Early Migration of Butterflies

  • IASbaba
  • September 5, 2020
  • 0
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Early Migration of Butterflies

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Biodiversity; Climate change

In news

  • The annual migration of butterflies from the hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats towards the Western Ghats has been observed earlier in 2020 (in the months of July and August). 
  • Usually, these butterflies breed during the southwest monsoon season on the eastern areas of South India and their progeny migrate back to the Western Ghats in October- November.

Key takeaways 

  • The Eastern Ghats complex of the Yercaud hills (Shevaroy hills), Pachamalai, Kolli hills, Kalvarayan are major originating places for the migrating species.
  • Possible Reasons for Early Migration: Change in rainfall pattern, a considerable increase in the number of sunny days and a population outburst of butterflies.

Do you know? 

  • Four species of milkweed butterflies belonging to the Danainae subfamily are mainly involved in the migration — the Dark Blue Tiger, Blue Tiger, Common Crow and the Double-branded (commonly known as tigers and crows).
  •  The Ferns Nature Conservation Society (FNCS) initiated a citizen science project in 2018 to study the migration ecology of milkweed butterflies in south India,

Important value additions 


  • Butterflies are insects from the order Lepidoptera of phylum Arthropoda which also includes moths.
  • Adult butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight.
  • Abundance of butterflies in any area represents the rich biodiversity.

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