Rare Dusted Apollo Butterfly

  • 06 Feb 2024

Dusted Apollo, a rare high-altitude butterfly, was recently spotted and photographed in Himachal Pradesh, marking the first documentation of the species in the region.

Key Points

  • Exceptional Discovery: Flourishing Diversity: The sighting brings joy to butterfly enthusiasts, indicating a thriving diversity of Apollo butterflies in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Date and Location: Sighted and photographed in September 2023 during a trek to Manimahesh Lake in Chamba by forest guards Gajinder Verma and Abinash Thakur.
  • Species Background: Dusted Apollo, discovered in 1890, is known for its distribution range from Ladakh to West Nepal, flying between 3,500 to 4,800 meters in the inner Himalayas.
  • Distinctive Features: Characteristics like the complete discal band on the upper forewing and narrower dark marginal band on the hind wings help identify the Dusted Apollo.
  • Flourishing Diversity Indication: Regal Apollo, another rare species, also photographed at Manimahesh, highlights a positive sign of diverse Apollo butterflies in the region.
  • Commercial Importance: Apollos are commercially valuable, fetching high prices in the poaching industry. Of the 11 Apollo species in Himachal Pradesh, five are declared Scheduled species.