The Blue Posy is sighted! It was last sighted in Sikkim in 1934. The rediscovery of a butterfly after 83 years in the country in Arunachal Pradesh has gladdened butterfly lovers all over.
A group of three persons working with the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has spotted the blue posy ( Drupadia scaeva cyara) butterfly from a village in Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh after 83 years.
Gaurab Nandi Das, Subrata Gayen and Rohit Kumar Jaiswal of the ZSI were part of a team and the study has been published in the current issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
“There have been no confirmed sightings of the sub-species from Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern Himalaya, however, till date. A single female Drupadia scaeva cyara was recorded and photographed on December 12, 2016 at 12.21pm near Atali village in Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh. It was sighted in sub-tropical, broad-leaved evergreen forest where it was basking at a height of about three metres from the ground. Drupadia scaeva cyara is morphologically distinguished from others.
“Drupadia scaeva sub-species is whitish ground in colour with irregular chocolate markings and a prominent chocolate spot in forewing cell on the under side among both sexes. In females, the wing is dark brown in colour and a distinct orange discal patch on the upper side of the forewing differentiates the sexes,” the authors stated in the journal.
In 1934, two male specimens of the species were reported from Sikkim.
“A detailed literature review on butterflies of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim revealed no published record of Drupadia scaeva cyara from India since 1934. The current record confirms its distribution from Arunachal Pradesh and is the first record in India after 83 years,” the study said.
The study was funded by the National Mission on Himalayan Studies, GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development and the ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
An earlier study on butterflies in Arunachal Pradesh said four major forest types account for approximately 60 per cent of the forest area under 2,000 metres in the state where the butterfly fauna is the most diverse.
July-August and November-December and below 2,000 metres in Arunachal Pradesh are the best time for butterflies.