Butterfly diversity in relation to nectar food plants from Bhor Tahsil, Pune District, Maharashtra, India

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R.K. Nimbalkar
S.K. Chandekar
S.P. Khunte


Floral attributes are well known to influence nectar feeding butterflies. However, there is paucity of information on food resources of adult butterflies as compared to that of larvae. The present study was carried out from Bhor Tahsil of Pune District, Maharashtra, India, during August 2007 to August 2009. A total of 64 butterfly species were recorded. Family Nymphalidae dominates in the study area, followed by Lycaenidae, Pieridae, Hesperiidae and Papilionidae. Nineteen nectar food plants were identified belonging to 10 plant families. Plants of the Asteraceae family are more used by butterflies as nectar food plants. Visits of butterflies were more frequent to flowers with tubular corollas than to non-tubular ones, to flowers coloured red, yellow, blue and purple than those coloured white and pink and to flower sources available for longer periods in the year. Species abundance reached the peak in the months during August to November. A decline in species abundance was observed from the months December to January and continued up to the end of May. Our findings are important with respect to monitoring butterfly and plant diversity and defining conservation strategies in the Bhor Tahsil.

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