Coimbatore

Rare butterflies spotted in Kotagiri slopes

The Dark Pierrot and Pointed Lineblue butterflies spotted in Kotagiri.

The Dark Pierrot and Pointed Lineblue butterflies spotted in Kotagiri.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Members of a Nilgiris-based conservation group spotted two butterflies, usually found in the Devala-Nadugani belt, in the Kotagiri slopes, where they are rarely seen.

In a press release, the Wynter Blyth Association (WBA) said that four members - Felix Nirmal Dev, Manoj Sethumadhavan, Lenin Raj and Vinod Sriramalu - were on a weekly butterfly walk in Kotagiri when they spotted the elusive Dark Pierrot (Tarucus ananda) and the Pointed Lineblue (Lonolyce helicon).

Manoj Sethumadhavan, trustee of WBA, said that what was interesting about the find was the fact that the last sighting of the Dark Pierrot in the Coonoor and Kotagiri slopes was in 1978 by Larsen B Torben.

Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu, 23/07/2019: 
The Dark Pierrot and Pointed Lineblue butterflies seen by conservationists in Kotagiri 
Photo:Special Arrangement

Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu, 23/07/2019: The Dark Pierrot and Pointed Lineblue butterflies seen by conservationists in Kotagiri Photo:Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

 

Meanwhile, the Pointed Lineblue has been recorded in Kallar by WBA, but was still considered rare.

“These two butterflies are seen in the Nilgiris and in other parts of the Western Ghats in usually evergreen forests. Seeing them in Kotagiri could be an indicator that their host plants are doing well here, leading to their range being extended to these slopes,” said Mr. Sethumadhavan.

The WBA members spotted multiple individuals of the Dark Pierrot and the Pointed Lineblue, indicating that they were not stragglers who accidentally found their way to the Kotagiri slopes, he added.

“Of course, we also need to consider that multiple variables are at play, and further studies need to be done to arrive at any conclusions about the expansion of their home ranges,” he added.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 3:10:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/rare-butterflies-spotted-in-kotagiri-slopes/article28692374.ece

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