Migrant butterflies add colour to Coimbatore's forests

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Nov.23 : Butterfly observers and lovers got to experience a colourful spectacle, when large swarms of migrating butterflies descended upon the Western Ghats near Coimbatore.

Butterfly migration is mostly due to change in season which also coincides with the flowering of trees. These trees then play hosts to these butterflies.

Butterfly expert and observer Subramanian drew comparisons between migration of birds and butterflies and said tracing butterflies is not an easy task.

"Every year, the beautiful cosmos flycatcher and the size is only 11 to 12 centimetres, it comes, and especially in the middle of March, it will disappear. And next year, you will see before January it will come here. So, the thing is, bird life is long, so you can see, I mean, it goes to the same place again, everywhere in the world they prove that birds come. They put rings over their leg. And next year, they can find out, whether they have come or not. Especially with butterflies, it's very difficult," said Subramanian.

Some of the varieties of migrant butterflies colouring the hills are Common Blue Bottle, Peacock Pansy, Plain Tiger, Angled Castor, Common Castor, Common Grass Yellow, Common Fouring, Common Laster, Painted Lady, Crimson Rose, Yellow Pansy, Blue Mormon, Trycloured Tideflat, Chocolate Pansy, Common Crow and Forget me not amongst many other beautiful ones.

But butterflies are also having trouble with survival just like any many other animal species nowadays. Subramanian explained more on this.

"And this year also we saw plenty of butterfly. What the problem is, we people are troubling them. Every day you can see they'll be hit by buses, autos and people. We can't avoid that," said he.

The dense forest covers, green vegetation and the mineral- rich soil of the hills provide the butterflies with the perfect conditions for reproduction.

Butterflies are the second largest pollinators in the world after honeybees. They form a rich feature of India's diverse fauna, the country accounting for over 1200 of the more than 18,000 butterfly species known to exist worldwide.

--ANI (Posted on 23-11-2013)

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