Book Review – Butterflies of Bengaluru

Western Ghats, one of the 4 biodiversity hotspots in India, hosts 336+ species of butterflies. Growing awareness towards nature, access to handy digital resources and socializing platforms, has helped in nurturing a substantial army of butterfly enthusiasts, who have  extensively contributed to the various citizen science initiatives towards scientific documentation of butterflies. These initiatives have resulted in the formation of substantial online repositories  in documenting butterflies, their early-stages, larval host plants and nectar plants. Butterflies of India Portal( , India Biodiversity Portal( and  iNaturalist Portal( have systematic documentation of butterflies from Indian subcontinent. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and getting flooded with butterfly photographs on a regular basis to add to this vast knowledge pool. Several authors have taken this opportunity to publish Field guides, Research Papers, Coffee Tables books and even colourful brochures on butterflies with the help of photographs acquired from Butterfly Enthusiasts across the nation.  

“Butterflies of Bengaluru” by Dr Krushamegh Kunte and Nitin Ravikant Achari is possibly the first  illustrated pictorial guide that has done great justice to the winged beauties of the Garden City of Bengaluru. The book consists of 196 pages and documents 179 species of butterflies  recorded from the city and its outskirts. Each species is briefly described with vivid field images and accompanies its habitat, location in the city, larval host plants, seasonal occurrence bar graph and a miniature distribution map.  The book also describes the various butterfly hotspots in and around the city, introduces butterfly families with significant scientific approach and a Systematic Checklist of Butterflies of Bengaluru. The book also touched upon a few Nectar Plants, though not comprehensive.  

One of the key features of this book is the Reverse LHP-butterfly checklist of butterflies of Bengaluru, which can be used by common man to develop a butterfly habitat in their backyard. The book categorically highlights the efforts by the members of Bengaluru Butterfly Club and Karnataka Forest department in spreading awareness to common citizens about butterflies and their importance to nature. Though the book has not deliberated on various other interesting aspects on butterflies like migration, symbiosis, mimicry and early stages, yet it is a substantial work at a very reasonable cost and can help any person to get hooked to the fascinating world of butterflies.

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