Butterfly: The presence of Pale Green Awlet (Burara gomata), a nocturnal butterfly, was recorded as the latest addition to the Hesperiidae family of butterflies recently.

An ecologist from Sherubtse College, Tshering Nidup discovered Pale Green Awlet from College of Science and Technology campus on October 7, 2015.

“I thought it was some kind of moth and took the picture since it was beautiful,” Tshering Nidup said. It didn’t occur to Tshering Nidup that he was taking a picture of new record of butterfly.

He later mailed the picture to Research Assistant and lepidopterist Karma Wangdi of Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment in Bumthang thinking it must be of some use to the researcher. Upon receipt of the picture, Karma Wangdi confirmed Pale Green Awlet as a new record to the Hesperiidae family.

“I referred number of books on butterflies of Bhutan, but Pale Green Awlet wasn’t recorded before,” Karma Wangdi said.

With the record of Pale Green Awlet, Bhutan now has 143 skipper butterflies. Pale Green Awlet is found in India in the Western Ghats, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Northeast. It is also found in Myanmar.

Tshering Nidup said five congeneric species were reported in Bhutan earlier.

“This recent new record increases the congeneric species to six taking the total number of butterfly species in Bhutan to 728,” Tshering Nidu said.

According to Karma Wangdi, Pale Green Awlet is similar to Green Awlet (Burara vasutana) and Small Green Awlet (Burara amara) in color. But whitish-grey hind-wing cilia distinguish it from the Green and Green Small Awlets.

Pale Green Awlet has brown and pale yellowish streaks under the forewing. Its under hind-wing is a broad white streak from the base to tip of the wing.

Karma Wangdi said that the easy finding of the species indicates that there are more of Lepidoptera species awaiting discovery in Bhutan.

Tempa Wangdi