Rajasthan gives one more species to country’s list of butterflies

India’s 1328th butterfly was found in Rajasthan during the ‘Big Butterfly Month’. Butterfly expert and teacher Mukesh Panwar discovered this species of butterfly named Spealia Zebra.

Panwar, resident of Sagwara town in Dungarpur district (Rajasthan) has been doing research on butterflies for the last 15 years. He saw Spealia Zebra species on November 8, 2014 at Dhanraj Farm House in Sagwara. He immediately clicked its photographs and sent them to Butterfly Research Centre at Bhimtal (Uttarakhand) to identify this species.

The Centre played an important role in identifying this butterfly and after doing research for six long years, the Centre’s director Peter Smetacek on Tuesday announced, “This is the 1328th butterfly of India”.

Smetacek said that this butterfly species flies at a high speed and is only 2.5cm wide. This species of butterfly was seen in 1888 at Attock city in Pakistan and formerly known as Campbellpur. He said that the book Butterfly of Pakistan in 2016 also mentions this species. “The detailed information about the species discovered by Panwar has been published in the Centre’s journal ‘Bionotes’ on September 28,” Smetacek informed.  

Panwar is doing research on butterflies in Rajasthan and so far he has seen and identified 111 species. He has studied and clicked the lifecycle of 82 species. The state’s first Butterfly Festival was organized at Sagwara on the initiative of Panwar on February 24, 2018 under the joint auspices of the Forest Department, Rajputana Society of Natural History and Vagad Nature Club.

Environmental enthusiasts of the area have expressed happiness on the achievement of Panwar. Earlier, Tiger Watch field biologist Dr Dharmendra Khandal and environmental scientist from Udaipur Dr Satish Sharma discovered two new species of butterflies named Deccan Tri-Colour Pied Flat and Spotted Small Flat in outer part of Ranthambhore Tiger Project area in Sawai Madhopur.

Vagad Nature Club’s Dr Kamlesh Sharma expressing happiness on these two achievements said that the credit goes to the awareness created by the various works done in the field of environment conservation in South Rajasthan. 

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