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Type: Article
Published: 2018-06-11
Page range: 1–16
Abstract views: 426
PDF downloaded: 3

Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) diversity in relation to habitat utilization at Jagannath Kishore College, Purulia, West Bengal (India)

Bagnan College, Howrah, West Bengal, India
butterfly species richness nectaring plants habitat utilisation conservation


Documentation of butterfly diversity is necessary for ecosystem management both at the local and the global scales. The varied types of  functional role of the butterflies qualify them for conservation and thus sustenance of the ecosystem services. Information about the biodiversity of Purulia district as well as arid regions of Chota Nagpur Plateau is insufficient and this necessitates to investigate about the butterfly diversity of Purulia which will provide subsequent information for ecosystem management. On the basis of this proposition, the present study was carried out in the campus of Jagannath Kishore College, Purulia, West Bengal (India). The species richness, species diversity, seasonal variation and habitat utilisation by the butterflies were studied for a period of one year between February 2016 and January 2017 with photographic documentation. A total of seventy-one butterfly species under five families were encountered, of which, the family Nymphalidae represented highest number of species. The butterfly species richness was lower in summer probably due to the scarcity of water, but during monsoon and post-monsoon seasons water availabitity boost up the vegetation and therefore species richness increased to its maximum. Among the different species, Eurema hecabe was the most abundant species throughout the year followed by Leptosia nina, Danaus chrysippus and Catopsilia pomona. In the study area, thirty-one species of herbs and shrubs were identified as nectaring plants for adult butterflies. Among them, Tridax procumbens, Lantana camara, Alternanthera sessilis and Tagetes sp. were recognized as the preferred nectaring plants based on the number of butterflies visiting them. As an effort for conservation of the butterflies, the information on the plants and the species avaialble in the concerned region may be used further. However, long term monitoring of the concerned region is recommended to understand the changes in the environmental quality as reflected through the variations in the butterfly species assemblages.



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