ABCs of butterflies
The focus was on introducing the many categories of butterflies you will chance upon when you travel
Did you know that the Grass Tail is the smallest Indian butterfly and that you can spot them in grass thickets but only if you observe closely? Or that the Malabar Tree Nymph has the slowest flight of all Indian butterflies? “Malabar Tree Nymph go by ‘Vanadevatha’ in Malayalam.
Their flight is graceful. It looks like they just float in the air,” says C Susanth, who has penned a book on the common butterflies of India.
Titled ‘100 Butterflies in India’, the book by Susanth, an environmental writer and founder of birders group Warblers and Warders, is a field guide that can help a person identify butterflies. The book is his attempt to create interest among youngsters to go ‘butterflying’.
“The focus of my book is nature conservation. There are about 1,505 species of butterflies in India. We have covered 100 common and introduced over 300 families of butterflies.
The focus was on introducing the many categories of butterflies you will chance upon when you travel. And thereby create interest in watching, planting a butterfly garden and thereby contributing to nature conservation,” says Susanth. The book has general information about butterflies such as their features, habitat and measurements. It also provides a map showing their distribution. The pictures of the butterflies with their wings closed, open and in larval stages are a delight to any nature enthusiast.
The book has been divided into six families — Swallowtail, Skippers, White and Yellow, Punches and Judies, Blues and Brush-footed butterflies. Information about butterflies from all over India is available in the book, says Susanth.
Susanth started the work way back in 2013. It has been a long journey, he says. “The last butterflies to be snapped was from the Leh Ladakh region. The Tortoise Shell butterfly, which is the one seen at the highest altitude in Khardung La, can also be found in the book,” he says. Apart from pictures snapped by him, the book also has images shared by fellow birders of Warblers and Waders.
Priced at Rs 325