Uttarakhand is set to become the second state in the country after Maharashtra to have a ‘state butterfly’. The state government has chosen ‘Common Peacock’ as the state butterfly.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the State Wildlife Board headed by chief minister Harish Rawat early this month, an official said.
Forest minister Dinesh Agarwal told Hindustan Times on Friday that a notification to this effect would be issued soon.
In 2015, Maharashtra declared ‘Blue Mormon’ as the state butterfly.
Common Peacock (Papilio bianor) is among the prettiest butterflies found in the foothills up to 2,100 meter in Himalayas. Its size is about 90-130 mm.
Experts said Common Peacock has a lovely bluish-green patch on the upper side of hind wing, which is easily visible in flight. It also has a prominent green band on the upper side of the forewing.
Declaring state butterfly will not only give recognition to the specie, but also ensure its conservation, said Rajinder Mahajan, the principal chief conservator of forest.
According to official handbook of the state, Common Peacock “is a powerful flier, but often hovers near flowers to feed on its nectar. It is also found on forest tracks at moist patches, where it can sit and feed for long duration. It can be confused with Paris Peacock (Papilio paris), which is a very similar butterfly”.
Uttarakhand is a haven for butterflies. In an attempt to popularise butterflies species found in the hill state, the government has established two butterfly parks in Garhwal (Dehradun) and Kumaon (Nainital) regions.
Out of nearly 18,000 butterfly species found globally, over 1,300 are found in India. Uttarakhand is home to around 500 species.
Musk Deer is Uttarakhand’s state animal, Himalayan Monal is state bird, rhododendron is state tree and Brahma Kamal is state flower.