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77 new butterfly species found in Matheran: BNHS

77 new butterfly species found in Matheran: BNHS
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530
Mumbai, Aug 10 (PTI) As many as 77 new species of

butterflies have been found in the ecologically sensitive

forest of Matheran hill station near Mumbai during a study

conducted there over the last eight years, according to the

Bombay Natural History Society.

With this, the total number of butterfly species in

the Matheran forest has now gone up to 140, city-based Bombay

Natural History Society (BNHS) scientist Mandar Sawant said.

Matheran is spread over an area of 214.73 sq km and is

located about 80 km from the Maharashtra capital.

"The eight-year-long rigorous study undertaken by

BNHS from 2011 to 2019 has resulted in the discovery of 77 new

species of butterflies in Matheran," the non-governmental

research organisation said in a statement.

"After a span of 125 years, for the first time such a

study was undertaken to discover the flying beauties at

Matheran," it said.

Scientists from BNHS and Somaiya Vidyavihar University

here have published a research paper, titled ''Finding the

forgotten gems: Revisiting the butterflies of Matheran after

125 years, with the introduction to the novel colour barcode

for depicting seasons and activity of the Indian butterflies'',

in the community peer-reviewed Biodiversity Data Journal.

A strong seasonal variation in butterfly diversity was

observed. The maximum diversity of butterflies was recorded

during winter, and the least during monsoon, BNHS said in its

statement.

"A high similarity of butterfly species composition

was observed between the pairs of sites studied, tending

towards perfect nestedness. This also emphasises the fact that

butterfly diversity in the region is quite stable and chances

of emigration to, or immigration from, surrounding regions are

very low, the study said.

"Further, we introduced a novel barcode system for

denoting seasons and activities of Indian butterflies and hope

this will help butterfly biologists to concisely and

effectively present the data, the statement said.

The research paper is an outcome of eight years of

field work with 22,833 observations and usage of colour bar-

coding system by Mandar Sawant, Dr Nikhil Modak and Sagar

Sarang in the forests of Matheran, it added.

In 1894, British researcher J A Betham surveyed the

hills of Matheran for its butterfly diversity.

He had reported 78 butterfly species back then and

expressed hope that someone from Bombay (now Mumbai) would

take up survey in future and might report some more

butterflies, a BNHS official said, adding that they have now

taken it a step forward. PTI ND

GK GK


Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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