should also be declared "probably extinct" or "Extinct?".
Please revise.

28 July 2015 - 11:21PM Riaan Stals
I didn't mean for you to fix the spelling error. That will only advertise to the rest of the connected universe that this very not-extinct species is considered extinct. My recommendation (plea?) is for you to remove the two water beetles from your list entirely.

28 July 2015 - 11:40PM Tony Rebelo
Rather correct the misconception: why perpetuate it?? Kill it!!
The southern African community has migrated to iNaturalist at www.inaturalist.org with all its data in early 2018. Beware that southern African data and identifications on this site are out of date and no longer updated.

28 July 2015 - 11:41PM Riaan Stals
Thank you.

28 July 2015 - 11:22PM Tony Rebelo
cf http://www.ispotnature.org/node/599574

Thanks, I was looking in all the wrong places for that
28 July 2015 - 11:26PM Riaan Stals
I thought we exchanged those words via personal email.

Swallowing my words, at least in part, albeit technically
29 July 2015 - 3:23AM Riaan Stals

This link to the lizard points to two dates. 2006-1946=60, 60>50. I only now understand the subject line of your comment.
I am stunned for my stupidity. But I apologise only on technical grounds.


• 50-year rule can't apply to all different kinds of organisms.
• Beetles ain't monkeys or birds-of-paradise.
• "Rediscovery" of "lost" insects are non-events.

• A veritable mountain of literature, not everything from Gland.

I am stunned for my stupidity. I feel rather vulnerable now, albeit only technically. But rules are rules. Tony, I do apologise.


• It will take much longer than two hours, but I can still generate that list of 5,000+ species.

No - 50 years is not good enough
29 July 2015 - 8:02AM Tony Rebelo

I need to read the rules again, but the 50-year rule only applies if the organisms are searched for (at least at and around the type locality).
So you can winnow that list of 5000 to those who have had a specialist or expert or dedicated student/volunteers search the type localities and all other localities within the last 50 years to a degree that some confidence can be asserted that the beasts are no longer there. (but, as a surrogate, if those habitats are reasonably known and are destroyed (e.g. under suburbia/industria, dams, and extensive cropland) then that will do, and the 50-year rule is reduced to 0 years).
And I will add: in Fynbos (only 'cos I know Fynbos betterer): surveyed at the appropriate veld age, season and habitat.
and you can add to your rationalization:

  • organisms that have prolonged diapauses or that only appear for short periods following an event (usually a disturbance) need special attention.

Aspalathus amoena was found
9 September 2015 - 9:38AM Douglas Euston-Brown
Aspalathus amoena was found again...

9 September 2015 - 10:57AM Tony Rebelo

Polhillia ignota
26 November 2016 - 9:32PM Jan-Hendrik
was rediscovered the other day.

Posted on 20 July, 2018 13:03 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

12 June, 2018

Extinct and Threatened in Cape Town.

The following list is just for the City of Cape Town.
This explains why Cape Town is the world's biggest environmental disaster!


It is a sad reality that Cape Town leads the world in terms of species that are threatened with extinction or extinct. Some 13 plant species that used to occur in Cape Town are now globally extinct in the wild. A further 306 of Cape Town’s plant species, and 27 of its animal species, are in immediate danger of extinction. Contrary to what most people think, it is not in the tropics that the greatest concentration of threatened species occurs, but in Cape Town.

What are they?

Most threatened species in Cape Town are plants:
almost 320 species are threatened with extinction, of which 13 are already extinct.
A quarter of the city’s frogs and toads (amphibians) are threatened with extinction.
Unfortunately, we know very little about the ‘creepy crawlies’, and Cape Town probably has many
threatened invertebrates as well.

Note for ‘Extinct’. This refers to species that are globally extinct. All mammals over 50 kg were hunted out in Cape Town by the year 1700, but most still survive in southern Africa. Large mammals currently present (such as at Cape Point) have been reintroduced from elsewhere.

What are the Extinct species?

