Chalavara Panchayat Butterfly Observation Report 2017 (Preliminary Survey of Butterflies in an Agro-ecosystem)

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Introduction: I have been regularly observing/documenting butterflies of my village for the past four years. This is the report for the year 2017.

Name of Observer: Muhamed Sherif
Period of observation: January 2017 to December 2017.
Location: Chalavara Panchayat, Palakkad District, Kerala (10o82’ N & 76o29’ E);
Total Area: 27.9 sq.km.
Precipitation: Average rainfall for the area received in 2017.

Habitat: Geographically, the village consists of numerous small hills interspersed with paddy fields. Hills and Paddy fields constitute 30% each of the total geographic area. Chalavara is primarily an agricultural village. Even though the area under cultivation has significantly been reduced, rice is still the major crop of our village. There are considerable extends of rubber and coconut plantations also. Except for the paddy fields and some hills, most of the land is divided into numerous homesteads, varying from a few cents to several acres, characteristic of the State of Kerala. Many of the hillocks which are left uncultivated have overgrown with plants and can be best described as degraded/open forests.

Flora: Chalavara holds an impressive diversity of plant life. Some of the important indigenous tree species found in the area are Pterocarpus marsupium, Dalbergia latifolia, Alstonia scholaris, Caryota urens, Borassus flabellifer, Bambusa bambos, Xylia xylocarpa, Zanthoxylum rhetsa, Terminalia paniculata, Syzygium cumini, Casia fistula, Bombax ceiba, Tectona grandis, Macaranga peltata, Bridelia retusa, Morinda tinctoria, Butea monosperma, Strychnos nux-vomica, Mallotus philippensis, various species of ficus, etc.

The ground flora consists of several shrubs and other seasonal herbs including Chromolaena odorata, Wrightia tinctoria, Holarrhena antidysenterica, Ziziphus oenoplia, Mussaenda frondosa, Lantana camara, Calycopteris floribunda, Gloriosa superba, Cyclea peltata, Wattakaka volubilis, Arundinaria sps, Sida rhomboidea, Sida cordifolia, Hyptis suaveolens, Flacourtia indica, various species of Desmodium, Tephrosia purpurea, Mimosa pudica, Tridax procumbens, Biophytum sensitivum, Tragia involucrata, Leea indica, Chasalia curviflora, Rauvolfia serpentina, Ichnocarpus frutescens, etc.

Nectar plants (excluding garden plants):  Some of the wild plants frequented by butterflies for nectaring are Lantana camara, Chromolaena odorata, Hyptis suaveolens, Tridax procumbens, Biophytum sensitivum, etc.

Observations:

Malabar Banded Peacock

116 species of butterflies were observed from Chalavara in 2017 belonging to 84 genera and 6 families.  Nymphalidae is the most represented family with 37 species followed by Lycaenidae of which 34 species were observed.

Out of these 116 species, 83 species were commonly occurring in the area (42 very common and 41 common).  11 species were observed occasionally, 16 species were rarely seen and 6 species were seen only once or twice.

Family-wise distribution:

  • Papilionidae – 13
  • Pieridae – 10
  • Nymphalidae – 37
  • Lycaenidae – 34
  • Hesperiidae – 21
  • Rionidae – 1
  • Total – 116

Four new species were spotted in 2017.  The most interesting and exciting experience of 2017 was spotting Tamil Lacewing in my own backyard.  Both the forms of Common Mime were observed for the first time from the area.  A single specimen of Common Imperial and a small population of Restricted Demon were also noted for the first time in 2017 from the locality.

Common Banded Awl

Less numbers of Southern Birdwing and Blue Mormon.  It is interesting to note that in 2017 the numbers of Southern Birdwing and Blue Mormon were considerably decreased.  Both of them were commonly seen in the previous years, Blue Mormon often seeing round-the-year previously.  A population of Yellow Pansy was spotted after a gap of 3 years.

