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Why are butterflies important?

Why are butterflies important?

Photo from Dhara Thakkar (3)

This was a question posed to the school children ,Eager little hands would shoot up into the air and answers such as “because they are beautiful” or “because they make me happy” were shared. And the truth is these answers were absolutely correct. How can you argue with the wisdom of a five-year-old who simply declares that some creature is important because it makes them happy? I like the logic of five-year-olds. It is simple and to the point and honest…sometimes brutally so.

as I taught them about the coolness of these beautiful creatures we take for granted.

So why are butterflies important? If you google this question you will find a load of answers…

they have an interesting life-cycle worthy of study

all creatures are important

they’ve been around for a long time

they are a very diverse species

they are an important food source (for birds, lizards, etc.)
etc., etc.

All of this is true and probably not super interesting to most. What is interesting are two major functions these beautiful winged creatures perform.

#Butterflies are pollinators#

Butterflies are the third most populace pollinator behind bees/wasps and flies. In case you haven’t heard, we are facing a pollinator crisis. The world’s food supply depends on pollinators. As smart as we humans think we are, we haven’t figured out how to produce food without pollinators. And unlike the water crisis that is happening world-wide . the pollinator crisis is something that everyone can help with no matter where you are.

Plant a garden full of flowering perennials, shrubs, and Fall is the time to plan your gardens, and for some, it is the optimal time to plant. You will get an immense amount of pleasure and joy out of your garden while providing for all kinds of pollinators.

#Butterflies are an indicator species#

An indicator species is one that tells us about the health of our environment. These creatures are so sensitive to changes in climate, the presence of harmful chemicals, pollution in the air and water, and any other changes in the environment. We look to indicator species to help us determine how healthy our surroundings are.

So…step outside. Look around your yard. Do you see plenty of butterflies and other insects happily buzzing about? No? Then it is time to take stock in the condition of your environment. If your yard is not indicator species friendly, then it is not friendly to you and your family.

#What can you do?#

The decline of the butterfly and the honey bees is heralded far and wide, but they play such a critical role in our very existence. The good part about all of this is everyone of us can genuinely play an active role in making things better. How?

1) Plant some flowers

2) Stop using harmful chemical

3) Educate yourself, your children, and everyone else you come in contact with

4) Think twice before smashing that disgusting “worm” or spraying that bee

5) Get the kids involved

So we will list the common Butterflies of India and there Host plant so you all can grow plants as well as attract the butterfies in your Garden or Balcony.
So Today’s first Buttetfly is Tawny Coster.

#TAWNY COSTER#
A rather active butterfly moslty seen during and after the Monsoon.Considered and unpalatable species so it does not appeal to any of the predators.It defends itself,by exuding an unpleasant oily liquid when captured or handled.The caterpillar is dark brown in colour with numerous spikes and an orange head.It has a beautiful white coloured pupa with many Orange spots on it.

#HOST PLANT IS PASSIFLORA #
( Krushankamal )

passion Flower

This are some photos in our Garden
Tawny Coster laying Eggs on krushankamal.
You can grow this at home easily and attract beauties:)

Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor

चिऊताई आणि भाताच्या लोंब्या

sparrow

आपल्याकडे दसऱ्याला दारावरच्या तोरणात भाताच्या लोंब्या लावायची प्रथा आहे. दसरा साजरा करून झाल्यावर बरेचदा, या लोंब्या निर्माल्यात किंवा कचऱ्यात टाकून दिल्या जातात. एका मित्राने व्हॉट्स-आप वर पाठवलेल्या पोस्ट वरून वाचनात आले की, या लोंब्या टाकून न देता, त्या खिडकीच्या जाळीवर बांधून ठेवाव्यात. चिमण्यांना हे खाद्य अतिशय प्रिय आहे. लहानपणी अगदी सहजपणे नेहमी दिसणारी, पंख्याच्या वाटीत छोटंसं घरटं करणारी, एक घास माझा असं म्हणवणारी चिऊताई आज शहरातून नाहीशी झाली आहे याची जाणीव गेली बरीच वर्षे होतीच. म्हटलं, बघूया करून प्रयोग. 
 
मग, आम्ही त्या लोंब्या खिडकीच्या जाळीवर लावून ठेवल्या. पहिले  ८-१० दिवस असेच गेले. एक दिवस, आम्ही नाश्ता करत असताना खिडकीबाहेर चिव-चिव ऐकू आली. सहज बघितले तर लोम्ब्यांवर कुणीच नव्हतं. बराच वेळ वाट पाहिली, तरीही चिऊताई नाही आली. पुन्हा काही दिवस तसेच गेले. 
 
काही दिवसांपूर्वी, चिव-चिव वाढलेली जाणवली. पण, त्या दिवशी नेमकी खिडकी बंद होती. शक्य तितका आवाज न करता ती उघडून बघतो तर भुर्र्र्कन सगळ्या चिऊताई उडून गेल्या. आम्ही पुन्हा वाट बघत बसलो. पण त्या दिवशी त्या आल्या नाहीत.
 