The following species that used to occur in Cape Town are now listed in the IUCN Red List as “Globally Extinct”. Below, the date and cause of extinction are given for each:

Buchu family: Hairy Buchu Macrostylis villosa subsp. minor (1960s; vineyards in the Bottelary Hills)
Daisy family: Hairy Boneseed Osteospermum hirsutum (1800s; urbanisation)
Heath family – six species:
Kraaifontein Heath Erica bolusiae var. cyathiformis (1970s; urbanisation of northern suburbs; in cultivation at Kirstenbosch);
Showy Heath Erica turgida (1970s; housing at Kenilworth; in cultivation at Kirstenbosch and reintroduced to Kenilworth, Rondevlei and Tokai);
Whorl Heath Erica verticillata (1950s; flower picking and wetland destruction; in cultivation and reintroduced to Rondevlei, Kenilworth and Tokai);
Alexander’s Heath Erica alexandri subsp. acockii (1940s; urbanisation of Kraaifontein);
Steenbras Heath Erica foliacea subsp. fulgens (1890s; pine plantations); and
Pyramid Heath Erica pyramidalis (1950s; urbanisation of southern suburbs).
Pea family – two species: Cape Flats Gorse Aspalathus variegata (1890s; urbanisation of southern suburbs); and
Grass Mountain Pea Liparia graminifolia (1820s; urbanisation of Mowbray).
Protea family: Wynberg Conebush Leucadendron grandiflorum (1800s; vineyards at Wynberg)
Reed family: Table Mountain Window Reed Willdenowia affinis (1910s; pine plantations at Kloof Corner)
Sedge family: Green-and-red Isolepis Isolepis bulbifera (1950s; urbanisation of southern suburbs)
Snapdragon family: Peninsula Snapdragon Nemesia micrantha (date and cause of extinction unknown)

Velvetworm: Lion Velvetworm Peripatopsis leonina (1950s; Signal Hill; cause of extinction unknown)

Other threatened taxa:

Apart from plants which have a whopping 85 species in immediate danger of extinction, other groups with Critically Endangered species include amphibians (Table Mountain Ghost Frog and Micro Frog), reptiles (Geometric Tortoise) and butterflies (Dicksons Monkey Blue Lepidochrysops methymna dicksoni; these have not been seen for 40 years in Tygerberg).
Some species are precariously close to extinction: the Kraaifontein Spiderhead Serruria furcellata exists as only a single plant on the commonage. Such ‘living dead’ species are as good as extinct, unless rescued by conservation authorities.


Urbanization is the largest threat to the plants and animals in Cape Town. Historically, cultivation was the main cause of species loss (mainly wheat in the Renosterveld, and pines and vines in Granite Fynbos). Currently, the second-greatest threat is invasive alien plants (such as wattles, pines, hakeas and gums). There are many other threats, such as fire, grazing, picking, climate change and dumping. However, these threats are minor compared to the big three, which result in habitat transformation. Through this transformation, natural ecosystem processes become compromised, with fire ecology changing, water tables being abstracted, wetlands destroyed, and water, soils and air polluted.

Is there any hope?

Of course there is, but not if we continue in the same old way. We have to deal with disasters happening in our own backyards (tropical forests and coral reefs, notwithstanding), and take responsibility for the amazing plants and animals that live in Cape Town. Urban sprawl must be converted to densification. We need nature reserves that are big enough and properly managed.
Natural fire regimes must be maintained in nature reserves.
Threatened species must be rescued from extinction. This rescue must be done locally in nature reserves – species cannot just be moved somewhere else, as many occur in specialised niches, which do not occur elsewhere, and must be conserved for the species to survive. There is still time to prevent the situation from getting much worse, but we have to act now. It is estimated that we have ten years before the situation becomes hopeless. We need to do something immediately, and you can help.

As can be seen the most Extinct, Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable species within the city occur in the southern and northern suburbs in what used to be Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, followed by Renosterveld (which was converted to wheatlands and vineyards). Note that the Sandstone Fynbos of the Cape Peninsula also has lots of species, and most of these are threatened by invasive alien plants and inappropriate fire management. The
ecosystems most affected by extinction are the Renosterveld types, as their large herds of game (hartebeest, zebra, eland, ostrich and rhinos) were shot out by the 18th century, resulting in a change from a grassland to a shrubland, followed by a large-scale conversion to wheatland in the 20th century. Although the large mammals are local extinctions, their loss has contributed to the threats affecting local Renosterveld species, which are now globally threatened with extinction.


