Tuesday , October 19 2021

Its Big Butterfly month, Raj reports two new species in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Udaipur : While India is hosting the Big Butterfly month, a celebration of butterflies aimed at conducting a nationwide citizen science survey to help us assess the health of our environment, this is a cheering piece from Rajasthan.

During recent surveys, experts have discovered two new species of butterflies- the Dakhan Tricolour Pied Flat (Coladeniaindraniindra) and the Desert Spotted Small Flat (Sarangesapurendra sati) in the the outskirts of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur in eastern Rajasthan. These butterflies are from the Hesperiidae family and are among the most beautiful butterflies seen in the country. Udaipur based retired assistant conservator of forest Satish Sharma and conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal reported the two new species during their recent survey related visits in the area.

Coladeniaindraniindrais a medium-sized butterfly with a 40–46 mm wingspan . The upper side being a bright golden-yellow, forewing with a discal series of four semi-transparent black- bordered spots, a well-defined black spot beneath the cell near the base; exterior margin and cilia blackish, the latter white at the posterior angle, hindwing with a semi-circular sub-marginal series of black spots and two similar inner discal spots. The exterior is margin black, cilia alternate black and white. Thorax, body and legs yellow; Antennae yellow, tip black; hind wings and body covered with long modified hairs.

Another small sized butterfly identified as the Desert Spotted Small (Sarangesapurendra) or the spotted Small Flat is a small butterfly, 25-35 mm in size. As per Kehimkar (2016), the butterfly is distributed in Gujrat (Kachchh), Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand inIndia.A citizen science-based group reported its presence from Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and now in Rajasthan. It may also be seen in Tonk, Karauli and Bundi too besides Sawai Madhopur.

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