LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES
BUTTERFLIES OF INDIA REACHES ANOTHER MILESTONE: 100,000 CURATED, PEER-REVIEWED IMAGES
BOI now has 100,000 reference images, making it the largest library of curated images of butterflies of the Indian Region. The data from these images helps map the detailed distribution and seasonal occurrence of Indian butterflies. These images also capture morphological variation of Indian butterflies like never before, along with information on their nectar plants, larval host plants, predators and parasitoids, etc., making it a critical resource for amateur butterfly-watchers and professional biologists alike.
It has taken us 10 years to reach this milestone, but subsequent growth will surely be much more rapid. This is because we now have a superb community behind this citizen science platform: thousands of contributors and dozens of reviewers. This community is growing rapidly. Since the pandemic started, we have added many more contributors, and nearly 30,000 images (an average of approx. 3,500 images per month). What is unique is that each of these images is peer-reviewed before it is published, which makes this dataset research grade. We now have 1,043 species pages, 365 lifecycles, 585 larval host plants and 189 nectar plants illustrated on the website, which are all curated and hyper-linked, facilitating easy access to information and data. Many species pages include valuable taxonomic information that is not easy or even possible to find elsewhere. Thus, the website not only offers occurrence data, but also information on numerous aspects of the biology, taxonomy and systematics of butterflies.
We must thank all the contributors, reviewers and editors who have helped this growth, creating an unparalleled resource on Indian butterflies for everyone to enjoy and use. Without their constant support, time and expertise, this platform would not exist. They have made their community proud. Hats off to all of them!
The next year will see a massive growth of this citizen science project, including a completely new content management system and many new features that will upgrade this web platform to be on par with the best of the citizen science platforms in the world, a comprehensive mobile app that will be a handy field guide and also make contributions easier, numerous outreach programmes, new educational materials, and much more. So stay tuned, join this unique, valuable, and completely home-grown initiative, and contribute to the scientific study and conservation of India's extraordinary butterfly fauna.
APPEAL TO JOIN THE BUTTERFLIES OF INDIA PROJECT AS CONTRIBUTORS AND REVIEWERS
Butterflies of India website turns 10 years old!
Sondhi, S. and K. Kunte. 2020. The role of citizen science in studying Lepidoptera biology and conservation in India. Indian Entomologist, 1:14-23. Download the PDF file here (1.2MB).
- Krushnamegh Kunte and Sanjay Sondhi, Chief Editors, Butterflies of India. 31 January 2020.
An addition to the butterfly fauna of India, and some other exciting sightings
Reflections on the history, and a vision for the future of butterfly taxonomy, systematics and biology in India
Kunte, K., D. N. Basu, and G. S. Girish Kumar. 2019. Taxonomy, Systematics, and Biology of Indian Butterflies in the 21st Century. Pp. 275–304, in Indian Insects: Diversity and Science, S. Ramani, P. Mohanraj and H. M. Yeshwanth (eds). Taylor & Francis, UK. pp. 472.
We need to work together to make this vision a reality. Our great butterfly fauna deserves this.
Two important taxonomic changes relevant to Indian Butterflies
Two comprehensive papers on larval host plants and early stages of Indian butterflies published
BOI crossed 1,000 species pages, 350 early stages and over 45,000 reference images.
New butterfly species reported from India.
The Butterflies of India website crossed 900 species pages and over 28,000 reference images.
The family of Indian biodiversity websites is growing.
The website is growing at an unprecedented rate, thanks to a growing number of contributors. For example, we added over 8,000 images to the website in 2015. More importantly, the family of our biodiversity websites has begun to grow with the launch of the Cicadas of India, Odonata of India, and Moths of India websites. We hope that you will start contributing images and other materials to those websites as well. Have a Happy and Productive 2016!
- Krushnamegh Kunte and Purnendu Roy, editors, Butterflies of India. 31 December 2015.
300 lifecycles, 870 species pages, over 21,500 reference images,
and a new swallowtail species for India!
On the species page front, we have crossed 870 species, which is great, but the news of the day is that we have one more new species for India: Papilio palinurus, a species traditionally known from SE Asia. Congratulations to Subhankar and Arjan!
I will be in the field all of next month. Upon my return I will contribute more images to the existing collection of over 21,500 images on the website. I hope that others are also planning field trips soon and that this number will keep rising sharply.
- Krushnamegh Kunte and Purnendu Roy, editors, Butterflies of India. 24 February 2015.
