Friday, November 9, 2012

Butterfly counts at Lalbagh

As I have mentioned in my earlier post, a lot of good butterflies have been seen in Lalbagh over the past few consecutive trips. It has resident populations of certain species that are considered to be not so common in the city. Common Albatross, Common Palmfly, Plains Cupid are three butterfly species that have been seeing repeatedly.

For those who wish to look for butterflies in Lalbagh, here are a few patches where you may surely find some! It is observed that, certain types of butterflies exist in different patches that suit their own needs (of nectar/ soil/ oozing sap/ grasses/ mimosa.. etc.,).
* The patch of grasses and tridax flowers next to the Kempegowda statue behind the glasshouse. Enclosed in a fence. (All the Pansies and some Pierids) As this patch is abundant in grasses and mimosa, all the pansies are a sure sighting here. Mimosa is the host plant of some pansies and nymphalids.
* Around the big White Silk Cotton tree (Sailers and some nymphalids) Reason being, it is the larval host of the Sailer.
* Patch of ornamental flowers westwards from the fountain/ band stand.
* Patch of small white ornamental flower bushes next to the White Silk Cotton tree, attracts a lot of Swift species and Palmflies.

A list of butterflies found in Lalbagh, updated 10th November:

Sub family Papilionidae:
1. Common Mormon (males, females form Romulus and Stichius) Papilio polytes
2. Crimson Rose Atrophaneura hector
3. Common Rose Atrophaneura aristolochiae
4. Tailed Jay Graphium agamemnon
5. Common Jay Graphium doson
6. Common Lime Papilio demoleus

Sub-family Pieridae:
1. Common Emigrant Catopsilia pomona
2. Mottled Emigrant Catopsilia pyranthe
3. Yellow Orange Tip Ixias pyrene
4. Common Wanderer Pareronia valeria
5. Common Grass Yellow Eurema hecabe
6. Common Albatross Appias albina
7. Great Orange Tip Hebomoia glaucippe 
8. Three Spot Grass Yellow Eurema blanda
9. Pioneer Belenois aurota
10. Common Gull Cepora nerissa

Sub-family Lycaenidae:
1. Common Cerulean Jamides celeno
2. Common Line Blue Prosotas nora
3. Dark Grass Blue Zizeeria karsandra
4. Pale Grass Blue Pseudozizeeria maha
5. Lesser Grass Blue Zizina otis
6. Plains Cupid Chilades pandava
7. Small Cupid Chilades parrhasius
8. Slate Flash Rapala manea
9. Zebra Blue Leptotes plinius
10. Tailess line blue Prosotas dubiosa
11. Gram Blue Euchrysops cnejus

Sub-family Nymphalidae:
1. Common Castor Ariadne merione
2. Common Crow Euploea core
3. Leopard Phalanta phalantha
4. Chocolate Pansy Junonia iphita
5. Yellow Pansy Junonia hierta
6. Lemon Pansy Junonia lemonias
7. Blue Pansy Junonia orithiya
8. Tailed Palmfly Elymnias caudata
9. Danaid Eggfly Hypolimnas misippus
10. Great Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina
11. Common Sailer Neptis hylas
12. Plain Tiger Danaus chrysippus
13. Striped Tiger Danaus genutia 
14. Tawny Coster Acraea violae
15. Blue Tiger Tirumala limniace
16. Dark Blue Tiger Tirumala septentrionis
17. Common Evening Brown Melanitis leda
18. Common Bushbrown Mycalesis perseus

Sub-family Hesperiidae:
1. Common Grass Dart Taractrocera maevius
2. Bevan's swift Pseudoborbo bevani

Bevan's Swift:

Bevan's Swift:

Blue Pansy:

Small Cupid:

Small Cupid:

Common Lineblue. A pair of them were endlessly chasing each other on top of a bush. Had to wait forever for them to settle down before I could click this picture.

A couple of Plain Tigers mating, on 4th November:

Blue Pansy, on 4th November:

Slate Flash:

Danaid Eggfly, male. In the patch of tridax next to the famous Kempegowda statue:

Zebra Blue, upper side, on 10th November:

Zebra Blue underside, on 10th November:

Plains Cupid nectaring on Tridax:

An overall species count of 47.
Since the past three trips, the individual counts have been very high, 46 + 96 + 43. First two days being sunny days with few clouds and good sunshine, and the third being partly cloudy.
The individual count and species list is always dominated by the Nymphalids.

So, for those who are looking for a great spot within the city to go on butterfly watching trips, Lalbagh is the place for you. Happy butterflying!


  1. thanks for the wonderful info and update!

  2. Great information with the photographs and nice writeup as-well. Keep them posting.... Kudos to the moderator effort. Superb work by Nitin R and Abhijna Desai