The Enigma of the Forest Owlet

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The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is a curious bird, both by name and nature. It has captured the imagination of many within and outside the country and for the right reasons.

The forest owlet has an interesting past associated with it. Let us travel back in time to the 19th century. It was in 1872 when an Irish officer, Mr. Francis Robert Blewitt (F. R. Blewitt) saw this different looking owl near Phooljhar in eastern Madhya Pradesh (now in Chhattisgarh). … Read More

Rare sighting of the Andaman Banded Dandy

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The Andaman Banded Dandy (Laringa horsfieldii andamanesis) is a butterfly that is rarely encountered in the Andamans. Butterflies of the genus Laringa are found in S. Myanmar, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Palawan. This andamanensis subspecies occurs only in South Andaman.

I photographed this butterfly at Chidiya Tapu, South Andaman on Dec 01, 2012. The individual in the photograph is a female. The male is overall dark blue with a pale blue band.

This is probably the … Read More

Resurrection of a Montane Snake from Northeast India

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Amphiesma clerki was described as a species new to science by Frank Wall in 1925, based on a single snake collected by a Mr. Clerk from Sinlumkaba in Kachin State, Myanmar the previous year. 18 years later, Malcom Smith in his Fauna of British India, Volume III, identified that specimen as a different species, Amphiesma parallelum without any comment. This rendered Amphiesma clerki invalid, and was presumably due to the superficial similarity between both species as well as lack of … Read More

Southern Kiang , North Sikkim

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The Southern Kiang (Equus kiang polyodon, Hodgson 1847) occurs in the Trans-Himalayan open steppe of North Sikkim within the Indian limits. It has been recorded in Chho Lhamu, Chulung Valley, Gyamchhona, Kerang and Yumchho. The Souhern Kiangs move between India and China through the passes like Bamcho La, Chhulung La and Sesse La (Avasthe & Jha 1999). It differs from the Western Kiang (E.k.kiang) that occurs in Ladakh from being smaller and sporting a lighter coat. During summer … Read More