Peak activity was observed during the month of September.  Least activity was obviously during March-April.

In 2017, twenty five species were observed throughout the year.  They are Common Small Flat, Dark Palm Dart, Chestnut Bob, Tailed Jay, Common Mormon, Common Lime, Common Rose, Crimson Rose, Common Grass Yellow, Common Emigrant, Mottled Emigrant, Common Jezebel, Yamfly, Common Pierrot, Quaker, Dark Blue Tiger, Blue Tiger, Common Crow, Common Evening Brown, Common Four ring, Common Baron, Angled Castor, Common Castor, Chocolate Pansy and Lemon Pansy.

Species previously observed from the area but not seen in 2017: Golden Angle, Indian Skipper, Pioneer, Redspot, Double Branded Crow and Painted Lady.

List of Butterflies spotted in 2017 from Chalavara:

VC (Very Common) – Species observed during 80% to 100% of the field visits; C (Common) – 60% to 80%; O (Occasional) – 40% to 60%; R (Rare) – 20% to 40%; VR (Very Rare) – below 20%  (Aneesh KS et al 2013).  Observations were made for at least once a week.

SI NoCommon English NameScientific NameMalayalam NameOccurrence
Hesperiidae
1Common Banded awlHasora chromusനാട്ടുവരയൻ ആരVR
2Common Spotted FlatCelaenorrhinus leucoceraനാട്ടുപുള്ളിപ്പരപ്പൻO
3Common Small flatSarangesa dasaharaകുഞ്ഞിപ്പരപ്പൻVC
4Suffused Snow flatTagiades ganaഹിമപ്പരപ്പൻR
5Water Snow FlatTagiades litigiosaഇലമുങ്ങിശലഭംC
6Tamil Grass DartTaractrocera ceramasമഞ്ഞപ്പുൽത്തുള്ളൻC
7Common Grass DartTaractrocera maeviusപുല്ലൂളി ശലഭംVC
8Dark palm DartTelicota bambusaeകേരശലഭംVC
9Rice SwiftBorbo cinnaraശരശലഭംC
10Pelopidas spsC
11Paintbrush SwiftBaoris farriഈറ്റ ശരശലഭംO
12Blank SwiftCaltoris kumaraപൊട്ടില്ലാ ശരശലഭംC
13Indian Palm BobSuastus gremiusപനങ്കുറുമ്പൻVC
14Wax DartCupitha purreeaമെയ്‌മെഴുക്കൻR
15Common RedeyeMatapa ariaചെങ്കണ്ണിC
16Chestnut BobIambrix salsalaചെങ്കുറുമ്പൻVC
17Restricted DemonNotocrypta curvifasciaപുള്ളിച്ചാത്തൻR
18Grass DemonUdaspes folusവെള്ളച്ചാത്തൻC
19Common Bush HopperAmpittia dioscoridesപൊന്തച്ചാടൻC
20Pygmy Scrub HopperAeromachus pygmaeusചിന്ന പുൽച്ചാടൻC
21Indian AceHalpe homoleaപൊട്ടില്ലാ തുള്ളൻO
 Papilionidae
22Common Blue BottleGraphium sarpedonനീലക്കുടുക്കR
23Common JayGraphium dosonനാട്ടുകുടുക്കR
24Tailed JayGraphium agamemnonവിറവാലൻVC
25Spot SwordtailGraphium nomiusപുള്ളിവാൾവാലൻR
26Common MimePapilio clytiaവഴനപ്പൂമ്പാറ്റC
27Common MormonPapilio polytesനാരകക്കാളിVC
28Red HelenPapilio helenusചുട്ടിക്കറുപ്പൻC
29Blue MormonPapilio polymnestorകൃഷ്ണശലഭംO
