Itanagar: Some 93 butterfly species were recorded during the 8th edition of the Ziro Butterfly Meet (ZBM) in Arunachal Pradesh.

The three-day event that concluded on Friday was held at Tale Wildlife Sanctuary near Ziro, the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district. The meet was jointly organized by Hapoli forest division and Ngunu Ziro, a local conservation group.

Significant among the species recorded during the meet were Brown Forester (Lethe serbonis), Manipur Ace (Sovia malta) and Great Hockeystick Sailor (Neptis aspasia).

The Brown Forester is legally protected in India under Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, while Manipur Ace, a species of the skipper butterfly, was earlier known to appear only in Manipur and the Mishmi Hills in northeastern Arunachal, officials said.

The Great Hockeystick Sailor was on the other hand photographed for the second time in Tale Valley after being rediscovered after 68 years from Arunachal Pradesh last month.

Among the other interesting findings of the ZBM was the sighting of the female form of Eastern Courtier butterfly (Sephisa chandra) at Pange which was photographed while laying eggs.

This is probably the first photograph of an Eastern Courtier female butterfly from Arunachal Pradesh. This species is also legally protected in India under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Other important sightings recorded during the meet were Giant Hopper, White Owl, Yellow Owl, Bhutan Glory, female Brown Gorgon, Blue Caliph and three species of Wood Browns.

Addressing the valedictory ceremony, Hapoli divisional forest officer (DFO) Abhinav Kumar said the total number of butterfly sightings rose from 59 to 93 this year which is an increase of around 58% compared to that from the last edition.

“The meet was a grand success in terms of both numbers and uniqueness of the species spotted,” the DFO said.

Ngunu Ziro president Pura Tama said efforts to conserve the butterflies of Tale Wildlife Sanctuary would continue with the same zeal in the future as well.

The 8th edition of Ziro Butterfly Meet primarily focused on exploring the Tale Valley in addition to the Pange area of the Tale Wildlife Sanctuary for butterflies and moths, officials added.

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