Monday, August 1, 2011

‘Bhutan Glory’ spotted in Ziro

Arif Siddiqui
ITANAGAR, July 10: Bhutan Glory–a rare and beautiful butterfly of the region– was discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.
This three tailed insect which is generally found in Bhutan, Southeast Asia and other Northeastern states was unknowingly discovered by Punyo Chada of Siiro village, a teacher by profession and an avid nature lover, in Ziro recently.

Listed under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention), but not in the Red Book of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), the status of the butterfly has been recorded as rare by some authorities and "Insufficiently known" in the IUCN Red Data Book on Swallowtails.

Both sexes of the Bhutan Glory are identical in looks, having long rounded forewings with convex termen and many-tailed hind wings. This fine insect was first discovered in May 1868, near Buxa, in the Bhutan Himalayas, at an elevation of 5000 feet, by Dr R. Lidderdale, of the Bengal Army. Dr Lidderdale obtained two specimens from the same locality in 1872.

Bhutan Glory flies at tree-top with a slow, drifting, unpredictable flight. It’s transparent greyish underside makes it difficult to distinguish in the shadows. During rain, it sits on leaves with the fore-wings dropped over the hind wings, concealing its bright upper coloration. The butterfly has a habit of hill-topping and visits flowers of diverse species.  Apart from teaching, Chada, runs a Home Stay accommodation for visitors. He is also an avid nature lover and often visits Talley Valley with his friends in his leisure time.

Apart from Bhutan Glory he has shot another rare butterfly “Brown Gorgon.” There so many unknown moths & wild flowers in his collection which were witnessed by this author during his stay at his home.
He has opened the Gateway of “Butterfly Tourism” in Ziro.
Isaac Kehimkar, the famous author from BNHS (Bombay Nature History Society) already started asking for his pictures for upcoming Book on Indian Butterflies being published by BNHS.

Chada’s Butterflies pictures made a stir among the butterfly enthusiasts across the country and many are now willing to visit Ziro valley soon.

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