Species richness and diversity of Butterflies in and around Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India
M. K. Arya, Dayakrishna and R. Chaudhary
Species richness and diversity of butterflies were investigated in and around Kumaun University, Nainital and Uttarakhand, India. The study area was represented by sub temperate forest ecosystem and surrounded by a series of hills. A total of 897 individuals of butterflies belonging to 27 species and 8 families of the order Lepidoptera were recorded during the study period. Family Pieridae was the dominant family with 373 individuals representing 8 species and constituted 41.91% of the total individuals of butterflies recorded during the study period. Nymphalidae was the second most dominant family with 6 species, followed by Danaidae (4 species), Papilionidae (3 species), Satyridae, Lycaenidae (2 species each), Acraeidae and Erycinidae (1 species each). Pieris brassciae nepalensis Doubleday (Family: Pieridae) was the most dominant species and constituted 22.96% of the total individuals of butterflies recorded, followed by Aglais cashmirensis Kollar constituting 14.6% and Venessa indica Herbest which constituted 10.03% of the total individuals of butterflies collected. Maximum number of individuals and species of butterflies were recorded during the rainy season followed by summer and winter. Across the study maximum value of Shannon-Wiener diversity index was 2.375 and across the season maximum diversity was 0.987 recorded in the rainy season.