Rare Butterfly Rediscovery — The Snowy Angle

by S Karthikeyan & Vidya Venkatesh
Karthikeyan S

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

This is only the second record of this butterfly from India in 120-years! This only goes to show how rich the forests of northeast India are and the imperative need to preserve them.

The Snowy Angle (Darpa pteria) is a rare butterfly. The nominate race is known to occur in Philippines while the race dealbata has a wide distribution extending from Assam, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Malay Peninsula, Tioman, and all the way to Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Palawan. This butterfly was known in India only from one very old record, also from Assam (Evans 1949; Swinhoe 1912-1913).

Recently, Vidya Venkatesh and Karthikeyan S. saw this butterfly on April 26, 2011 in the forests of Jeypore-Dihing in Dibrugarh District of Assam. After a period of about 120 years, this is only the second record of this butterfly from India! This only goes to show how rich the forests of northeast India are and the imperative need to preserve them. The photographs are also the first for the species from within Indian limits.

About the author

S Karthikeyan & Vidya Venkatesh
Karthikeyan is the chief naturalist of Jungle Lodges & Resorts based in Bangalore. Vidya, a passionate wildlifer, works as the Chief Administrative Officer at Last Wilderness Foundation, Bombay.


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