A rare sighting

The Palm king butterfly.

The Palm king butterfly.  

It's once again good news for Nature lovers with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) confirming the sighting of a rare species of butterfly in the Shendurney sanctuary and Palode.

The species, Palm king (Amathusia phidippus johanssen) has been sighted by three city-based Nature lovers, C. Sushanth, B.V. Premkrishnan and R. Murukesh at the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary and in the Palode forests during the course of their survey in May this year.

There are unconfirmed reports that this butterfly was sighted in the erstwhile Travancore as early as 1857, says Mr. Sushanth. As per the details in Butterflies of Oriental region by Bernard D Abrera, such species are said to be seen in the Philippines and China. The unconfirmed sighting in erstwhile Travancore has been listed in Wynter Blyth's Butterflies of Indian origin.

Known as `Thengola Rajan', this butterfly has a velvety brown coloured upper portion with broad bands of white and brown colours at the bottom portion. One could also see two prominent eye-like markings on the wing prominently. These markings are referred to as the eyes.

By Hari Sundar G.

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