There is a butterfly garden within the NIC premises so that one can have the wonderful experience of sighting and trying to identify the myriad types of butterflies.The butterfly garden has a staggering diversity of butterflies and is most vibrant in the months from September to January. To help you to enjoy your hobby of butterflying even more, a pocket guide to the butterflies of Sanjay Gandhi National Park is also available which not only gives a colourful and pictorial description of the butterflies but also information about how to identify them . This pocket book is available for sale at the NIC itself.
Butterflies are day-flying insects and considered to be the agents of pollination of some plants although in general they do not carry as much pollen load as bees. They are cold-blooded and cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 30 degree centigrade. A butterfly has compound eyes with each eye made up of about 6000 tiny parts called lenses; a it is fascinating to know that a butterfly can see in all directions except directly underneath its body. Butterflies feed chiefly on nectar from flowers. There are over 20,000 species of butterflies worldwide. At Sanjay Gandhi National Park we have a whopping 170 Species of butterflies, out of 1500 species found in India.
TOP 10 BUTTERFLIES SEEN IN SGNP
Common crow butterfly
(Euploea core) is one of the poisonous butterflies found in South Asia. The caterpillars of these butterflies feed on poisonous leaves of Calotropis which contain highly toxic alkaloids because of which the butterfly becomes poisonous when it emerges out of the pupa. It is a defense mechanism of the butterflies to protect them from the predator birds. It is believed that if a bird like myna feeds on three common crow butterflies it amounts to a lethal dose enough to kill the bird instantly.
The Common Tiger
(Danaus genutia), is one of the commonly found & seen butterflies in the national park. Belonging to the brush-footed butterflies’ family, it is also called Striped Tiger in India. Members of this genus are leathery, tough to kill and fake death; also the fact that they are unpleasant to smell and taste gives them a lot of advantage. Predators release the butterfly which in turn recovers soon & takes to its wings.
(Tirumala limniace), Another butterfly belonging to the brush-footed butterfly family, Blue Tiger butterfly shows unreserved migratory behavior during monsoons. Predominantly black & blue in colour, they are very photogenic in appearance.
Grey Pansy or Gray Pansy
(Junonia atlites), butterflies are invariably found close to water bodies. The butterfly can be easily identified due to its subtle, subdued grey color with uniformly marked rings on its wings (almost resembling the ones on the peacock feather).
The Common Jezebel
(Delias eucharis) is a medium sized colourful & pretty butterfly. They are seen in gardens wandering and visiting flowers for nectar or mud-puddling.
The Dark-branded Bushbrown
(Mycalesis mineus), is a species of satyrine butterfly found in Asia.
The Common Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona)
or Lemon Emigrant is a medium sized pierid butterfly. It gets its name from its habit of migration. These butterflies can be seen easily in human inhabited gardens. They are swift and perch on the flowers to feed, only for few seconds.
The Red Pierrot
(Talicada nyseus) is a very pretty, small sized butterfly with noticeably bright & attractive colours. Though not a very common butterfly, it still can be seen often in SGNP. Photographing this butterfly is comparatively easier as it is a weak flier, and flutters about close to the ground.
The Tailed Jay
(Graphium agamemnon), an attractive butterfly is native to India. It is also known as Green-spotted Triangle, Tailed Green Jay, or the Green Triangle. It is predominantly green and black in colour. They are strong and restless fliers.
The Great Orange-tip
(Hebomoia glaucippe), a handsome looking and one of the biggest butterflies are from the Pieridae family, that is the yellows and whites butterflies. These butterflies can be found around the flowering plants feeding on the nectar from the flowers. One can easily understand the logic behind its name with a glance.
The Peacock Pansy
(Junonia almana), is a common species found in a wide variety of habitats including forest clearings, Acacia thorn scrub, palm-fringed beaches, savannah, dry woodlands and botanical gardens.
The Gaudy Baron
(Euthalia lubentina) is another nymphalid butterfly found often seen in SGNP. The butterfly true to its name has these gaudy colours?