New Moth Species Sighted in Arunachal Pradesh

A new species of moth has been sighted in Arunachal Pradesh, bringing joy to nature lovers who noted that many moth and butterfly varieties were on the verge of extinction in India.

The moth was photographed by nature enthusiasts of Ngunu Ziro, led by Dr Tage Kano, during their field trip to Talley Valley Reserve last September. “The photograph was sent to the education officer of the Bombay Natural History Society, Dr V Subhalaxmi, for identification. Dr Subhalaxmi identified it as Genus level,” Ariff Siddiqui, a lepidopterist, who was a member of the team, said. On consultation with the international moth experts in the British Natural History Museum and experts from Hong Kong, it was confirmed that this was indeed a new species, Siddiqui said.

A few years back, Bhutan Glory, a rare butterfly variety, was sighted at Ziro in Lower Subansiri district by entomologists and the new moth species, a day-flying one, possibly mimics Bhutan Glory and thus shares the same habitat. “Dr Shen-Horn Wen from Taiwan University, who has been specialising on this genus of moth, has agreed to collaborate in describing the species,” Siddiqui said. There are currently an estimated 1,12,000 to 1,65, 000 listed species of butterflies and moths within 131 families on this planet.

A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly family, both belonging to the Lepidoptera order. Moths form the majority of this order and about 10 times the number of species of butterfly. Thousands of species are yet to be described.

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