A swarm of yellow butterflies at Peringad, a coastal area in Pavaratty Panchayat, is attracting quite a few enthusiasts.
An expert team of the Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, led by Dr. T.V. Sajeev observed that the butterflies are of the species Eurema Hecabae (popularly known as Manja pappathi).
“The reason for immediate increase in population of the butterflies is the proliferation of two plant species—Sessmania servicea and Cassia mimosoides in the area. The plants have flowered and they provide food for the adult butterflies. Moreover these plants also serve as the host plants for the larval states of the butterfly,” Mr. Sajeev said. The team found more than 26 lakh of eggs and 13 lakh of larvae of the butterflies in the grass on the panchayat ground near the Peringad Coastal Research Centre. Apart from Eurema Hecabae, butterflies such as Common Rose, Blue Tiger, Stripped Tiger, Common crow, Common Castor and Grass Jewel are also found in the area. The experts also observed many mating pairs of butterflies in the area.
The life spans of these butterflies are just a month. The KFRI will conduct further studies to find out whether there are more reasons for the proliferation of the butterflies.