When members of the eco club created a butterfly garden little did they realise how much it would benefit them also.

Students of Kendriya Vidyalaya 1, Kozhikode have a golden opportunity to learn more about butterflies and their importance in sustaining the eco-system. A butterfly garden was developed by members of the eco-club as a part of their biodiversity conservation programme.

The members thought a butterfly garden was a way to see more butterflies and help butterflies, as many of their habitats were destroyed by human activity.

There are two phases in the life cycle of a butterfly — the caterpillar stage - where the caterpillar feeds on leaves and the adult stage where they feed on nectar or sap of over ripe fruits. The students planted trees to play the role of host plants and for nectar, many flowering plants.

They began work on the butterfly garden two years ago planting 20 saplings which were the host plants of many species of butterflies. Some of these trees are Poovaraz, Ungu, Koovalam ,Kanikonna, Punna, Fig, Annona, Avanak, Koovala, Citrus, Curry leaf plant, Maramulla, Kumkukumam and Asokam. The saplings were protected by tree guards that were made by students. As a source of nectar the students planted Senia, Cosmos, Ixora, Lantana, Bluebells, Marigold, Parvathy, Vinca rosea, Arali and Morning glory. In a shady corner, they placed a pot of water for the butterflies.

Visitors

Many species of butterflies visit the garden at this time of the year. The members of the Eco Club said they had identified nearly 60 varieties of butterflies. They observe the eggs, caterpillars and pupae. The garden has become the habitat of moths, wasps, bees, grasshoppers, beetles, dragon flies and spiders. Some of the species of butterfly that visit the garden are the common Indian crow, blue bottle, great egg fly, blue tiger, dark blue tiger , malabar banded swallow tail ,common mormon, Plain tiger,common mime, common emigrant and leopard fly.

It was found that butterflies are more in number in the morning when the sun is bright.