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Rare butterflies of Chandigarh clicked by Dr. Upendra Goswami

Chandigarh (Aditi) Scientifically, butterflies are known to be sensitive indicator for environment as it is considered that if you find butterflies around the air is fresh and cleaner. More one finds them, healthier one will be. While worldwide 18500+ species are reported, many remain confined to specific places only and others have wider distribution range. The range keeps on changing owing to various conditions e.g. monarch butterfly, native to America, is now found in many parts of world including India. Many butterflies migrate and reverse migrate too reported species like monarch. Butterflies sense the direction using a time-compensated sun compass.

Butterflies need host plants and cleaner environment for survival. Some common plants that attracts butterflies are citrus, snapdragons, crepe myrtle, wattles, tea trees, bottlebrushes, lavender, banksia, daisies and verbena. Butterflies pollinates and are important member of food chain. Their presence is useful for birds, spiders, lizards, mice and other animals. Butterfly Caterpillars are also eaten by bats, birds and other animals.

Butterflies have more of aesthetic values to common masses that attracts all of us immediately. The colours, the vibrancy, the elegance and the temptations are well documented in literature and fine arts. The sight of flying insignia fills the heart with joy and rejuvenates the soul.

Chandigarh being a blessed and planned city hosts number of butterflies round the year. However, some are quite rare and be reported only a few times and in specific seasons. There are many individuals and groups who photo document butterflies round the year and get the riots of colors on camera. Dr. Upendra Goswami, a physiotherapist by profession, working at PGIMER, Chandigarh is ardent photographer by hobby who has shot several award winning photographs. He is member of a focus group Natural Biodiversity, based at Panjab University that is working to spread awareness. Dr. Goswami has shot rarest of rare butterflies in context of their range distribution at Chandigarh. He has shot common lascar, psyche, rustic, blue admiral, acasia blue, tailed jay, grey pansy etc. besides eight plus other species of butterflies at Chandigarh. Dr. Goswami has clicked these species over the years from 2017 to 2020 at various parts of Chandigarh such as Botanical Garden, Panjab University, Rose Garden and Butterfly Park Chandigarh.

Dr. Arun Bansal lauded the fete and character shown by Dr. Goswami to capture the beauties diligently. He mentioned that documenting the butterflies is highly scientific and various departments & institutions have started recognizing the need of such documentation. He congratulated Dr. Goswami for his extra-ordinary featuring.

Some interesting facts about butterflies are as given below

· Butterflies can taste with their feet

· They live on all liquid diet

· They take minerals from moist sand, phenomenon is known as mud puddling

· Most of butterflies are active when it is warm and not cold

· They Can See Colors

· A butterfly has only two to four short weeks to live, in most cases

· they have amazing defense mechanism such as camouflage

· the smallest butterfly on the globe is Western Pygmy Blue.

· The fastest butterfly, skipper can reach up to 37 mph.

· Butterflies can migrate even 3,000 miles.

· A group of butterflies is often called a flutter.

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