SUBJECT :First photographic record and rediscovery of rare butterfly named Mackinnonn’s Silverspot Kuekenthaliella mackinnonii from Sikkim 

July 21, 2018: First photographic record and rediscovery of rare butterfly named Mackinnonn’s Silverspot Kuekenthaliella  mackinnonii  from Sikkim ( in phot above) by Tenzing W. Bhutia, BO, Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP), and member of BAMOS – NCS.

Mackinnon’s Silverspot butterfly was till now know to occur in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Western Nepal and Central Nepal but had so far not been recorded from Sikkim.

On July 16, Tenzing W. Bhutia (in photo right) records the species for the first time from North Sikkim at an elevation of over 4800 m (16000 ft). The species is named after P.W Mackinnon by Charles Lionel Augustus de Niceville in 1891 who collected the species in Himachal Pradesh at 3300 m (11,000ft).

W.H.Evans (1932) previously treated this butterfly as ‘rare’. The species has not been photographed in India or in Nepal in recent times, nor is there any information on the species since 1932. So it is likely a rediscovery of the species after more than 90 years and also a new record of the species for the State of Sikkim.

The photograph by Tenzing W. Bhutia is that of a female Mackinnon’s Silverspot. Hence, more field research is needed to look for the male of Mackinnon’s Silverspot which also needs to be photographed, says Tenzing. He is grateful to butterfly experts Peter Smetacek, Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi and Nawang G. Bhutia for help with identification.


Source: Sikkim Express