Photo Source: Babushahi Network
Rare & protected Brown Onyx butterfly spotted in Chandigarh
Chandigarh, April 6, 2021: Butterfly enthusiast Kulbhushan Kanwar shared that he spotted another butterfly Brown Onyx scientifically known as Horaga viola belongs to Lycaenidae (The Blues) and subfamily: Theclinae (Strong Blues) in Chandigarh.
Brown Onyx having a wingspan of 27-33 mm is a rare species and also protected under Scheduled 2 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
In India, it is found from Western Ghats (Maharashtra to Southwards) and from Himachal Pradesh to Arunachal Pradesh. It is also found in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
Kulbhushan Kanwar said he and Lovish Garlani, a butterfly lover from Himachal Pradesh were in Butterfly Park, Chandigarh day before yesterday.
“Though we are Facebook friends for a long time but met face-to-face for the first time to share knowledge about butterflies. Then suddenly we found new butterfly identified by Lovish Garlani as Brown Onyx a rare and protected butterfly. I found Lascar Butterfly last week and with this new species to total wings beauty fauna now stands at a healthy 130 species out of which 6 species have been contributed by other butterfly lovers in Chandigarh. Lovish Garlani said that there could be 150 species,” Kanwar informed.
Kanwar said though Lovish has already clicked it in Himachal Pradesh but it is new to Chandigarh and that too in Butterfly Park which is positioned and located as such a place that it is acting as a bridge between the Himalayan, Northeast and some Southern Indian population of butterflies.
“Normally it remains in thick forests and hardly visits plain areas as prefers not to come out in open but I have seen it basking on Litchi leaf. However, it camouflages itself on the canopies of host plants. It can sit for hours together. So if you see it flying and then settling only then you can click or see it otherwise it is hard to find as it hardly comes to flowers or dumps patches. But it was found on the Litchi plant. It has several larval host plants. Mangifera indica ( V.C.Balakrishnan pers. obs. 2017) (Anacardiaceae). Coriaria nepalensis (Mackinnon & de Nicéville 1898; Bell 1919c; Wynter-Blyth 1957) (Coriariaceae).P Mohan Prasath founder of Act for Butterfly conservation NGO observed its host plant as Mango Tree. Litchi( Litchi chinensisas) host plant reported by Lovish Garlani in 2020 (Sapindaceae),” he added.
Kulbhushan Kanwar and Lovish Garlani are however concerned over the trickling down of butterflies and said this is a clear indication of climate change as they are very sensitive to weather and habitat and are strong bio-indicators. The declining of 52% population of butterflies in the past 10 years is a matter of serious concern.