Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of the undivided Midnapore District, West Bengal, India: a preliminary report

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Anirban Mahata
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7874-2723
Niladri Prasad Mishra
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6928-8872
Sharat Kumar Palita
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2144-0406

Abstract

A butterfly study in the biodiversity rich biogeography transition zone of the undivided Midnapore District of West Bengal was carried out from March 2014 to March 2017.  A total of 98 species of butterflies under five families, 19 subfamilies, and 70 genera were documented by the study.  Maximum species diversity was found in Nymphalidae family with 31 species (31.63%), followed by Lycaenidae 24 species (24.48%), Hesperiidae-17 (17.34%), Pieridae 16 (16.32%), and the least by Papilionidae 10 (10.28%).  Among the families, the highest common species (n=10) was recorded under the family Nymphalidae and maximum rare species (n=4) under the family Lycaenidae.  Highest species richness has been recorded in post-monsoon season (97 species) followed by monsoon (78 species), winter (66 species), and pre-monsoon (47 species).  During the study, five species of butterflies (Castalius rosimon, Neptis jumbah, Discophora sondaica, Lethe europa, and Papilio clytia) under Schedule-I, three species (Euchrysops cnejus, Mahathala ameria, and Cepora nerissa) under Schedule-II and three species (Baoris farri, Hyarotis adrastus, and Euploea core) under Schedule-IV were legally protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.  A good species to genera ratio (1.4: 1) along with 10 newly recorded species and their range extension provide information for better understanding of the ecology and distribution pattern of the butterfly fauna.  The information of the study will thus help to develop conservation strategies for management of the unique bio-geographical transitional zone.

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How to Cite
[1]
Mahata, A. , Mishra, N.P. and Palita, S.K. 2020. Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of the undivided Midnapore District, West Bengal, India: a preliminary report. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 12, 17 (Dec. 2020), 17347–17360. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.5142.12.17.17347-17360.
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Short Communications

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