Lepidoptera Species move up the Himalayas due to Climate Change

  • IASbaba
  • October 14, 2020
  • 0
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Lepidoptera Species move up the Himalayas due to Climate Change

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Climate change

In news

  • According to a recent study, rising average temperatures in the Himalayan region have driven several dozen species of butterfly and moth to habitats higher up the mountains.
  • Carried out by: Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) 
  • Funded by: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Key takeaways

  • At least 49 species of moth and 17 species of butterfly have shown considerable new upward altitude movement.
  • The extension of the range of Lepidoptera due to climate change has been observed all over the world as well.
  • The ZSI predicts a decline of as much as 91% in the suitable area for the Notodontidae family of moths in J&K, Himachal, and Uttarakhand by 2050.
  • The study also revealed an increase in the richness of Lepidoptera biodiversity from the Western to the Eastern Himalayas.

Important value additions


  • It is the order of insects that includes butterflies, moths and skippers.
  • The name Lepidoptera is derived from the Greek, meaning “scaly winged”.
  • It also refers to the characteristic covering of microscopic dust like scales on the wings.
  • Importance: (1) They transform large amounts of plant matter into the animal matter and in turn serve as food for many other groups of animals; (2) They aid in pollination.
  • The Himalayas are home to more than 35% of Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths) found in India.

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