Seasonal diversity of butterflies and their larval food plants in the surroundings of upper Neora Valley National Park, a sub-tropical broad leaved hill forest in the eastern Himalayan landscape, West Bengal, India

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P. Sengupta
K.K. Banerjee
N. Ghorai


Seasonal butterfly diversity in the adjacent areas of the upper Neora Valley National Park, a part of the Himalayan landscape, was studied. The available larval host plant resources present within, as well as in the adjoining areas of transect were identified. A total of 4163 butterflies representing 161 species belonging to five families were recorded during this study. One-hundred-and-forty-three species of plants belonging to 44 families served as the larval food plants of butterflies. The maximum number of butterfly species and maximum number of individuals were sampled during the monsoons. The monsoons with least skewed rank abundance curve of species distribution, was also marked by maximum species diversity and maximum species evenness. This was probably due to the abundant distribution of luxurious vegetation that served as food plants for the larval stages of butterflies. Nymphalidae was the most dominant family with 43.48% of the total number of species. Autumn followed by the monsoon was associated with high species richness probably due to the abundance of vegetation that provides foliage to its larval stages.

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