The featherless birdwing.

It will be absolutely convincing that Gaur is the largest bovine of India, though its glossy black hump only is visible above the bushes… When Dalmatian pelican spread its broad white wings, it is not difficult to believe it as the biggest Indian bird…

But, when you hear about the largest Indian butter fly, obvious ways of mind would lead you to delicateness, softness and tenderness. But, believe, size also should be relative… just as beauty and truth…

Southern bird wing is a westernghats endemic butterfly of the evergreen and mixed deciduous forests of South India. When fly overhead, it astonishes you with the size of an invertebrate. As omnipresent over dry scrub jungles, human courtyards and even on open agriculture fields during and post monsoon months, it resembles one of the beautiful symbols of Indian monsoon. Frequent ground visits of this winged jewel in this season provide plenty of time to observe their beauty. These are the only occasions they leave their top canopy empire behind, to lay eggs on Indian birthwort* or to feed from their favorite nectarine flowers of Bush flame** and Pagoda plants***. During those encounters you will realize that females are the largest among Indian butterflies which are even larger than the smallest Indian bird, the Pale billed flowerpecker. That glittering golden colour in the back ground of lush green vegetation is enough to fascinate you with its size and beauty even though you are not an ardent aurelian. 180 mm of wingspan is ‘huge’ for a butterfly,to make you believe that size also should be relative.

*Indian birthwort – Aristolochea indica, **Bush flame – Ixora coccinea, ***Pagoda plant – Clerodendrum paniculatum.

South Indian Naturalist Tours is very happy to share this element of nature with you so as to aware you about the unnoticed fascinations of South India and the dormant rejoice within them. We will be thankful to you in sharing it with people in your familiarity and to neglect it if you find them unwanted, as well.

We hope to see this beautiful creature during our tours. Please visit ‘Our Packages’ to know about those tours…

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