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Butterfly species thought to be extinct found in Madhya Pradesh

Two entomologists in Madhya Pradesh have spotted Xerces blue species of butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces) which reportedly went extinct about 80 years ago in 1941. 

Published: 13th January 2022 09:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 09:26 AM   |  A+A-

Butterflies, butterfly

Representational image of a butterfly. (File photo | Express)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL:  Two entomologists in Madhya Pradesh have spotted Xerces blue species of butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces) which reportedly went extinct about 80 years ago in 1941. 

Shraddha Khapre and Dr Arjun Shukla of the Government MH College of Home Science & Science for Women, spotted a Xerces blue butterfly near Bargi Dam on October 19, and again, in the Deotal hillock in Jabalpur on December 16. The two spots are around 35 km apart.

“The butterflies found at both places were collected safely and then preserved. Their specimens were subsequently compared with the pictures of the butterfly specimens preserved at the Florida Museum of Natural History,” Dr Shukla told The New Indian Express.

“The butterflies collected by us were compared with specimens housed in Florida Museum in terms of the pattern of wings, colour, shape, antenna and their segment, size and other taxonomic key patterns. Meticulous comparison led to our specimens matching with that of the Xerces Blue butterfly in the Florida Museum on all critical parameters,” Shraddha and Dr Shukla added. 

Before they went extinct, Xerces Blue was spotted last in the dunes of the Sunset District of San Francisco. There’s no previous record of the species being found in India. The two researchers said the discovery will add to India’s 1500-plus list of butterfly species.  The Xerces blue is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct due to loss of habitat due to urbanisation.



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