Tamil Nadu Becomes Fifth Indian State to Declare a State Butterfly.
- Tamil Nadu has recently declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) as its state butterfly to symbolize its rich natural and cultural heritage, in a move aimed at boosting the conservation efforts of the attractive insects.
- Locally known as Tamil Maravan meaning ‘Tamilian Warrior’, the canopy butterfly, belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid.
- This is the latest addition to Tamil Nadu’s existing symbols from the natural world – palmyra as the state tree, gloriosa lily as the state flower, emerald dove as the state bird, and jackfruit as the state fruit and Nilgiri tahr as the state animal.
- This butterfly species is endemic to Western Ghats.
- Once the species is declared as a state butterfly, this will help channelizing government funds towards a particular environmental cause.
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Tamil Nadu has a total of 32 species of butterflies endemic to the state.
It has become the fifth India state after Maharashtra (Blue Mormon), Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern birdwings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock) to bestow a state emblem status to one of its colorful insects.
Both southern bird wings, which is the largest butterfly species found in India, and Malabar banded peacocks are, like the Tamil Yeoman, endemic to the Western Ghats as well.
Why butterfly conservation?
Butterflies are great bio-indicators of an ecosystem as they are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, sunlight, humidity and rainfall patterns.
Their presence, patterns and migration assist in mapping the climatic health of a region and are they are perhaps the most studied insect group across the world.