Two entomologists in Madhya Pradesh have spotted Xerces blue species of butterfly (Glaucopsuche xerces). According to reports, this species of butterfly went extinct about 80 years ago in 1941.
The report adds that Shradhha Khapre and Dr Arjun Shukla from the Government MH College of Home Science & Science for Women came across a Xerces blue butterfly near Bargi Dam on October 19. They spotted it again in the Deotal hillock in Jabalpur on December 16. Both spots have a difference of around 35 km.
Once the butterflies were spotted at both places, they were carefully collected and then preserved. The specimens of the butterflies were then compared with the pictures of the butterfly specimens preserved at the Florida Museum of Natural History,” Dr Shukla told.
“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 the concerned species went extinct, Xerces Blue was spotted last in the dunes of the Sunset District of San Francisco. However, there is no previous record of the species being found in India. This discovery will add to India’s 1500-plus list of butterfly species.
This particular species is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct due to loss of habitat due to the increase in urbanisation.
That’s good news for environmentalist and our ecological system, we get back one extinct species.