TIRUCHY: With the Pachamalai Hills offering an atmosphere ideal for butterfly breeding, a team of ecologists have spotted 105 species of butterflies, including some exclusively found in the Western Ghats, here in the district. The survey undertaken a week ago by the Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society has come across the rare varieties in the hills, located in the Eastern Ghats.
The report, ‘A Brief Survey on Butterflies in Pachamalai Hills’, was tabled by a group of butterfly enthusiasts from Coimbatore and the Forest Department, led by Pavendan Appavu and Mohan Prasad. The exploratory visit was initiated based on a possibility assessment for a detailed survey of Pachamalai Hills. Four members participated in the two-day survey conducted on forest areas, open spaces and forest fringes, District Forest Officer N Satheesh said.
Located 80 km north of the district, the Pachamalai Hills is 900 m above the sea level and has a varying temperature with a maximum of 27 degree Celsius. September being generally devoid of rains, the survey was a success, said A Pavendan. “Certain species like White-banded Awl, Glad-eye Bushbrown and Banded Blue Pierrot, which are predominantly present in the Western Ghats, are seen in this Eastern Ghats range, added Satheesh.
On the first day, the route from forest check post to Top Sengattupatti, Kaliamman trekking trail and Kannimarsolai area were covered.
On the second day, Eco Park areas and Kaliamman trekking trails were covered in detail.
The most dominating species are Common Mormon, Common Banded Peacock, Blue Mormon, Common Grass Yellow, Small Grass Yellow, Common Emigrant, Common Crow, Dark Blue Tiger, Rustic, Castors, Grass Blues and Indian Skipper, said the report.
Rare species like Dark Pierrot, Peacock Royal, Redspot and Plumbeous Silverline were also sighted. The habitat is amazing and the varied, rare and good number of species indicates that the environment is healthy, said the report.