मग आम्ही थोडं दूर राहूनच निरीक्षण करायचं ठरवलं. त्या आल्या आहेत अशी जाणीव झाली की, आम्ही आमच्या हालचाली बंद करायचो. एकाच जागी बसून बघत राहायचो. चिऊताई आता रोज येऊ लागल्या. लोम्ब्यांवर बसून एकेक भाताचा दाणा सोलून खाऊ लागल्या. मध्येच काही दाणे खाली पडले की, भुर्र्र्कन खाली उडी मारायच्या आणि खालचे दाणे सोलून खायच्या. १०-१५ मिनिटे छान विरंगुळा होता. त्यांना न्याहाळत आम्ही आमचा नाश्ता करू लागलो. त्यांच्या वेळाही ठरलेल्या; सकाळी साधारण ९-१० आणि दुपार उलटून ४-५ च्या दरम्यान.
 
या चिमण्यांची मला गंमत अशासाठी वाटे की, त्या एकट्या-दुकट्या न येता, आपला छोटासा मित्रपरिवार घेऊन येत. ठराविक ८-१०च. लोंब्यावरचे दाणे खाताना त्यांच्यात खोडकरपणा चाले, पण भांडणं नाहीत. त्यांचं पोट भरेल इतके दाणे खाल्ले की, चिव-चिव करून एक-मेकींना निघायच्या खाणा-खुणा करून उडून जात. पारव्यांसारखा हावरटपणा त्यांच्यात नव्हता याचं मला विशेष वाटे.

My First DragonflyIndia Meet

Love with dragonflies had been an old affair and the DragonflyIndia meet in August 2014 announcement was like rejuvenating those chapters. Personally meeting the experts, who had been helping you to identify your photographs via the virtual world of the Yahoo Groups and Facebook, was an enthralling experience.

DragonFlyRangoliThe Idea of having its very first meet-cum-workshop arose on the facebook group, ‘DragonflyIndia’ which is a part of DiversityIndia, a system of web-portals founded by Vijay Barve.

Dr. R. J. Andrew, Secretary of South Asian Council of Odonatology, graciously agreed to combine the meet with 8th Indian Symposium on Odonatology and Tropical Biodiversity at Hisplop college, Nagpur.The meet was in association with India Biodiversity Portal, which has been working on creating usable faunal databases.

The plan was to have presentations, classroom sessions and the outdoor field trips.

Let me list down the Presentations imprinted in my mind.

Parag Ragnekar introduced us to Field identification of odonates and Practical Taxonomy. The presentation was not just excellent but it was equivalent to sharing his learning over the years, in an hours time, where he presented us the key differences between the species and identification tips. For an Oder it was none less than finding a treasure.

K.A.Subramanian The Father of Odonates presented Taxonomy of Odonates. A gem of a person he is, he selflessly distributed Copies of the Odonata Literature like the Frasers, Odonates  of Mahableshwar, Srilankan Odonates to each and every participants.

Pankaj Koparde’s presentation on Odonate Surveys introduced different methods used in surveys and had important points to add while creating a Species check list, like counting the no of individuals, male/female nos.

P Jegan put forward a very Unique Topic which emphasized  on the ‘Significance of Local dialect / Local names of the Species in popularizing the Science’. His Subject reminded me of Gandhi’s book ‘Nai Talim’ where he emphasizes on the education to be parted in the Mother tongue.

Morning Field Trips around Nagpur  allowed us to soak ourselves in the water of practical oding.To name a few were Violet Stripped Blue Dart, other Pseudagrion, Rhodischnura nursei  mating, Club Tails, Trumpet Tails mating, and many more.

Odonates

Other presentations were of Thomas Vattakaven who familiarized us with India Biodiversity Portal and its importance in data acquisition.

Prosenjit Dawn presented on how to pet a dragonfly larvae. He shared a lot of practical experiences like sampling some fresh water from where the larvae is fetched, food to feed them and so on.

The workshop sessions where Parag Ragnekar familiarized us on how to use the keys mentioned in the Fraser was the most important part of the entire 3 days, which even involved us using microscopes to differentiate the wing patterns. Such sessions have to be given maximum weight age in forthcoming meets.

The nights trails were replaced by “identifying the unidentified Sessions” lead by Parag Ragnekar and David Raju, David  recently launched a book on Odonates of Kerala in the Local Language and who even presented on the Frogs of Peninsular India in the Symposium.Vijay Barve’s journey as a research fellow at FRLHT and a PhD candidate at the University of Kansas, United States was very inspiring. He is one of the two 2014 winners of the €4,000 award, granted annually to graduate students demonstrating research innovation and originality.

Ashish Tiple and  R. J. Andrew played an amazing host and their infinite energies were applaud able.

A special mention is must for the most impressive Symposium presentation by Prosenjit Yadav on “Photography as a tool for conservation”. His portfolio showcased the variety which everyone of us would dream off with Laterite Table Top Plateau’s of Kass Satara, Deserts of Rajasthan to the Snow Leopards of Himalayas. His Night video on the Fox attacking the Herds of the Rajasthan gypsies and photographs of Amur Falcon mass traps from the Nagaland are things that will live forever with me.

Group_Photo