Butterfly diversity in heterogeneous habitat of Bankura, West Bengal, India

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Kalyan Mukherjee
Ayan Mondal


Butterfly diversity was observed in different habitats of Bankura District, West Bengal, India.  This district is located at the junction of Chotanagpur plateau and Gangetic plain; it contains a variety of transitional habitats.  We found 117 butterfly species from our covered survey area.  The highest species recorded in the present study belonged to family Lycaenidae (30.76%) and Nymphalidae (29.91%) followed by Hesperiidae (16.23%), Pieridae (13.67%), Papilionidae (8.54%), and Riodinidae (0.85%), respectively.  Based on sighting we found that 12.82% of all the butterflies recorded were abundant in nature while 21.36% were very common, 41.88% were frequent, and 23.93% were rare. Cluster analysis and other diversity indices gives us an overall idea about environmental health.  The pattern of diversity change from plain to plateau gradient gives important insight about ecological edge effect.  High species number in relation with low individual numbers were found in forest habitat.  This preliminary study showed that heterogeneous habitats could harbour many butterflies and need proper conservation efforts to sustain it. 

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