Andhra Pradesh

129 Butterfly species recorded in Papikonda National Park

An expert clicks a butterfly during the butterfly survey in Papikonda National Park.

An expert clicks a butterfly during the butterfly survey in Papikonda National Park.  

11 species are believed to be recorded for the first time in A.P.

MACHILIPATNAM

As many as 129 butterfly species have been recorded by direct sighting during the maiden scientific survey carried out by the State Forest Department in Papikonda National Park in Andhra Pradesh.

The three-day survey was co-ordinated in mid-December by Kerala-based Butterfly experts C. Susantha Kumar and Abhiram Chandran (Warblers and Waders NGO) and Divisional Forest Officer (Eluru-Wildlife) Anant Shankar.

“As many as 129 species of butterflies belonging to the six families have been recorded in 70% of the PNP’s 1012 sq. km area. At least 11 species sighted in the park during the survey are believed to be recorded for the first time in Andhra Pradesh,” said Mr. Kumar.

The 11 species are Brush Flitter, Great Swift, Common Onyx, Yellow Jack Sailor, Black Prince, Tree Flitter, Black-vein Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Club Beak, Common Imperial and Tri-coloured Pied Flat.

The national park was divided into four divisions — Nellooru, Mothugudem, Jalatharangani and Buruguvada — for the survey done in the “Fixed Line Transect” method.

The experts observed that the butterfly species diversity was high in the Nellooru and Mothugudem divisions, in which nearly 100 species were recorded.

Rare sighting

Only single male Butterfly — Plum Judy (Abisara echerius) belonging to the Riodinidae family — was sighted by P. Balaji in the core area of the park near Kintakuru base camp. “The population of Plum Judy is believed to be very low in Asia,” observed Mr. Balaji, one of the surveyors.

The highest of 48 species belonging to the family of Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies) was sighted. The other butterfly families sighted in the park are Lycaenidae (Blues - 30 species), Hesperiidea (Skippers - 26 species), Pieridae (Whites and Yellows - 13 species) and Papiliionidae (Swallowtails - 6 species).

Mr. Shankar told The Hindu: “The survey has explored the diversity and presence of the butterfly species in the PNP, apart from preparing an authentic record on the species surviving in the park.”

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:40:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/129-butterfly-species-recorded-in-papikonda-national-park/article30444248.ece

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