Western Ghats Current Affairs - 2019

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Tamil yeoman: now Tamil Nadu’s State Butterfly

Butterfly species Tamil yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) has been officially declared as state butterfly of Tamil Nadu. The southern State formally notified this by an order on lines of the State Tree (Palm), Bird (Emerald Dove), Flower (Gloriosa) and Animal (Nilgiri Tahr).

About Tamil yeoman

Scientific Name: Cirrochroa thais

It is also known as Tamizh Maravan (which means warrior).

This butterfly species is endemic to Western Ghats. It is among 32 butterfly species found in Western Ghats but mainly in the hilly areas.

Features: Uniformly orange in colour with a dark brown outer ring.

This butterfly species moves in groups in large numbers, but only in a few places.

Why Tamil yeoman?

It was chosen for honour after both Tamil Nadu Forest Department and state conservation groups decided to work together to identify a butterfly species that could be iconic, easily recognisable and easy to spot, and a the same time serve as another symbol of State.

Key Facts

For the 1st time Tamil Nadu has declared its state butterfly. With this it becomes only 5th in country to do so.

Maharashtra was 1st to declare Blue Mormon as its state butterfly, followed by Common peacock in Uttarakhand, Southern bird wings in Karnataka and Malabar banded peacock in Kerala.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityStates

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One of India’s Smallest Orchids discovered in Assam

Lecanorchis taiwaniana (The parasitic bloom), a type of orchid was accidentally discovered in Assam by Assam’s forest officer named Jatindra Sarma . He is also the Member Secretary of State Medicinal Plants Board.

Key Findings:

  • The orchid species is already known in Japan, Taiwan, and Laos. This is the first time it is discovered in India.
  • Its discovery was published in Japanese Journal of Botany with title as “new record for the flora in India”.

Characteristics

  • Lecanorchis taiwaniana is a mycoheterotroph, which means it is one of two known types of parasitic plants which have abandoned photosynthesis. As it derives nutrients and its energy from fungus, it may be of herbal importance.
  • It is a variant of a Japanese orchid.
  • It is India’s one of smallest botanically recorded orchids in terms of size and duration of bloom.

Importance: The discovery of Lecanorchis taiwaniana adds to the orchid wealth of northeast India (NEI). India has about 1,300 species of orchids out of which 800 are found in NEI, about 300 species are found in Western Ghats and 200 in northwestern Himalayas.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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