Jeypore Rainforest

Fauna-Butterfly

Butterflies, apart from being an aesthetically appealing group of invertebrates, serve a very important role in the ecosystem, being the best pollinators of flowers after honey bees. In Europe, butterflies are used as pollution indicators because they are very sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Butterfly parks are built in cities, and any die off of butterflies are taken as an indication that pollution levels have risen. Northeast India is the richest butterfly hotspot in the entire Oriental region. Around 1000 species of butterflies have been recorded in this region. The high temperatures, wet vegetation and hilly landscapes are factors that are favourable for many butterflies and have resulted in the high diversity here. Jeypore is an excellent place for butterfly watching. Upto 276 butterfly species have been recorded so far and it is undoubtedly one of the fascinating places of Upper Assam for butterfly watchers. Jeypore has contributed two new records to the butterfly fauna of India - the rediscovery of the very rare White Punch Dodona henrici longicaudata of which there has been no sighting in India or Burma; and a range extension of the Andaman Yellow-banded Flat, previously recorded in Burma. Several rare species such as the Pale Striped Dawnfly, Blue Nawab, Great Mime and Malay Forest Bob have been photographed for the first time, from here in Jeypore. A restricted population of the swallowtail Great Zebra here also makes Jeypore very special. Two rare species first described from Assam, the Blue Quaker and Yellow-vein Lancer (described from nearby Margherita by Doherty), are still to be found in Jeypore. In terms of endemics, Jeypore takes a very special place with the presence confirmed of the very rare Peal's Palmfly. Jeypore RF probably has the best population in northeast India of the very attractive White Dragontail butterfly. Also to be seen in Jeypore are the spectacular Kohinoor and swallowtails like Common Batwing, Common Birdwing, Great Windmill, Common Birdwing, Redbreast, Common Peacock, Paris Peacock which fly very high in the rainforest canopy of Jeypore. When summer comes, most of them came down to puddle when it is the best time for photography. On the forest floor, butterflies like Evening Browns, Bushbrowns, Threerings and Fourrings flit about and are perfectly camouflaged at rest among the dry leaves. Migratory species like the Peablue come to Jeypore in winter and fly all the way back to the Western Himalayas in summer. Above the hill streams of Jeypore, Constables, Green Commodores and Blue Admirals flash their bright colours in flight while the Hill Hedge Blue, Common Hedge Blues and Plain Hedge Blues and the beautifully patterned Common Map tinge the vicinity of the hill streams of Jeypore in the winter with their pastel colours.