Friday, June 14, 2013

Devarayanadurga State Forest - Mudpuddling!

Samhita Kashyap and I reached the destined site at 10:30am. In the butterfly count that we did, the numbers were dominated by Lime butterfly (Papilio demoleus), Double Branded Crow (Euploea sylvester), Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis), Brown Awl (Badamia exclamationis) and White Orange Tip (Ixias marianne).

We found a Forget-me-not (Catochrysops strabo), and it was one of the very few blues that we saw apart from Tiny Grass Blue (Zizula hylax).

There was also an abundance of Danaid Eggfly (Hypolimnas misippus) males. But we found only one female throughout the trip.

The place we visited, "Namada chilume" is a small hill. At the bottom of this hill, we found one set of mudpuddling swallowtails and pierids, consisting of Lime, Yellow Orange Tip (Ixias pyrene), White Orange Tip, Double Branded Crow and Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) female form cyrus and two males.

As we ascended the gentle slope, we found another group of mudpuddling butterflies which consisted only of Dark Blue Tigers and Double Branded Crows. It was a beautiful sight watching them puddle in a sort of aligned manner, and as the wind blew strongly, they would all flip to one side.

At a gap of about 70m, another mudpuddling assembly was taking place. This consisted mostly of Common Emigrants (Catopsilia pomona). They were joined by a Common Mormon, and Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) and a White Orange Tip.
Right next to this group, there was also a group of Common Limes.
White Orange Tip:

We counted over 50+ Brown Awls. They were all over the place.

The overall individual count was approximated to 500 (more or less) as we might have double counted/ missed counting a few. We noticed that there were a lot of dwarf (midget sized) Lime butterflies. It was a worthwhile experience! Special thanks to Mrs Sharvani for helping Samhita and I make this trip possible.