Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Winged Jewels of Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary

        KWLS is home to a variety of insects. It is an ideal environment since insects thrive under moist conditions and the flora here is in abundance.
        Among the insect groups, moths and butterflies come under a large group called Lepidoptera ( scaly wing). Though moths and butterflies are similar, they differ externally. The antennae of butterflies are slender with  clubbed tip while those of a moth can range from feathery or hairlike to even club shaped. India is home to about 1500 species of butterflies. Butterflies can vary in shape , color and size.
       Presently, butterflies are classified into two super-families, of which  hesperioidea has all the skippers, while papilionoidea includes the rest, the true butterflies. 
     Hesperioidea (Skippers) : The rapid bounding flight of these butterflies has given them their name . These are intermediate for true butterflies and true moths . Skippers of two types -one type hold their wings open flat when settled  and others usually alight with their wings completely closed. This consist of a single family of Hesperiidae
Small Branded Swift Skipper
      Papilionoidea: This consist of 4 families , Papilionidea, Pieridae, Nymphalidae and Lycaenidae.
      Papilionidea(Swallow tails): Truly the most spectacular group of Butterflies. This group not only has the largest butterfly, the southern birdwing, but also handsome species, the Paris peacock. Most among this group have tailed hind wings, hence the popular name Swallow tails . 
Lime Butterfly  Open
Lime butterfly closed
       Pieridae(White and Yellows): These are commonly called white and yellows because of their wing are mainly white or yellow . The undersides of the wings of some these butterflies have cryptic marking, with only tip or apex of the fore wing visible .
Common Gull
Common Jezebel
      Lycaenidae(Blues): The largest family of butterflies, having some of the prettiest and smallest butterflies. A majority of these butterflies have blue upper sides, though there are species with other colors too . A good lot of them have thread like tails at their hind wings ranging from small tufts to long fluffy hairs . 
Stale Flash Butterfly
      Nymphalidae (Brush footed Butterflies): The first pair of legs is much reduced in size. These legs are covered with long hairs, appear like brushes . Being so small , the fore legs are useless and Nymphalids use only four legs to perch and to walk .
Blue Pansy Butterfly
Common Bush Brown
Common Evening Brown
Male Danaid Egg Fly Butterfly open
Male Danaid Egg fly Butterfly closed
Long Brand Bush Brown
Small Long Brand Bush brown
Plain Tiger
Scientific Names of the Butterflies in the photos :
1 Small branded swift skipper  : Pelopidas mathias
2 Lime butterfly : Papilio demoleus .
3 Common gull: Cepora nerissa .
4 Common Jezebel: Delias eucharis .
5 Stale flash blue butterfly : Rapala manea .
6 Blue pansy butterfly : Jumonia orithiya .
7 Common bush brown : Mycalesis perseus .
8.Common evening brown : Melanitis leda  .
9.Danaid egg fly : Hypolimnas misippus .
10. Long brand bush brown : Mycalesis visala . 
11. Small long brand bush brown : Mycalesis igilia .
12.Plain tiger : Danaus chrysippus.

All these were photographed at Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary .

Reference used :
1. The book of Indian Butterflies ,written by  Issac Kehimkar and  Published by Bombay Natural History Society .

Continued here 


  1. What superb captures! And such a fascinating and interesting post! I love butterflies and these are all gorgeous! And I really enjoyed reading more about them! Hope you have a lovely evening and great day tomorrow!


  2. Jewel of a post!...have seen all of these...thanks for the names and details...:)

  3. wow that was a fantastic collection of beautiful captures and valuable information.. thank you

  4. They look fabulous ! Brilliant pictures.
    Had not known some of the names.Thanx.

    The clouds of "Lime" and "tawny coster" butterflies during mass migration across our garden( in Mysore), a few years ago , is an unforgettable sight !

  5. What a wonderful collection! Awesome captures!! I love butterflies and the info you provided is amazing.. Thanks.

  6. Beautiful!! and thanks for all those names... i see lots of these butterflies near my home, but hardly know the names of a few!

  7. Beautiful shots. Love the colorful patterns on them.

  8. Wow! Just Fantabulous! Loved all the snaps. Of course, waiting for the next set of them!

  9. Stunning captures. The irridicent beetles look like jewels ! Nature is uch a wondeful artist !