Changes... ifoundbutterflies v.2.00 released!
Many other features have been newly added, as follows:
1. The "Photo Gallery" now shows images of only adult butterflies, grouped by subspecies, e.g.,:
2. Images of the early stages are now under the "Early stages" tab, e.g.,:
3. The "Distribution" tab displays the locations of the photographs using Google maps, e.g.,:
Vindula erota map
4. "Status, Habitat and Habits" tab displays a summary of the months and the states in which the species has been photographed:
- Purnendu Roy, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah and Krushnamegh Kunte, editors, Butterflies of India. 8 July 2013.
Our book, Butterflies of the Garo Hills, is published
Since 2008 we have been surveying the wonderful butterfly fauna of the Garo Hills, which forms the north-westernmost tip of the globally recognized Indo-Burmese Biodiversity Hotspot. This book follows the publication of our research paper on the butterflies of the Garo Hills in 2012. It has been published with generous and full funding from the India Foundation and the Forests and Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya. Read more ...
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 18 April 2013.
Zographetus ogygia – Purple-spotted Flitter in Kerala: The butterfly fauna of the Western Ghats gets an addition, again!
We have a wonderful surprise: Zographetus ogygia – Purple-spotted Flitter, a skipper known previously in India only from the E. Himalaya, NE India and the Andaman Islands, has been spotted near Aralam in northern Kerala! This makes a further addition to the ever-growing butterfly fauna of the Western Ghats. The people who made this exciting discovery are V. K. Chandrashekharan, Balakrishnan Valappil, V. C. Balakrishnan and K. Saji. Moreover, they were able to raise the butterflies from tiny caterpillars, so they have also recorded the early stages. This can now be seen on the species page:
My hearty congratulations to V. K. Chandrashekharan, Balakrishnan Valappil, V. C. Balakrishnan and K. Saji for this superb discovery. They will be writing a natural history paper on this soon, I am looking forward to seeing that in print.
I am now eagerly waiting to find out what the next big butterfly surprise is going to be :).
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 14 February 2013.
The year turns: BOI crosses 700 species pages, 200 lifecycles and 15,000 reference images, and reports five butterfly species new to India as well as rediscoveries of several Himalayan and NE Indian endemics
The year turns tonight, and we have a load of very good news for the new year. At the end of its third year, our website has crossed 700 species pages, 200 lifecycles, and 15,000 reference images. This includes five butterfly species new to India as well as rediscoveries of several Western Ghats, Himalayan and NE Indian endemics, all of which were first reported on this website. The species new to India are:
http://ifoundbutterflies.org/125-algia/algia-fasciata (new to mainland India, previously known from the Andaman Islands)
The seventh species century has been slow but quite remarkable, with records of some very rare, endemic, legally protected and little-known species, for example:
The full listing, which includes a lot of exciting species, is found at:
We have also grown much stronger this year, with the addition of very promising young butterfly-watchers: Gaurav Agavekar, Tarun Karmakar, Vivek Sarkar, Shantanu Joshi, Paresh Churi, Paresh Kale, and Nitin R. joining the core team and being quite actively involved in developing the website. Some of these youngsters have in fact joined my research lab at NCBS and are now involved in butterfly research in a major way. And our veterans: Milind Bhakare, Balakrishnan Valappil, Hemant Ogale, Rohit Girotra, Ashok Sengupta, Sanjay Sondhi and many others, have been on fire! Together, these people have done many new lifecycles, photographed dozens of species that had never been photographed before, and potentially discovered new species. Most of this material is already on the website, and we are working on the website quite seriously now. For the past three months progress had been slow because Tarun was in the field and Gaurav and I were busy working on several projects at the British Museum of Natural History, London, which left us little time for anything else. However, we are back and now we are clearing the backlog of emails and images accumulated over not just the past three months but perhaps over the past two years. We had filed many images away without identifying them for lack of reference material. Now that we have an extensive reference image library, we are revisiting, processing and uploading these images. We just uploaded 425 images on the website and created eight species pages. Several hundred more images and perhaps a dozen new species pages are on the way in the next week or so. Generally, there is good news and excitement all around, and I think we are ending this year with a bang. I hope that you will all join us in developing the website further in 2013. Many of you have already volunteered, others can contact Gaurav, he is coordinating the volunteer activity.
I wish you all a very Happy and Productive New Year, and an exciting butterfly season in 2013!
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 31 December 2012.
