The elusive Noble’s Helen (Papilio noblei) butterfly, previously unseen in India and known to be absent from its usual territories stretching from Myanmar to Vietnam, has been discovered in three separate locations in the Namdapha National Park of Arunachal Pradesh by a trio of avid butterfly enthusiasts.
This sighting is being hailed as extremely rare and significant. The butterfly hunters, Atanu Bose, Loren Sonowal, and Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi, made the discovery between September 2019 and September 2021.
The UPSC exam, also known as the Civil Services Exam, tests candidates’ knowledge in various fields, including current events, environment, and biodiversity. The discovery of the Noble’s Helen butterfly in India is a significant development in the field of biodiversity and environmental conservation, and it highlights the importance of preserving natural habitats and ecosystems.
As such, this news article could be considered relevant to candidates preparing for the UPSC exam, especially in the areas of environmental science and current affairs. It is important for candidates to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in these fields to succeed in the exam.
Also Read: Borneo Island UPSC: Let’s have a Look At Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Exam!
Noble’s Helen Butterfly for UPSC Current Affairs
The Noble’s Helen butterfly, which has a distinctive large white spot on its dorsal side and is similar to the Papilio antonio species found in the Philippines, used to be a frequent sight in the montane forests at moderate heights in northern Thailand. It is also known to inhabit areas in Myanmar, as well as the Yunnan and Hubai regions of China, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This swallowtail butterfly species has a wide distribution range, with sightings reported from several countries in Southeast Asia.
Important Facts to know on Noble’s Helen Butterfly for UPSC Preparation 2023
The Noble’s Helen butterfly, scientifically named Papilio noblei, is a swallowtail butterfly with a wingspan ranging between 100-120mm. Its unique identifying feature is an additional white spot on the dorsal side of its forewing. While it was once commonly sighted in northern Thailand, the species is now considered to be rare in its known ranges, which include Myanmar, Yunnan, Hubai (China), Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The Namdapha National Park, located in Arunachal Pradesh on the international border between India and Myanmar, is the largest protected region in the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot. It is situated in the sub-tropical zone, and the park is home to various critically endangered species such as the Hoolock Gibbons and the Namdapha flying squirrel. This national park also boasts of being the only park in the world where four feline species of big cats, namely the tiger, leopard, snow leopard, and clouded leopard, coexist. The park’s flora includes species such as Sapria himalayana, Amentotaxus, Cephalotaxus, Pinus merkusii, and Abies delavayi.
Also Read: OIC UPSC: Here are the Complete Details about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation!
UPSC Current Affairs Notes
Arunachal Pradesh, known as the ‘nature trove’, has been experiencing an increase in the butterfly population of late. This state is renowned for its biodiversity, and a recent discovery has added to its list of species.
The Noble Helen, a swallowtail butterfly, was recently sighted in the state, and this species has not been reported in India before. The butterfly’s distribution range includes countries such as China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The population of this butterfly has been declining in these regions, making its recent sighting in India a noteworthy occurrence.
Butterflies can be found all over the world, except in the cold and barren continent of Antarctica. With a staggering 18,500 species of butterflies, the Nearctic region of North America is home to 775 species, including the tropical, subtropical, arctic, and temperate regions. The neotropical region, which comprises eight biological terrains, has a whopping 7,700 species of butterflies.
The eight biological terrains include South America, the Caribbean Islands, Central America, Yucatan Peninsula, Southern North America, Southern Florida, and Central Florida. The Palearctic region, including Eurasia, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula, hosts 1,575 species of butterflies.
The Afro-tropical region is home to 3,650 species and includes areas such as Madagascar, Iran, the western Indian Ocean, and Pakistan. Australia boasts 4,800 species of butterflies. In India, butterflies can be found in the Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats, and the hilly regions along the India-Myanmar border. These beautiful creatures, considered friends of humanity, are facing extinction mainly due to the loss of their natural habitats.
Also Read: Self-Preparation Strategy for UPSC: How to Start Preparing for IAS?
In conclusion, butterflies are a fascinating and diverse group of insects found in many parts of the world. While they are absent in Antarctica, there are over 18,500 species distributed across different regions, including the Nearctic, Neotropical, Palearctic, Afro-tropical, and Australian regions. In India, butterflies are found in the Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats, and the hills along the India-Myanmar border.
Unfortunately, habitat loss has led to the decline and potential extinction of many butterfly species. It is crucial that we take steps to protect their habitats and ensure their survival for future generations.