Sunday, October 26, 2014

New milestones for the Butterflies of India website

By Krushnamegh Kunte

I write with very exciting news. It was exactly five years ago in October-November 2009 that I started discussing the Butterflies of India website with friends and colleagues in India (I was in Boston those days). A couple of months later we had the first draft of the website online and by January 2011 we were running full steam. For me and perhaps for many of you, the past five years have yielded tremendous insights into butterfly distributions, seasonality, wing pattern variation and many other aspects of the natural history and biology of Indian butterflies through the images and observations that were shared on this ButterflyIndia yahoo group and then posted as a long-term record on the Butterflies of India website. We also reported several species of butterflies new to India, and dozens of rediscoveries. Overall, these five years have been very exciting times and remarkably productive in terms of advancing our current understanding of Indian butterflies. With considerable activity on this and various Facebook groups, much of which is increasingly leading to paper and online publications, it appears that things are now shaking after a decades-long stupor among Indian butterfly naturalists. The milestones that we have crossed recently on the Butterflies of India website, as evident from the 'BOI by the numbers', are indicative of this activity:

No. of species pages: 840
No. of lifecycle pages: 273
No. of identification keys: 5
Larval Host Plants: 209
No. of images: 18,114
No. of website visits: 7,00,517
No. of unique visitors Since 2010: 90,487

Recent species pages and images include, among many others, prominent contributions by Ashwini Bhatia, Rohan Lovalekar, Hemant Ogalekar and Milind Bhakare. We are looking forward to more. 

Check out the latest at: