Pattampoochi - Butterfly Magazine Pattampoochi - Wings 1 Veins 3 2017 - Page 9

Butterfly Walks 2017 Butterfly Walk in Siruvani Hills A few members of TNBS decided to check into the Siruvani Hills on account of a recent rains in the hills for butterfly movement, which otherwise have been going dull for quite some months now. Upon reaching and getting proper permission, we started our search. The Cassia fistula (Konrai) trees were in full bloom and we could smell the previous day rain too. The first to welcome us were couple of small colo- nies of Bright Babul Blue and Small Cupid. They all looked fresh and emerged re- cently. We then moved to another routine spot, where Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curas- savica) plants are plenty. This is the place we usually sight Tigers and Crows in good numbers and this time too we were not disappointed, and rather pleasantly sur- prised to see plenty of Dark Blue Tigers in good numbers after many months. Line- blues and Zebra Blues were feasting on Elephant dung. A lone Indian Cupid engaged the team for a while before we moved from there to the next spot. The next spot is a couple of kilometres away and the drive was filled with fresh emigrants flying by at least in 1000s and many a mating pairs were seen too. The Emigrants were predominantly Common Emigrants and Mottled were very less in numbers. We also saw by this time a few Spot Swordtails flying by and one of them settling on a nearby plant and offering its glorious open wing which was a treat to watch. The entire stretch was active with Lineblues and Zebra Blues in really good numbers and they were busy attending to animal droppings. Despite the rain on the previous day, the day was sunny and as expected humid. Our next spot is again an open space with plenty of mud-puddling activities. Club Beaks in good numbers, an Angled Pierrot (again appearing after a while), Pointed Ciliate Blues, Dark Blue Tigers, all were vying for a few active spots. Nearby we saw a Plain Tiger going as a prey to a Prey- ing Mantis. The Plain Tiger could not escape from it and went as a food to the intelligent insect. Quite a few Blue Pansies were chasing each other and were engaged actively with Tridax procumbens. An area of approximately 100 square meter is our favourite hunting ground. This palce is always wet with leaked water and be it summer or winter, engages variety of species, and especially blues for mud-puddling. It is no different this time, with Common Hedge Blues, Malayans, Quakers, Common and Tailless Lineblues, Dark Ceruleans, etc were active everywhere. An Angled Flat (Tapena thwaitesi), the only Skipper that we could see in the trip made a brief appearance and passed by. A freshly emerged Common Imperial with its dressing neat and an ever floating angel– Malabar Tree Nymph, were the other highlights from this place. A few of the members went further up the hills and have added species like Malabar Rose, Red Helen, White-bar Bushbrown, Rustic, Tamil Yeoman, Baronet, Great Eggfly, Large Oakblue, Many-tailed Oakblue and Metallic Cerulean. The remaining members on their way back were fortunate to witness a huge congregation of Spot Swordtails and Common Emigrants near a stream and the local people were wondering why we after them and what we get from it? We engaged them briefly conveying the importance of butterflies to the nature and the need to save them. They seem to be nodding over it! Members who organised the walk include Mr. Theivaprakasham (the lead organiser), Mr. Nishanth CV, Mr. Vishwa Na- than, Mr. Bala Krishnan, Mr. Gopal Krishnan. Mr. Pavendhan. A and Geethanjali R.