4 March 2012: 631 species, 201 lifecycles, 12,000 reference images
Some of the recent important additions include Shashank Dalvi's Abisara burnii - White-spotted Judy from Nagaland, which appears to be only the second record of the species from India, Viral Mistry's Byasa polla - Red-lined Windmill from Nagaland, my own Abisara echerius paionea - Karen Plum Judy from Mizoram, belonging to a much misunderstood species in India, Vidya Venkatesh's Neorina patria - White Owl from Arunachal Pradesh, and several rarely seen lifecycles by Kalesh Sadasivan, Ravindra Bhambure, Saji Kandoth and Milind Bhakare, including those of the Western Ghats-endemic Arhopala alea - Sahyadri Rosy Oakblue and Quedara basiflava - Yellow-base Flitter, and Charaxes schreiber - Blue Nawab and Colotis protractus - Blue-spotted Arab.
Big thanks to all those who have contributed so many images and records to reach these milestones. I welcome further contributions from all who are willing to help advance this project.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. March 2012.
13 Sept. 2011: 564 species pages, 176 lifecycles, 8500 reference photos
Major players in this recent development have been Rohan Lovalekar, Gaurav Agavekar, Hemant Ogale, Subramanyam Kalluri, Rohit Girotra, Rudraprasad Das, K. Saji, Balakrishnan Valappil, Shyam Ghate, Satyendra Kumar Tiwari, K. M. Haneesh, Sanjay Sondhi, Kalesh Sadasivan and Ullasa Kodandaramaiah. Big thanks to them and to a host of other people who contributed an assortment of images.
It appears that our website is now heavily used: we have had 256,000 visits since the website was launched in January 2010, but over 240,000 of these visits in the past eight months alone. That is, slightly over 1,000 visits per day since we recovered the website towards the end of January 2011.
We hope to continue to grow at this pace, and remain just as helpful to the Indian butterfly-watching community, in the future. As always, your participation and contributions towards building this free, peer-reviewed, online resource on Indian butterflies are welcome. We can thrive only as a large, dedicated team.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 13 Sept. 2011.
412 species, 146 lifecycles
After recovering the Butterflies of India website on 6 Feb. 2011 and bringing the number of species pages to 135, we set ourselves what now appears as a modest target of 300 species pages. In the past five months we have made much progress and comfortably surpassed the target. Today, the Butterflies of India website has 412 species pages, 146 lifecycles, and approximately 6,000 reference photographs. Major additions to species pages and to the collection of reference photographs came from recent field trips of our team members to the Garo Hills in Meghalaya, and from Sikkim in the Eastern Himalaya. The lifecycles were mostly the work of Dr. Saji K., who has contributed more than a hundred lifecycles and nearly 2,000 images to the website by now. Rohan Lovalekar and Gaurav Agavekar have taken some of the most stunning images of Indian butterflies that I have seen so far, and photographed hundreds of species in the past one or two years. In the past 3-4 months, they have also tirelessly formatted many of these pictures for the website, including those images given to them by others. Hats off to Saji, Rohan and Gaurav!
Haneesh K. M., Subramanyam Kalluri, Hemant Ogale and Rudra Prasad Das have recently started to format a lot of their images for the website, covering areas of Bengaluru, Andhra Pradesh, southern Maharashtra and West Bengal, respectively. This shall bring important regional representation of butterflies and cover wing pattern variation of Indian butterflies on the website.
I hope that we will touch 500 species pages and nearly 8-10,000 reference images on the website by the end of this year. Your contributions are always appreciated, especially if you cover species that are not on the website yet, or if you contribute photographs from an area that is not well represented on the website.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 8 July 2011.
You would recall that Butterflies of India website had faced some problems last year and therefore development had caesed for a few months. Towards the end of January we sorted out all the issues and resumed development. At that time we started with 33 species pages. We have made rapid progress in the past one month and now reached 200 species pages. At the same time, we have added dozens more photographs to previous species pages, greatly expanding the available reference library of photographs on Indian butterflies. With the number of species pages having crossed 200, the website version has now changed from 1.01 to 1.02. Major credit for this rapid growth goes to Rohan Lovalekar and Hemant Ogale, who have contributed and formatted hundreds of their photographs from Amboli, Chiplun, Ultapani and the Garo Hills.
There were other milestones in the past one month as well. The number of visits to our site has crossed 33,000. That is nearly 20,000 visits in one month, up from approximately 13,000 visits at the end of January. Now we have over 1,000 photographs on the website, most of them forming a reference image library associated with the species pages.
