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A study spanning 3.7 years on the butterflies of Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary GWS (21km2), a semi-evergreen forest, in Jorhat District of Assam, northeastern India revealed 211 species of butterflies belonging to 115 genera including 19 papilionids and seven â€˜rareâ€™ and â€˜very rareâ€™ species as per Evans list of the Indian sub-continent (Great Blue Mime Papilio paradoxa telearchus; Brown Forest BobScobura woolletti; Snowy Angle Darpa pteria dealbatahas; Constable Dichorragia nesimachus; Grey Baron Euthalia anosia anosia; Sylhet Oakblue Arhopala silhetensis; Branded Yamfly Yasoda tripunctata). The butterflies showed a strong seasonality pattern in this forest with only one significant peak during the post monsoon (September-October) when 118 species were in flight inside the forest which slowly declined to 92 species in November-December. Another peak (102 species) was visible after winter from March to April. Species composition showed least similarity between pre-monsoon (March-May) and post-monsoon (October-November) seasons. The number of papilionid species were greater from July to December as compared from January to June. The findings of this study suggest that the pattern of seasonality in a semi-evergreen forest in northeastern India is distinct from that of the sub-tropical lowland forest in the Himalaya. Favourable logistics and rich diversity in GWS points to its rich potential in promoting â€˜butterfly inclusive ecotourismâ€™ in this remnant forest.
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