New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Rare Dusted Apollo Butterfly Spotted in Himachal Pradesh

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rare Dusted Apollo Butterfly

Mains level : Not Much

butterfly

Introduction

  • In a remarkable discovery, the elusive Dusted Apollo butterfly (Parnassius stenosemus) was sighted and photographed for the first time in Himachal Pradesh.

Dusted Apollo

  • Historical Rarity: Dusted Apollo is a rare high-altitude butterfly, initially discovered in 1890.
  • Sighting Details: The butterfly was spotted and photographed in September 2023 during a trek to Manimahesh Lake in Chamba.
  • Wide Range: The Dusted Apollo’s distribution extends from Ladakh to West Nepal.
  • Altitude Preference: This unique butterfly thrives at altitudes ranging from 3,500 to 4,800 meters in the inner Himalayas.
  • Comparing Species: Dusted Apollo closely resembles Ladakh Banded Apollo (Parnnasius stoliczkanus) but exhibits distinct features.

Implications for Conservation

  • Rare Find: Dusted Apollo had never been photographed in Himachal Pradesh before.
  • Additional Discovery: Another rare species, Regal Apollo (Parnnasius charltonius), was also photographed at Manimahesh, protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • Commercial Significance: Apollo butterflies are commercially valuable and are targeted by poachers, emphasizing the need for conservation.
  • Endangered Species: Many Apollo butterfly species are endangered and require immediate conservation efforts.
  • Community Awareness: Raising awareness about poaching and the significance of these species is vital for their protection.
  • Conservation Measures: Suggested measures include establishing butterfly parks and conservation reserves in the state to safeguard these fragile creatures.

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