The major development in the coming months will be to provide photographs of early stages of as many butterflies as we can. Of course, we will continue to create new species pages and grow our reference library of photographs of Indian butterflies. So keep tuned. And as always, we welcome your contributions in the form of photographs of adult butterflies as well as early stages. We also urge you to volunteer to help us to create educational material for the website, write articles, format photographs, or help in any other way that you can.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 25 February 2011.
Website recovered, now 135 species
Butterflies of India website has caught up to March 2010! That was the first time when the server that hosted Butterflies of India website crashed. Since then, we had not really completely recovered from the crash because we had lost the template, and all the articles and species pages at that time. Mihir Chhatre had to recreate the template and most of the basic structure, and we were still tweaking those things in early June 2010. Then a few viruses hit the website in late June, eventually forcing a complete shutdown of website development.
In the third week of January 2011, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah and I started looking into all the problems that had dogged the website for many months. In the past three weeks, we think we have sorted out most, if not all the issues that had affected the website. We have improved security and stability of the website (backend stuff), and made some other changes on the website that has strengthened functionality and user-friendliness (frontend stuff). Ullasa is continuing to work on this front. Overall, I think the website is in a better shape than ever before, and that things should run smoothly from now on.
In the past three weeks, I have recreated all the species pages that were online before March 2010. The species page count stands at 135 species pages right now. This number includes a few new species pages that we did not have last year, such as that for Pantoporia hordonia (the Common Lascar).
Now that things are more or less in order, the real development beyond the "March 2010 version" will start. We hope to reach at least 300 species pages by the end of this year. These should include many fantastic early stages that Balakrishnan Valappil, Saji Kandoth, Hemant Ogale, Milind Bhakare and others have photographed and shared with us on this group recently. The 2011 target of 300 species pages may actually be an easy one. We already have dozens of pictures of NE Indian butterflies submitted by Amol Patwardhan, Arjun Basu Roy, Balakrishnan and Kishen Das. The Media Management Team will hopefully snap into action soon and format these images. We would also like Gaurav Agavekar, Abhijna Desai, Rudra Prasad Das, Yuawaraj Gurjar, Vedawati Padwal, Blaise Periera, Satyendra Kumar Tiwari and others who have contributed many pictures to the website in the past to continue to do so, perhaps with a vastly renewed enthusiasm.
Looking forward to good time!
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 6 February 2011.
Website crashed, being rebuilt
The server that hosted Butterflies of India website crashed in the last week of March 2010, taking the site offline. Unfortunately, the daily backups of the website were also lost in one fell swoop, so we lost the entire website structure. Fortunately, we did not lose any articles, data and pictures, as these were saved on personal computers of various team members. It took us some time to pull things together, but the website is back to normal in every respect except the species page template, which will be rebuilt in the next few days.
The 140 species pages that were on the website before the crash will be brought back online by the end of this month. We hope to start adding new species pages as well, so please start sending your contributions once again. Thanks for your patience and continued support.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 5 May 2010.
Butterflies of India has hit its first century of species pages in less than a month since the species page module was created on 24 January 2010. The 100th species page was on Pareronia ceylanica - the Dark Wanderer. Photographs of the first 100 species were provided by the following contributors:
Saji Kandoth Gaurav Agavekar Krushnamegh Kunte
Vedwati Padwal Yuwaraj Gurjar Baby Kunnikulangara
Amit Bandekar Milind Bhakare Rudraprasad Das
Sanket Mhatre Suresh Elamon Amol Patwardhan
Hemant Ogale Sangeeta Dhanuka Blaise Periera
Amber Habib Kishen Das Satyendra Kumar Tiwari
Thanks to the Web Design Team and Media Management Team for making such a rapid progress, and to all the contributing photographers. We look forward to making the next century soon.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 17 February 2010.
Butterflies of India website launched
We are happy to announce launch of the Butterflies of India website (February 2010). We had three organizational meetings in Pune (19 October 2009), Bengaluru (30 October 2009) and Guwahati (14 November 2009). During the meetings we discussed formation of Indian Foundation for Butterflies and formed website teams. We hope to make rapid progress on the website, and look forward to your participation and contributions.
-- Krushnamegh Kunte, editor, Butterflies of India. 25 December 2010.
Cite this page along with its URL as:
. . 2021. Latest News And Updates . In Kunte, K., S. Sondhi, and P. Roy (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 3.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies.