Butterflies are great bio-indicators of an ecosystem as they are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, sunlight, humidity and rainfall patterns.
Their presence, patterns and migration assist in mapping the climatic health of a region and are they are perhaps the most studied insect group across the world.
1) Maharashtra: Blue Mormon
The Blue Mormon is a large, swallowtail butterfly found primarily in Sri Lanka and India, mainly restricted to the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, South India and coastal belts. It may occasionally be spotted in the Maharashtrian mainland between Vidarbha and Western Maharashtra.
It is reportedly the second-largest butterfly found in India, just smaller than the southern birdwing.
Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to have a ‘State butterfly.’
2) Karnataka: Southern Bird Wing
The Southern Bird Wing is the state butterfly of Karnataka. It is the largest butterfly in India. Troides Minos is its scientific name. Primarily endemic to South India, it is found in abundance in Karnataka.
It’s a strong flier, flying both high and over long distances; it can be found sailing around 30-40 feet high in the air, and can cover distances several kilometres, before settling. Both the male and female are very active in the mornings, as they feed.
3) Uttarakhand: Common Peacock
Uttarakhand has chosen ‘Common Peacock’ as the state butterfly.
Common Peacock (Papilio bianor) is among the prettiest butterflies found in the foothills up to 2,100 meterss in the Himalayas. Its size is about 90-130 mm. It has a lovely bluish-green patch on the upper side of hind wing, which is easily visible in flight. It also has a prominent green band on the upper side of the forewing.
4) Tamil Nadu: Tamil Yeoman
Tamil Nadu declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa Thais) as its state butterfly to symbolise its rich natural and cultural heritage.
Locally known as Tamil Maravan meaning ‘Tamilian Warrior’, the canopy butterfly, usually sized between 60 and 75mm, belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid.
Tamil Yeoman is usually seen at the foothills and moist evergreen forests of the state’s mountainous regions.
5) Arunachal Pradesh: Kaiser-i-Hind
Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus imperialis) literally means Emperor of India. This butterfly with a 90-120 mm wingspan is found in six states along the Eastern Himalayas at elevations from 6,000-10,000 feet in well-wooded terrain.
The butterfly also flutters in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and southern China.
6) Kerala: Budha Mayoori
The ‘Budha Mayoori’ or Papilio buddha has been identified as the state butterfly of Kerala.
The wings of Budha Mayoori is 90-100 mm wide. It belongs to the papilionidae family. These are commonly found in the Western Ghats and also extensively in Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. In Kerala, these are abundantly found in the Malabar region mostly from July to December and often in January.
Maharashtra became the first state in the country to have state butterfly. Maharashtra government declared Blue Mormon as the state butterfly. ‘Blue Mormon’ (Papilio polymnestor) is the second largest by size, only behind the southern birdwing.
The southern state of Tamil Nadu has recently declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) as its state butterfly to symbolise its rich natural and cultural heritage, in a move aimed at boosting the conservation efforts of the attractive insects.
Arunachal Pradesh government has announced ‘Kaiser-I-Hind’ as the state butterfly. The name means the emperor of India.
Buddha Mayuri butterfly (Malabar banded peacock) is Kerala’s official butterfly.
A Himalayan butterfly named Golden Birdwing is India’s largest, a record an unknown specimen had held for 88 years.
Grass Jewel is the smallest butterfly in India.