Africa’s first armoured catfish invasion
A juvenile vermiculated sailfin catfish sampled from the Nseleni River.

Africa’s first armoured catfish invasion

The South American armoured catfish family Loricariidae includes more than 700 nominal species. Some are popular aquarium fishes in the global pet trade. Releases by aquarists and escape from fish farms have resulted in several armoured catfish invasions in Central and North America, Asia and now, Africa.

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National Geographic Society grant for legume research

Dr Jaco Le Roux, C·I·B core team member, was recently awarded a National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration grant to investigate the consequences of legume invasions on native legume biodiversity in South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region.

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Long-tongued pollinators shed light on coevolutionary dynamics
The long-proboscid fly (Moegistorhynchus longirostris) and the long-tubed iris (Lapeirousia anceps) in the Cape Floristic Region (Photo Credit: A Pauw).

Long-tongued pollinators shed light on coevolutionary dynamics

Plants and pollinators have co-evolved physical characteristics that make them more likely to interact successfully. For example, long-proboscid flies, whose tongues are twice the length of their bodies, are able to reach the nectar resources stored deep inside flowers with long straw-like stems. In turn, this interaction is beneficial to the plant because while accessing the nectar, these specialised pollinators pick up pollen and move it to other flowers of the same species.

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Sharing the same looks
Monkey beetles (Scarabaeidae: Hoplinii) were observed as visitors to Acacia saligna flower heads.

Sharing the same looks

Can the colors or shapes of invasive plants tell us how they interact with native plants? Tackling the question, C·I·B student, Michelle Gibson and supervisors, Dave Richardson and Anton Pauw, used the problematic invasive Australian Acacia saligna to determine whether floral traits (characteristics) can be used to predict the impact of this invasive on co-occurring native plants in the Cape Floristic Region.

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C·I·B students awarded at New Voices in Science colloquium
Marguerite Blignaut was awarded the prize for the best popular written article. The award was presented by Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector for Research (SU).

C·I·B students awarded at New Voices in Science colloquium

New Voices in Science workshop and competition focuses on presentation skills, sound bites and the art of describing research in a concise yet exciting manner. Three C·I·B students were selected to present at the colloquium's gala event.

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