Scientists at the High Altitude Regional Centre of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a rare species of butterfly known as Silvery Meadow Blue in Paangi Valley of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.
The butterfly species, earlier reported in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been reported for the first time in India by a scientific team led by Avtar Kaur Sidhu, head of the ZSI centre, in surveys conducted between 2007 and 2009.
The Silvery Meadow Blue was among 36 species of butterflies the scientists observed during the survey of the valley. “The Silvery Meadow Blue has been reported for the very first time in India,” said Sidhu. “We found 36 species of butterflies in Pangi out of which three to four species are rare and have been listed under the Wildlife Protection Act,” said Sidhu, who had spotted the Silvery Meadow Blue in July 2008 and July 2009.
The Silvery Meadow Blue (Polyommatus florience) butterflies are found in areas 3,000 metres above sea level. It likes meadows and areas outside forests and can be found during the month of July when the high altitude areas experience a late-flowering season.