The presence of the king crow butterfly, an unusual species, has been observed for the first time in Uttarakhand, officials said on Sunday.
The discovery is considered significant because it is an attractive new addition to the existing list of 450 butterfly species found in the state, they said.
The research wing of the state forestry department registered its presence in the Bhujia Ghat area of Nainital, said chief curator of Forest (research) Sanjeev Chaturvedi.
The discovery will also be important because it is the westernmost recording of the unusual butterfly species after Katrania Ghat Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh, he said.
Its presence had previously been established in the northeast, where both subspecies – brown and blue – were found, and also in the south, where the presence of its brown colored subspecies has been recorded.
Bhujia Ghat is located at an altitude of 650 meters and is home to good quality subtropical forests.
This discovery is also an indicator of good health of the local ecosystem and forest, Mr Chaturvedi said.
This particular species has a very unusual feature. It usually feeds on poisonous or alkali-rich plants such as milkweed and plays an important role in the reproduction and propagation of such plants.
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