Winged Perfection: Butterflies of India

By Sonakshi Kandhari

June 27, 2022

Common Tiger

Found throughout India, this butterfly feeds on nectar-filled flowers and plants like herbs, twines and creepers. A unique aspect of this butterfly is that it’s hard to kill and convincingly fakes its death. They are fast flyers and adapt to transform their habitats.

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Common Jazbel

Also called Delias Eucharis, this butterfly has no fear of its predators. It flies as high as 7000 feet and is normally spotted on tall trees. It is a medium-sized butterfly with a dull upper side and a bright underside. Perched with wings closed, their beautiful underside colours exhibit rare beauty.

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Blue Mormon

Its scientific name is Papilio Polymnestor. This large butterfly was declared the 'state butterfly' of Maharashtra in 2015. It is most commonly found in the monsoon season and resides in areas with heavy rainfall, like evergreen forests.

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Eastern Grass Jewel

The nation’s smallest butterfly is often found fluttering around low-lying vegetation, especially on sunny days. Because of its size it is hard to spot it. Its wings have a sub-marginal row of circular black spots. In females, these spots are faintly bordered with orange.

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Southern Birdwing

Karnataka’s state butterfly is also India’s second-largest butterfly. Flying for long distances before pausing for a break, this butterfly is often found soaring high up in the sky during the daytime and gradually retires in the evening. It feeds solely on nectar.

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Great Windmill

Also known as Byasa Dasarada, these unique black swallowtail butterflies have beautiful white dots and red submarginal crescents. It is normally found perched on flowering trees or woodland areas whereas, during summer and springtime, it soars as high as 4000 to 9000 feet.

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Red Pierrot

Commonly spotted on the top of open-petalled flowers, these butterflies prefer shade over sunlight, hence they retire for the night beneath leaves or twigs. They are usually noticed for their striking colours and patterns and fly quite slowly among herbs, feeding on the larval food plant.

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In the literal sense, this butterfly’s name means the Emperor of India. Arunachal Pradesh has declared it as its state butterfly. Found in six states alongside the Eastern Himalayas, it is a rare species of swallowtail butterfly much sought after by butterfly collectors for its beauty.

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