Thursday, November 8, 2012

Athyma whitei: another butterfly species new to India

Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte reported on ButterflyIndia yahoo group today (8th November 2012):

I am happy to report another butterfly species that is new to India: Athyma whitei, which I call Blue-bordered Sergeant (it did not have an English name before):

Information about this species may be found under various tabs on the above species page. Images of the holotype of whitei, which is in the BMNH London, has also been included in the species page with permission from the BMNH.

Do let me know if you have photographs of similar Athyma from other parts of India. This species is not very well-known, so any new information will be useful.

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Mystical Bhutan Glory (Bhutanitis ludlowi) in India !

Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte reported on ButterflyIndia yahoo group today  (8th November 2012):

India now has two rather than one species of Bhutan Glory! I am very happy to report that the elusive Bhutanitis ludlowi, which was previously known only from E. Bhutan, has finally been spotted in India by Sanjay Sondhi, Pijush Dutta and Sujatha Padmanabhan:

Congratulations to those three on taking these very first Indian images of this very very rare butterfly, and for adding this species to the Indian butterfly fauna. You struck gold with this! These Indian records are particularly important because the species was rediscovered in Bhutan only in 2009 after the initial species description in 1942 based on the specimens collected in 1933-1934. You will find more information about this on the ludlowi species page under different tabs and on a few other websites.

I have now photographed all the five types of ludlowi at the BMNH London. Those images are also on the species page, with permission from the BMNH, along with Sanjay, Sujatha and Pijush’s images. Identification key to distinguish between lidderdalii and ludlowi is at:

For comparison, now we have a few images of wild butterflies and museum specimens on the lidderdalii page as well:

I am sure that there will be more sightings of ludlowi in India in coming years. If you come across any, we would be pleased if you bring them to our attention and contribute good quality images to the above species pages. It will be good to build this resource for the benefit of the larger community.

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