30Lime ButterflyPapilio demoleusനാരകശലഭംVC
31Malabar Banded PeacockPapilio budhaബുദ്ധമയൂരിC
32Common RosePachliopta aristolochiae       നാട്ടുറോസ്‌VC
33Crimson RosePachliopta hectorചക്കരശലഭംVC
34Southern BirdwingTroides minos  ഗരുഡശലഭംO
Pieridae
35Three-Spot Grass YellowEurema blandaമുപ്പൊട്ടൻ പാപ്പാത്തിVC
36Common Grass YellowEurema hecabeമഞ്ഞപ്പാപ്പാത്തിVC
37Common EmigrantCatopsilia pomona മഞ്ഞത്തകരമുത്തിVC
38Mottled EmigrantCatopsilia pyrantheതകരമുത്തിVC
39Common WandererPareronia valeriaനാടോടിC
40Chocolate AlbatrossAppias lyncidaചോക്ലേറ്റ്‌ ആൽബട്രോസ്‌R
41Common AlbatrossAppias albinaആൽബട്രോസ്‌O
42Common GullCepora nerissaനാട്ടുപാത്തO
43Common JezebelDelias eucharisവിലാസിനിVC
44PsycheLeptosia ninaപൊട്ടുവെള്ളാട്ടിVC
Lycaenidae
45ApeflySpalgis epeusമർക്കട ശലഭംO
46Indian SunbeamCuretis thetisസൂര്യശലഭംVC
47Western Centaur OakblueArhopala centaurusയവന തളിർനീലിVR
48Common Acacia BlueSurendra quercetorumഅക്കേഷ്യ നീലിR
49YamflyLoxura atymnus atymnusകുഞ്ഞുവാലൻVC
50Monkey PuzzleRathinda amorഇരുതലച്ചിC
51Common ImperialCheritra frejaവെള്ളിവാലൻVR
52Peacock RoyalTajuria cippusനീലാംബരിO
53Slate FlashRapala maneaസ്ലേറ്റ്‌ ഫ്ലാഷ്‌C
54Long Banded SilverlineSpindasis lohitaനീൾവെള്ളിവരയൻR
55Common SilverlineSpindasis vulcanusവെള്ളിവരയൻO
56Pointed Ciliate BlueAnthene lycaeninaവനകോകിലൻR
57Banded Blue PierrotDiscolampa ethionനീലവരയൻ കോമാളിC
58Common PierrotCastalius rosimonനാട്ടുകോമാളിVC
59Zebra BlueLeptotes pliniusസീബ്ര നീലിR
60Common Line BlueProsotas noraനാട്ടുവരയൻനീലിR
61Tailless Line BlueProsotas dubiosaവാലില്ലാവരയൻനീലിO
62Dark CeruleanJamides bochusകരിംപൊട്ടുവാലാട്ടിC
63Common CeruleanJamides celenoപൊട്ടുവാലാട്ടിVC
64Forget-me-notCatochrysops straboനീലകൻC
65Pea BlueLampides boeticusപട്ടാണിനീലിC
66Dark Grass BlueZizeeria karsandraഇരുളൻ പുൽനീലിC
67Grass JewelFreyeria trochylusരത്നനീലിC
68Lesser Grass BlueZizina otisചെറുപുൽനീലിC
69Tiny Grass BlueZizula hylaxചിന്നപുൽനീലിVC
70Indian CupidEveres lacturnusമണിമാരൻR
71Red PierrotTalicada nyseusചെങ്കോമാളിR
72QuakerNeopithecops zalmoraപാണലുണ്ണിVC
73MalayanMegisba malayaമലയൻC
74Gram BlueEuchrysopsc cnejusപയർനീലിVC
75Common Hedge BlueAcytolepis puspaനാട്ടുവേലിനീലിC
76Plains CupidChilades pandavaനാട്ടുമാരൻVC
77Small CupidChilades contractaചെറുമാരൻR
78Lime BlueChilades lajusനാരകനീലിC
Rionidae
79Twospot Plum JudyAbisara bifasciataഇരുവരയത്തി ആട്ടക്കാരിC
Nymphalidae
80Blue TigerTirumala limniaceനീലക്കടുവVC
81Dark Blue TigerTirumala septentrionisകരിനീലക്കടുവVC
82Striped TigerDanaus genutiaവരയൻകടുവC
