SUBJECT :Nosang Muringla Limboo, a well known lepidopterist from Darap in west Sikkim, has come up with another discovery related to butterfly studies. 

The Peacock Pansy Junonia almanac alighted and photographed at Chipchipey, West Sikkim

Gangtok, April 20, 2018: Nosang Muringla Limboo, a well known lepidopterist from Darap in west Sikkim, has come up with another discovery related to butterfly studies.

Nosang and his team has reported a new altitudinal record for the Peacock Pansy Junonia almanac, a common species of Nymphalid butterfly found in forests and grasslands of Southern Asia.

The sighting of Peacock Pansy was made on April 4 at an altitude of 3298 m in extreme West Sikkim.

Hitherto, the butterfly has been recorded up to an elevation of 2010 m, said Nosang.

The Peacock Pansy is found at lower altitudes in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sir Lanka. The caterpillar of Peacock Pansy feeds on Acanthus, Barleria and Gloxinia.

Now, the Peacock Pansy was also spotted and photographed(as seen in the picture) at Chipchipey, a small glade located at an altitude of 3298 m (27’ 15’ 8’N 88’2’39’E).The location falls under Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and above Uttarey.

“A single species was observed basking in the grass patch in the middle of Rhododendron forests. The butterfly seemed to have needed the warmth to raise its temperature for flight. During the encounter, both the upper side and underside were clearly photographed to confirm the identity of the butterfly. The Junonia almanac has a distinct difference from other Pansys in colouration and pattern. No other butterflies were on the wing at that time,’’ said Nosang.

The particular butterfly altitude before. Asked what was the importance of the particular sighting at Chipchipey, Nosang replied that it will be a huge contribution to the scientific study of Peacock Pansy.

Details so far reveal that Peacock Pansy was found up to 2000 m only. It is normally active at lower elevations.The present report extends the known altitudinal distribution of this butterfly up to 3289 m in India. Now the scientific study and details will change,”said Nosang.

 “Himalayas have herbaceous plants which might attract these butterflies. It further needs to be confirmed whether this butterfly breeds in this area (Chipchipey), or whether it was migrating or whether it was merely a straggler blown unwillingly to that elevation,’’ said Nosang.

The butterfly expert of Sikkim thanked members of his trekking team – Manisha, Sikha, Gunjan, Shivangi, Shamim, Natasha, Bharati, Ramya and Jyoti. He also thanked the trekking organizers – N.B.Chettri, Kinzong Bhutia and Piran Elavia.

My deepest gratitude to Peter Smetacek, Butterfly Research Center, Bhimtal and Isaac Kehimkar, BNHS, for their sincere guidance and Zoological Survey of India former director Dr.J.R.B. Alferd, he said.

Source: Sikkim Express