An extinct species is lost forever. Many species have cultural, medicinal and aesthetic value, and many support many other species, such as parasites, predators and symbionts. Some species are keystone species, and maintain entire food webs. Lastly, species have a right to exist, just as much as we have a right to exist – this is called ‘intrinsic value’. Species that occur nowhere else on earth have a right to exist in their habitat in Cape Town! Capetonians have a responsibility to conserve their unique natural heritage.

What you can do:

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and the Millennium Seed Bank have a plant rescue programme which saves plants, bulks them up, and reintroduces them into the wild. The Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) monitors rare species, so that we know when we need to act. Many nature reserves have Friends groups, who help with reserve management and maintenance. Some groups focus on certain species, such as
those that prevent road deaths of the Western Leopard Toad during its spring breeding season, when thousands of toads migrate to and from their mating pools. Join these groups, and help to conserve our wild life.

Extracted from
Get your poster here: http://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Biodiv_fact_sheet_08_ThreatenedSpecies_2011-03.pdf

Threatened Species


Critically Endangered (CR)

Afrolimon purpuratum CR
Aristea ericifolia erecta CR
Arctotheca forbesiana CR
Aspalathus aculeata CR
Aspalathus horizontalis CR
Aspalathus rycroftii CR
Babiana leipoldtii CR
Babiana regia CR
Babiana secunda CR
Cadiscus aquaticus CR
Cephalophyllum parviflorum CR
Chrysocoma esterhuyseniae CR
Cliffortia acockii CR
Cotula myriophylloides CR
Cyclopia latifolia CR
Diastella proteoides CR
Disa barbata CR
Disa nubigena CR
Disa physodes CR
Disa sabulosa CR
Erica abietina diabolis CR
Erica bolusiae bolusiae CR
Erica heleogena CR
Erica malmesburiensis CR
Erica margaritacea CR
Erica ribisaria CR
Erica sociorum CR
Erica ustulescens CR
Erica vallis ‐aranearum CR
Geissorhiza eurystigma CR
Geissorhiza malmesburiensis CR
Geissorhiza purpurascens CR
Gladiolus aureus CR
Gladiolus griseus CR
Hermannia procumbens procumbens CR
Holothrix longicornu CR
Ixia versicolor CR
Lachenalia arbuthnotiae CR
Lachenalia purpureo ‐caerulea CR
Lampranthus tenuifolius CR
Leucadendron floridum CR
Leucadendron lanigerum laevigatum CR
Leucadendron levisanus CR
Leucadendron macowanii CR
Leucadendron stellare CR
Leucadendron thymifolium CR
Leucadendron verticillatum CR
Marasmodes oligocephala CR
Marasmodes polycephala CR
Metalasia distans CR
Mimetes hottentoticus CR
Moraea angulata CR
Moraea aristata CR
Muraltia satureioides salteri CR
Oxalis natans CR
Podalyria microphylla CR
Polycarena silenoides CR
Protea odorata CR
Psoralea glaucina CR
Restio acockii CR
Serruria aemula CR
Serruria furcellata CR
Serruria hirsuta CR
Serruria trilopha CR
Watsonia amabilis CR
Watsonia humilis CR

Data deficient (DD)

Antimima concinna DD
Arctotis angustifolia DD
Cliffortia cymbifolia DD
Cliffortia reticulata DD
Drimia minor DD
Erica velitaris velitaris DD
Gnidia parvula DD
Lampranthus calcaratus DD
Limonium scabrum corymbulosum DD
Lotononis perplexa DD
Ruschia umbellata DD
Senecio coleophyllus DD
Staavia dregeana DD
Thesium repandum DD

Endangered (EN)

