Mumbai gets its own butterfly

Published: 31 October, 2013 09:46 IST | The Guide Team |

The Common Mormon Butterfly has emerged as a winner in a public voting contest run by Bombay Natural History Society and has been given the crown of Mumbai's Butterfly

Mumbai’s concrete jungle is home to 150 butterfly species. In an effort to raise awareness about Mumbai’s butterflies, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) conducted an online poll inviting Mumbaikars to vote for their favorite butterfly.

The Common Mormon. Pic/Sachin Kalbag

And, the winner to be crowned as Mumbai’s Butterfly is the Common Mormon (Papilio polytes). The Tailed Jay butterfly came in a close second in this contest that also received votes from BNHS’ Breakfast with Butterflies walk; conducted at the Conservation Education Centre in Goregaon. The contest was conceptualised by Dr V Shubhalaxmi, Deputy Director, BNHS.

Here are a few cool facts about Common Mormon
>It is a swallowtail butterfly belonging to the family of Papilionidae.

>The males and females have different characteristics in appearance.

>The females mimic two distasteful butterflies such as Common Rose and Crimson Rose. The difference between them is the absence of a red body.

>In its third form, the female mimics the male itself.

>The mimicry helps the butterfly to enjoy the protection of distasteful butterflies who are avoided by bird predators.

>The butterfly prefers to lay eggs on Lemon and Curry leaves plant.

>The caterpillar, in its initial stages, looks like a bird dropping.

Information courtesy BNHS.

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