The common cerulean (Jamides celeno) was spotted in the National Capital Territory (NCR) during a month-long survey held in September, experts said on Monday, adding that it was possibly the first time that the butterfly was spotted near the Capital.
The butterfly was sighted at Gurugram’s Aravalli Biodiversity Park as part of this year’s Big Butterfly Count 2023, and is likely to have migrated from the Himalayas, where it is commonly sighted, they said.
A total of 71 different species have been recorded in this year’s count, experts said, with around 40 locations covered across NCR.
Prof Rajesh Chaudhary, associate professor, department of biomedical science at Delhi University’s Acharya Narendra Dev College said he sighted the common cerulean on September 23 at the biodiversity park.
“The butterfly was observed for 5-7 minutes and photographed with a digital camera. It fluttered for a few minutes close to its larval host plant – Abrus precatorius, after which it settled on a nearby plant, before fluttering away,” Chaudhary said, stating there is no published or confirmed record before this of the butterfly being spotted in NCR.
This year’s count of 71 species is one higher than last year, when 70 species were recorded across Delhi-NCR. In 2021, 75 different species were recorded.