Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Swarms of butterflies descend on the park

From 'The Hindu', March 25th 2013

From the outside, the Defence Colony Park in Indiranagar looks quite ordinary with cement chairs, cobbled stone paths and a number of flowering trees. However, the park is a visual treat inside, with large swarms of butterflies gathering as part of their migratory route.
The winged visitors are not immediately visible when you enter the park but you go a little further in, you will see the swarms of delicate wings flutter by.
The most common are the Dakhan Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis dravidarum) and the Double-Branded Black Crow (Euploea sylvester coreta).
The other species that have swarmed the park are the Oriental Blue Tiger (Tirumala limniace exoticus) and Indian Common Crow (Euploea core core).
This pattern of migration is seen every year with a sudden increase in the number of butterflies seen in Bangalore around March. “This is for the first time that we are watching butterflies in the Defence Colony in such large numbers. They can be seen on ground in the morning and start flying higher up by afternoon,” said Rame Gowda, a resident here for the last 20 years.
According to Krushnamegh Kunte, professor at the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS) here, this occurrence seen in parks and other densely foliaged areas all over Bangalore is because of the migratory patterns of butterflies.
These beautiful butterflies migrate from the plains of south India to the southern parts of the Western Ghats before the monsoon in October or November. They then breed in the mountains and the progeny migrate back to the plains post-monsoon in March and May.
Dr. Kunte’s group is studying the effects of monsoon on the population biology of the Dakhan Blue Tiger and the Double Branded Black Crow.

I came across this magnificent bee hive on one of the branches. It was truly amazing to see the intricate lattice pattern of this home. See if you can click on the picture and observe the details.