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Butterfly species thought to be extinct found in Madhya Pradesh

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Species of butterfly which was thought to be extinct have been found in Madhya Pradesh

Two entomologists in Madhya Pradesh named Shraddha Khapre and Dr Arjun Shukla have spotted Xerces blue species of butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces) which reportedly went extinct about 80 years ago in 1941. .

Where was the species spotted:

The species of butterfly was spotted near Bargi Dam on October 19, and again, in the Deotal hillock in Jabalpur on December 16. The two spots are around 35 km apart.

Dr. Shukla on the recovery:

While speaking to the new Indian Express Dr. Shukla said, “The butterflies found at both places were collected safely and then preserved. Their specimens were subsequently compared with the pictures of the butterfly specimens preserved at the Florida Museum of Natural History.”

hh extinct The North-Eastern Chronicle

He further added, “The butterflies collected by us were compared with specimens housed in the Florida Museum in terms of the pattern of wings, colour, shape, antenna and their segment, size and other taxonomic key patterns. Meticulous comparison led to our specimens matching with that of the Xerces Blue butterfly in the Florida Museum on all critical parameters.”

Before extinct:

Before its extinction, the Xerces Blue was spotted last in the dunes of the Sunset District of San Francisco. There’s no previous record of the species being found in India. The two researchers said the discovery will add to India’s 1500-plus list of butterfly species.  The Xerces blue is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct due to loss of habitat due to urbanisation.

About Xerces Blue:

The Xerces Blue is a small, brightly colored butterfly characterized by iridescent blue on the upper wing surfaces of males, and pale spots below. Originally described in 1852, it was endemic to, and once locally common, in the coastal sand dunes of the upper San Francisco Peninsula, including sites now within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

butterfly extinct The North-Eastern Chronicle

The butterfly preferred stabilized, sandy sites where its low-growing larval host plant occurred. It was of particular interest to lepidopterists, as populations of the butterfly displayed extensive variation on their wing patterns resulting in several named forms.

Unfortunately, growing urban development resulted in extensive disturbance and loss of habitat. By the early 1940s the Xerces Blue was driven to extinction, becoming one of the first and most well-known butterflies in the United States lost due to human impact. Today, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center is one of only a few U.S. institutions with specimens of the Xerces Blue.

The butterfly’s extinction inspired the foundation of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in 1971, and in a very real sense, ushered in a renewed contemporary emphasis on the conservation of insects and their habitats.



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