A recent butterfly survey in the North Wayanad Forest Division organised jointly by the Ferns Naturalists Society, an environment organisation, and the Forest and Wildlife Department reported the sighting of 140 species, including 17 which had not been hitherto reported in the region.

The three-day survey was conducted at three locations under the division at Brahmagiri, Makkimala, and Kunjome.

Four researchers, V.C. Balakrishnan, Padman Karayad, Sasi Gayathri, and P.A. Vinayan, and 40 students from the Department of Wildlife Biology, AVC College, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu; Centre for Wildlife Biology, veterinary college, Pookode; Department of Applied Zoology, Kannur University; Department of Zoology, Mary Matha College, Mananthavadi, and the College of Forestry, Mannuthy, took part in the survey.

The team reported 38 species of skippers, 14 species of blues, 15 species of swallow tails, 18 white and yellows, and 55 species of brush-footed butterflies, A.T. Sudheesh, coordinator of the survey, said.

Rare species such as Yellow-Jack Sailer and Club Beak were sighted at the Thirunelly reserve forest. Species such as Orange Awlet, Nilgiri Tiger, Tamil Lacewing, and Malabar Banded Swallow-tail were sighted in the Periya reserve forest, Brahmagiri Hills, Hilldale reserve forest, and at the Kunjome forest.

The sighting of 140 species of butterflies is an evidence of a healthy butterfly habitat in the region, V.C. Balakrishnan of the Society for Environment Education in Kerala (SEEK) said.

The new species in the region included Black-Veign Sergeant, Dark Pierrot, Nilgiri Tiger, Blue Pansy, Common Banded Demon, and Yellow-Jack Sailer, he added.