COIMBATORE : Members of the Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society (TNBS) have spotted what is considered the ‘most beautiful’ butterfly in India — the Malabar Banded Peacock — for the first time in Tamil Nadu, in Coimbatore, on the Western Ghats.
“We spotted the Malabar Banded Peacock in the first week of November, and photographed it since there is no photo evidence of the butterfly so far. The species is usually seen in Kerala. Of the roughly 320 butterfly species in Tamil Nadu, we have recorded 238 in the Coimbatore forest division. After a century, we spotted the Nilgiri Tit, a rare butterfly species, at Kallar in July 2013,” said H Theivaprakasham, a TNBS volunteer.
“Butterflies usually live in low-pollution areas and are indicators of a good eco-system. Migration occurs during the onset of the northeast monsoon; they start moving from the plains to the hills. During the southwest monsoon, the next generation of butterflies return to the plains. Due to drastic changes in weather, migration has not been happening so far,” said A Pavendhan, another TNBS member.
The members of the group aim to record all butterfly species in the state. “We are in the process of re-validating 30 more species. We presume that there are 321 butterflies species. The exact numbers could be more or even less,” said Pavendhan. Theivaprakasham has urged people to grow nectarine plants outside their houses to attract more butterflies.