TNBS have recorded about 291 species so far.

Beauty on wings Rare Malabar Banded Peacock butterfly spotted in TN for first time
news Wildlife Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 12:34

Sporting a tantalising combination of iridescent blue against a background of black, the Malabar Banded Peacock is a beautiful sight to behold. And for the members of the Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society (TNBS) sighting this butterfly was especially fortunate, since this is the first recorded instance of the magnificent species being spotted in Tamil Nadu.  

Speaking to The News Minute, Pavendhan, member of TNBS said, “It is one of the rarest butterfly species spotted in Tamil Nadu. This species of butterfly is usually found in Kerala and Karnataka. There are a total of 321 species of butterfly which are found in Tamil Nadu among the 1500 butterfly species found in India.”

Since 2012, Pavendhan said, TNBS has been undertaking a project to record and revalidate the butterfly species found in Tamil Nadu, and have recorded about 291 species so far. 

Pavendhan said that mapping butterfly species is an important project, as butterflies are an important indicator of eco-system health. “Butterflies usually prefer to live in low-pollution areas and they migrate during the onset of the northeast monsoon – they start moving from plains to the hills. During the southwest monsoon, the next generation of butterflies returns to the plains. But due to climate change, the migration of butterflies has reduced,” he said.

The Malabar Banded Peacock butterfly was first spotted by H Theivaprakashan, one of the members of the TNBS, on November 6 in a section of the Western Ghats in Coimbatore. Pavendhan says that the society will continue its project until all species of butterflies in Tamil Nadu have been recorded. 

This story was first reported by Senthil Kumar of The New Indian Express.

(Images were provided by Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society)



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