Like butterflies, moths depend on specific host plants to develop, help in plant pollination, and are an important source of food for birds. They come in many colors, shapes and sizes, designed over millions of years by mechanisms of evolution. However, unlike butterflies, in India, they remain poorly documented and studied.
During the pre-monsoon months of 2021, as a hobby, I documented the moth diversity at Churicad Estate- a small coffee plantation in southern Coorg. Located in the biodiverse central Western Ghats of Kodagu, Churicad is located within a cluster of coffee plantations that support a high diversity of native shade trees with a few scattered hadlus (swampy grasslands), both perhaps aiding the diversity of moths in the area.
‘Moths of Churicad Estate, Kodagu’, is a photographic documentation of ~170 species of moths sighted at Churicad and identified. Geetha Iyer, the author of ‘The Weavers: The Curious World of Insects’ and Yash Sondhi, PhD candidate at the Florida International University, helped confirm identities of many species. A small proportion of species documented during this period remain unidentified, and hence have not been included in this document.
I hope those new to moths of the Western Ghats will find this document useful.