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| Last Updated:12/09/2020

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Winged wonder: Tamil Yeoman declared state butterfly of TN





Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais), a butterfly species endemic to Western Ghats, has been declared the state butterfly of Tamil Nadu. The tawny-coloured creature with a dark brown outer ring is among the 32 butterfly species found in Western Ghats. Also known as Tamil Maravan, which means warrior, these butterflies could be found mainly in hilly areas.



The forest department had formed a technical team to prepare a proposal to suggest a butterfly species which could be declared the state butterfly a few months ago. The team comprised representatives from the forest department as well as butterfly experts and enthusiasts from across the state. After short listing two species - Tamil Yeoman and Tamil Lacewing — a few weeks ago, it finally plumped for the former.



Based on the recommendations of the team, the principal chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden requested the state government to declare Tamil Yeoman as the state butterfly. Following this, a government order was passed in this regard on Friday.



Asked about the reason for its selection as state butterfly, a senior official from the forest department said the name of the butterfly reflects Tamil culture. Besides, it is endemic to Western Ghats and its foot hills as well as moist evergreen forests.



On the other hand, P Mohan Prasath, founder, Act for butterflies, who was also part of the expert team, said that both species were unique in their own ways. “Tamil Lacewing butterfly is very rare and difficult to sight. This is unlike Tamil Yeoman which may be equally rare but can be found in groups in large numbers at a few places.



This may have prompted the government to prefer Tamil Yeoman,” he said. Tamil Nadu has become the fifth state in the country to announce its state butterfly. Maharashtra was the first to declare Blue Mormon as its state butterfly, followed by Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern bird wings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock). While the butterfly becomes the pride of the state after such a declaration, the decision also helps conserve its ecosystem and paves the way for eco-tourism.





Source: The Times of India, 01 July, 2019, Chennai.