Namprikdang butterfly enthusiast discovers new species

Zographetusdzonguensis has been named after Dzongu


Gangtok, 08 Dec:

Sonam Wangchuk Lepcha of Namprikdang, North Sikkim, has discovered a newbutterfly species now named 'Chocolate-bordered Flitter' in 2016 but it was declared a new species by National Centre for Biological Science [NCBS] only in December 2021.

The scientific name of the species is Zographetusdzonguensis, named after the place where it was discovered -Dzongu in North Sikkim.

While talking to media, he informed that he had captured a picture of the butterfly in 2016 and sentit to NCBS. He again came across the same species in 2020 and sent a photo to NCBS.

He was then instructed to learn more about the species which he did with the permission of the Forest department. Finally in Dec 2021, it was declared as a new species by NCBS, and the first article about this new species was published by New Zealand based journal 'Zootaxa' on 01 Dec 2021.

"I am very happy to share the findings of the new species of butterfly and I would like to dedicate this achievement to the people of Sikkim," said Wangchuk.

He also thanked the Sikkim government, his colleagues SonamPintsho Sherpa and NosangLimboo, butterfly experts Dr. KrushnameghKunte, TarunKarmakar and DipendraNathBasu for their support.

“My interest in butterflies started in 2016, and I started sending my photos to National Centre for Biological Science (NCBS) in Bengaluru to identify the variety of species,” saidWangchuk.

So far, 689 species of butterflies have been recorded from Sikkim and amongst them more than 350 species of butterflies were recorded by him from Dzongu. Some of these butterflies have been recorded in Sikkim for the first time.