Butterflies: Beautifying Mumbai!



Mumbai is home to about 160 species of butterflies! A little hard to believe this, isn’t it? But it’s absolutely true!

In our city, many different landscapes are closely intermingled with each other, which lead to the creation of various habitats that are suitable for a rich biodiversity. This has helped the butterflies to adapt to our urban landscape and add much beauty to it. In today’s blog-post we shall look at some of the most interesting and mesmerizing butterflies found in our city of Mumbai. 


The first one that I want to highlight is called the Blue Oakleaf (Kallima Horsfieldi). It usually goes unnoticed due to its resemblance to a dead leaf. Surprisingly, the upper-side of this butterfly is well coloured with shades of white and blue. An interesting fact about the Oakleaf Butterfly is that every individual in this species has a different under-wing pattern, making each and every butterfly unique!



Then there’s the Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor) which is supposedly the biggest butterfly to be found in Mumbai. It is a very restless butterfly and seldom does one get to see it still. The best time to see one is during the monsoons and maybe for a couple of months after that.


The Spot Swordtail (Graphium nomius), like the name suggests, has a characteristic sword like tail and this makes it a great sight to see! It is easily disturbed and known to be very agile at all times. It is mostly found in the forested areas of Mumbai.


And finally the Orange Awlet (Bibasis jaina) also known as the Orange-striped Awl is a very rare butterfly that is found in Mumbai. It is crepuscular in nature, i.e. it is active during early mornings and late evenings. If you find one, then make sure to take a photo of it because in general it is a very rare sight.

The above descriptions give you just a glimpse of the variety of butterflies that are found in our city. Begin observing your locality closely; you never know when you might encounter a rare butterfly just next door!



- Aristo Mendis 

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