Agathosma corymbosa EN
Agathosma glabrata EN
Agathosma latipetala EN
Arctopus dregei EN
Argyrolobium velutinum EN
Aristea lugens EN
Aspalathus varians EN
Athanasia capitata EN
Athanasia crenata EN
Babiana odorata EN
Cliffortia ericifolia EN
Cliffortia hirta EN
Cliffortia marginata EN
Echiostachys spicatus EN
Elegia acockii EN
Erepsia hallii EN
Erica caterviflora caterviflora EN
Erica cyrilliflora EN
Erica ferrea EN
Erica patersonii EN
Geissorhiza radians EN
Gethyllis kaapensis EN
Gladiolus jonquilliodorus EN
Gladiolus quadrangulus EN
Gladiolus vigilans EN
Hessea cinnamomea EN
Ischyrolepis sabulosa EN
Ixia maculata fuscocitrina EN
Ixia tenuifolia EN
Lachenalia liliflora EN
Lampranthus aureus EN
Lampranthus dilutus EN
Lampranthus explanatus EN
Lampranthus leptaleon EN
Lampranthus scaber EN
Lampranthus stenus EN
Leucadendron argenteum EN
Leucadendron lanigerum lanigerum EN
Leucospermum cordatum EN
Leucospermum grandiflorum EN
Leucospermum gueinzii EN
Leucospermum parile EN
Limonium depauperatum EN
Liparia laevigata EN
Lobostemon hottentoticus EN
Macrostylis cassiopoides cassiopoides EN
Macrostylis cassiopoides dregeana EN
Macrostylis villosa villosa EN
Marasmodes dummeri EN
Metalasia octoflora EN
Mimetes arboreus EN
Moraea elegans EN
Moraea tricolor EN
Muraltia brevicornu EN
Muraltia decipiens EN
Passerina paludosa EN
Pentaschistis ecklonii EN
Phylica thunbergiana EN
Podalyria argentea EN
Prionanthium pholiuroides EN
Protea stokoei EN
Pterygodium cruciferum EN
Pterygodium inversum EN
Rafnia angulata ericifolia EN
Restio harveyi EN
Restio micans EN
Senecio verbascifolius EN
Serruria brownii EN
Serruria cyanoides EN
Serruria decumbens EN
Serruria incrassata EN
Serruria linearis EN
Sorocephalus clavigerus EN
Sparaxis grandiflora grandiflora EN
Spatalla prolifera EN
Spiloxene minuta EN
Steirodiscus speciosus EN
Stoebe gomphrenoides EN
Stylapterus barbatus EN
Tritoniopsis elongata EN
Tritoniopsis flexuosa EN
Xiphotheca lanceolata EN
Xiphotheca reflexa EN

Extinct (EX / EW – Extinct in wild)

Babiana blanda EW
Erica bolusiae cyathiformis EW
Erica turgida EW
Erica verticillata EW
Erica alexandri acockii EX
Nemesia micrantha EX

Near Threatened (NT)

Babiana angustifolia NT
Chondropetalum rectum NT
Diastella thymelaeoides thymela
Leucospermum bolusii NT
Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum NT
Moraea villosa villosa NT
Muraltia trinervia NT
Nemesia strumosa NT
Otholobium bolusii NT
Paranomus sceptrum‐gustavianus NT
Paranomus spicatus NT
Pentaschistis aspera NT
Podalyria sericea NT
Protea lepidocarpodendron NT
Protea lorea NT
Protea scabra NT
Satyrium carneum NT
Serruria adscendens NT
Serruria elongata NT
Serruria rubricaulis NT
Spatalla longifolia NT
Spatalla racemosa NT
Thamnochortus fraternus NT
Thamnochortus punctatus NT

Vulnerable (VU)