83Plain TigerDanaus chrysippusഎരിക്കുതപ്പിC
84Glassy TigerParantica agleaതെളിനീലക്കടുവVC
85Common CrowEuploea coreഅരളിശലഭംVC
86Common Evening brownMelanitis ledaകരിയില ശലഭംVC
87Bamboo TreebrownLethe europaമുളന്തവിടൻC
88PalmflyElymnias hypermnestraഓലക്കണ്ടൻC
89Common Bush BrownMycalesis perseusതവിടൻVC
90Dark-branded BushbrownMycalesis mineusഇരുൾ വരയൻ തവിടൻC
91Gladeye BushbrownMycalesis patniaപൂങ്കണ്ണിC
92NiggerOrsotriaena medusകറുപ്പൻC
93Common Five-ringYpthima baldusപഞ്ചനേത്രിVC
94Common Four-ringYpthima huebneriനാൽക്കണ്ണിVC
95Tawny CosterAcraea terpsicoreതീച്ചിറകൻVC
96Tamil LacewingCethosia nietneriലെയ്‌സ്‌ ശലഭംVR
97Tamil YeomanCirrochroa thaisമരോട്ടി ശലഭംC
98RusticCupha erymanthisവയങ്കതൻC
99Common LeopardPhalanta phalanthaപുലിത്തെയ്യൻO
100CommanderModuza procrisവെള്ളിലത്തോഴിC
101Blackvein SergeantAthyma rangaഒറ്റവരയൻ സർജന്റ്‌VR
102Common LascarPantoporia hordoniaനരിവരയൻC
103Chestnut Streaked SailerNeptis jumbahഇരുവരയൻ പൊന്തച്ചുറ്റൻC
104Common SailerNeptis hylaപൊന്തചുറ്റൻVC
105ClipperParthenos sylviaക്ലിപ്പർC
106Common BaronEuthalia acontheaകനിത്തോഴൻVC
107Gaudy BaronEuthalia lubentinaകനിവർണ്ണൻVR
108Angled CastorAriadne ariadneചിത്രകൻVC
109Common CastorAriadne merioneആവണച്ചോപ്പൻVC
110Yellow PansyJunonia hiertaപീതനീലിR
111Chocolate PansyJunonia iphitaചോക്കളേറ്റ്‌ ശലഭംVC
112Grey PansyJunonia atlitesവയൽക്കോതVC
113Peacock PansyJunonia almanaമയിൽക്കണ്ണിVC
114Lemon PansyJunonia lemoniasപുള്ളിക്കുറുമ്പൻVC
115Great EggflyHypolimnas bolinaവൻചൊട്ട ശലഭംC
116Danaid EggflyHypolimnas misippusചൊട്ടശലഭംO

Common names and scientific names are after Paul Van Gasse, 2013.  Malayalam names are after Koodu Magazine, 2014.

 

 

Long Banded Silverline
Twospot Plum Judy
Crimson Rose
Suffused Snow Flat
Yellow Pansy

More butterfly images from Chalavara can be seen here https://www.flickr.com/photos/wingsnpetals/albums/72157647578377871

Reference:

  1. Aneesh, K.S., C.K. Adarsh & P.O. Nameer, 2013. Butterflies of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) campus, Thrissur, Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(9).
  2. Kehimkar. I, 2008. The Book of Indian Butterflies.  Bombay Natural History Society.
  3. Palot, M.J., V.C. Balakrishnan & S. Kalesh, 2012. An updated checklist of butterflies of Kerala, with their Malayalam names. Malabar Trogon.
  4. Paul Van Gasse, 2013. Butterflies of India – Annotated Checklist.
  5. കൂട് മാസിക , മെയ് 2014

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