Indian butterfly rediscovery


Yellow crested spangleFrom Wildlife Extra:

‘Extinct’ butterfly rediscovered in India after a 100 year absence

Rediscovery of rare butterflies – (Yellow crested spangle (Papilio elephenor Doubleday, 1845) and Moore’s Cupid (Shijimia moorei Leech, 1889 ) from Ripu-Chirang Reserved Forests, India.

September 2009. The rediscovery has been made by Mr Kushal Choudhury, a young naturalist and Professor at Kokrajhar, Assam who is working on swallowtail butterflies for his PhD thesis.

The Yellow crested spangle (Papilio elephenor) has been recorded for the first time for a hundred years in Ripu-Chirang Reserved Forest (RCRF) in western Assam. These Reserved forests are a transitional zone between Manas Tiger Reserve in the east and Buxa Tiger Reserve in the west.

The butterfly was first spotted by Mr. Kushal Choudhury in May 2009. He believed that it was a mutated Spangle butterfly (Papilio protenor) that is similar in size and colour, the yellow markings on the abdomen and the bright yellow head were the most striking and peculiar features of this butterfly. Mr Kushal Choudhury then circulated the photo on ButterflyIndia@yahoogroups.com; an e-group for butterfly watchers around the world. It was finally identified and confirmed as the Yellow crested Spangle by Dr Krushnamegh Kunte, Post doctoral Research fellow, FAS centre for systems Biology, Harvard University.

June 2011: Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in the eastern Himalaya foothills of India has been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, following the advice of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): here.

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