Aralam records 178 species of butterflies
The annual butterfly survey in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) recorded 178 species of butterflies, including nine species that are endemic to the Western Ghats. The survey was inaugurated by K.V. Uthaman, Managing Director, Oushadhi.
The 18th annual butterfly survey in the Aralam WLS that concluded on January 14 was jointly organised by the Malabar Natural History Society (MNHS) and the Forest Department. Around 142 butterfly enthusiasts from across south India participated in the survey. The major survey areas were Kottiyur, Meenmutty falls, Pariputhodu, Chavachi, Kurukathodu, Narikadavu, Bhoothankallu, Pookundu and Valayamchal.
Nilgiri Grass Yellow and Silver Streak Acacia Blue were the two new species added to the sanctuary. Both the species are extremely rare and known only from very few specimens from the Western Ghats. With these two additions, the total number of butterflies in the Aralam WLS is 257, the highest in any of the Protected Areas of the State. The family Nymphlaidae (Brush-footed butterflies) is more diverse with 67 species followed by Lycaenidae-blues (50 species), Hesperiidae-skippers (25 species), Pieridae-whites and yellows (20 species), Papilionidae-swallowtails (16 species) and a single species from the family of Riodinidae (Judies and Punches).