Monday, September 20, 2010

Rare butterfly sighted in Ponmudi forests

Staff Reporter

Colours of nature:The Blue Nawab, a medium-sized butterfly with black wings, can be identified from its white band laced with blue.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A team of nature lovers from Thiruvananthapuram have spotted the life cycle of the ‘Blue Nawab' butterfly in the forests of Ponmudi-Kallar region.
The team from nature group ‘Warblers and Waders', comprising C. Susanth, K.A. Kishore, Baiju and P.B. Biju saw the larvae of this rare butterfly amidst rock formations on either side of a stream deep in the forests. “Sighting this butterfly itself is a very rare thing. Still rarer it is to see its life cycle. We could not find the eggs. After we spotted the larvae, we returned to the location and kept watch as the butterfly finally emerged,” Mr. Susanth told The Hindu.
The study team, in July 2010, also observed the larave feeding on Scarlet Bauhinia( ‘Kaattu Mandaaram'). “The Nawab is a medium-sized butterfly with black wings. It can be easily identified from its white band laced with blue. The males can be found basking on chosen trees among rocky peaks during the hottest part of the day,” Mr. Susanth said.
The earlier studies of the life cycle of this butterfly were conducted by British lepidopterists J. Davidson, T.R. Bell and E.H. Aitken in 1896 at Coorg. “This is the first life cycle record of this butterfly in Kerala, The Kaattu Mandaram has not been previously recorded as a host plant for this butterfly,” Mr. Susanth said.
The team plans to report the sighting to the Journal of Bombay Natural History Society and to other International Journals.
Californian Lepidopterist Keith V. Wolfe, who conducted studies on host plant utilisation of butterflies and Kishen Das, US-based lepidopterist, provided the literature to Warblers and Waders on the life cycle of Blue Nawab, Mr. Susanth added.


No comments:

Post a Comment