New butterfly species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh, located in the extreme North-East of India boasts a very rich wildlife and biodiversity ranging from panthers, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros, rodents, and what not. A new discovery of a petite butterfly species has only added to its rich reserves.


Photo Credit: Alias 0591

The butterfly namely “Banded Tit” (Hypolycaena Narada) was discovered in the verdant forests of the Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh, as reported by PTI.

Dr. Yogesh who is the state Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife and Biodiversity) declared the butterfly’s discovery. “This discovery underscores the unparalleled biodiversity of the state,” he boasted.

The Banded Tit is a native of the low-lying evergreen forests of Changlang and possesses quite an amusing lifestyle.

The adult butterflies stay for nearly a couple of weeks in March every year, seemingly living the rest of the year in a dormant condition in larval or pupal phases – that are still unknown. They chiefly fed on bird droppings by the side of streams in the forests.

However, Yogesh stressed that even though the butterfly species has been explained and named, “much of its biology is still a mystery.” For example, Banded Tit’s breeding behavior, larval host plants and precise habitat requirements are unheard of.

Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte who is a research scientist and faculty member at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru recently explained the Banded Tit in his research paper.

Yogesh said that the discovery of Banded Tit increases the probability that many more species, which are novel to science still, are yet to be discovered in the isolated mountain ranges and forests of Arunachal Pradesh and North-East India altogether.

A few years ago, another new butterfly species known as the “Bright-eyed Argus” (Callerebia Dibangensis) was discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.

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