Aloe commixta VU
Antimima aristulata VU
Aspalathus acanthophylla VU
Babiana villosula VU
Calopsis impolita VU
Cotula duckittiae VU
Cotula paradoxa VU
Diosma dichotoma VU
Drosanthemum hispifolium VU
Drosanthemum striatum VU
Echiostachys incanus VU
Elegia fenestrata VU
Elegia prominens VU
Elegia verreauxii VU
Erepsia patula VU
Erepsia ramosa VU
Erica capitata VU
Euchaetis schlechteri VU
Euphorbia marlothiana VU
Geissorhiza humilis VU
Geissorhiza purpureolutea VU
Gladiolus recurvus VU
Gnidia spicata VU
Helichrysum dunense VU
Hermannia rugosa VU
Ischyrolepis duthieae VU
Ixia curta VU
Lachenalia orthopetala VU
Lachnaea capitata VU
Lampranthus bicolor VU
Lampranthus filicaulis VU
Lampranthus glaucus VU
Lampranthus peacockiae VU
Lampranthus reptans VU
Lampranthus sociorum VU
Leucadendron coniferum VU
Leucadendron corymbosum VU
Leucadendron linifolium VU
Leucospermum conocarpodendron conocarpodron VU
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron canaliculatum VU
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron hypophyllocarpodendron VU
Leucospermum rodolentum VU
Leucospermum tomentosum VU
Lobostemon capitatus VU
Lotononis prostrata VU
Metalasia capitata VU
Mimetes hirtus VU
Moraea elsiae VU
Muraltia macropetala VU
Pentameris longiglumis longiglumis VU
Polyxena corymbosa VU
Protea longifolia VU
Protea scolymocephala VU
Satyrium foliosum VU
Serruria decipiens VU
Serruria glomerata VU
Serruria inconspicua VU
Serruria krausii VU
Steirodiscus tagetes VU

Vulnerable (VU D2 ‐ single small population)

Acmadenia nivea VU D2
Agathosma pulchella VU D2
Amphithalea ericifolia scoparia VU D2
Aspalathus borboniifolia VU D2
Dimorphotheca walliana VU D2
Erica annectens VU D2
Erica fairii VU D2
Erica limosa VU D2   Erica marifolia VU D2
Erica nana VU D2
Erica paludicola VU D2
Erica pilulifera VU D2
Euryops pectinatus lobulatus VU D2
Liparia parva VU D2
Liparia splendens splendens VU D2
Moraea villosa elandsmontana VU D2
Muraltia comptonii VU D2
Muraltia guthriei VU D2
Muraltia orbicularis VU D2
Roella goodiana VU D2
Serruria collina collina VU D2
Tetraria graminifolia VU D2
Thamnochortus nutans VU D2
Trianoptiles solitaria VU D2  


Critically Endangered (CR)

Heleophryne rosei Table Mountain Ghost Frog CR
Kedestis barbarae bunta Barber's Ranger CR  
Microbatrachella capensis Micro Frog CR

Endangered (EN)

Amietophrynus pantherinus Western Leopard Toad EN
Kedestes lenis Unique Ranger EN
Lepidochrysops methymna dicksoni Dicksons Dark Opal EN  
Mystromys albicaudatus Whitetailed Mouse EN
Psammobates geometricus Geometric Tortoise EN
Trimenia malagrida malagrida Lions Head Copper EN
Xenopus gilli Cape Platanna EN

Extinct (EX)

Pseudobarbus sp Eerste River Redfin EX
Galaxias zebratus? Diep River Galaxias? EX

Vulnerable (VU)

Anthropoides paradiseus Blue Crane  VU
Breviceps gibbosus Cape Rain Frog VU
Cacosternum capense Cape Caco VU
Capensibufo rosei Rose's Mountain Toad VU
Chrysoritis dicksoni Dicksons Strandveld Copper VU  
Circus ranivorus African Marsh Harrier VU
Damaliscus pygargus pygargus Bontebok VU
Equus zebra Cape Mountain Zebra VU
Eremitalpa granti Grant's Golden Mole VU
Polemaetus bellicosus Martial Eagle VU
Pseudocordylus nebulosus Dwarf Crag Lizard VU
Sarothrura affinis Striped Flufftail  VU
Spheniscus demersus African (Jackass) Penguin VU

Posted on 12 June, 2018 11:22 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

07 March, 2018

Extinct Invertebrate species in South Africa.


Table Mountain Hairy Crawling Waterbeetle - Algophilus lathridioides (? - Back Table) - unlikely to be extinct**

Table Mountain Water Scavenger Beetle - Allocotocerus mixtus (? - Back Table) - unlikely to be extinct**


Bashee River Buff - Deloneura immaculata (1863 - EC)
Morants Blue - Lepidochrysops hypopolia (1879 - KZN, NW)
Dicksons Monkey Blue - Lepidochrysops methymna dicksonii (1964 - Tygerberg)


Lion Velvetworm - Peripatopsis leonine (? - Signal Hill)

(posted on iSpot: 28 July 2015 - 11:31PM)

Posted on 07 March, 2018 11:49 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment