A failure of the Red Pierrot Talicada nyseus Guérin-Méneville, 1843 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) butterfly to colonize Delhi area

Main Article Content

Rajiv K. Singh Bais


The Red Pierrot Talicada nyseus Guérin-Méneville, 1843 is a butterfly of the semi-arid plains. Its historical distribution range includes Sri Lanka, southern India, northeastern India and Myanmar. It was recently reported from a few places in northern India far away from its known range boundaries in India. Dehradun, Kumaon Himalaya, Delhi and Kalatop are the places from where it has been reported in the recent past. Talicada nyseus nyseus appeared in the Delhi area in 2008, survived and bred for more than a year and then suddenly disappeared in the summer of 2009. The appearance of T.n. nyseus in Dehradun has been linked to the introduction of Kalanchoe ornamental plants in the newly developed residential areas. This paper examines the likely reasons for its disappearance from the Delhi area.

Article Details

Short Communications


Allorge-Boiteau, L. (1996). Madagascar centre de speciation et d’origine du genre Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae). Biogeographie de Madagascar 137–145pp.

Bingham, C.T. (1907). The Fauna of British India: Butterflies - Vol II. Taylor and Francis, London, viii+480pp.

Clapperton, B.K. (1999). Abundance of Wasps and prey consumption of Paper Wasps (Hymenoptera, Vespidae: Polistinae) in Northland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 23(1): 11–19.

Dejean, A., Ce´re´ghino, R., Carpenter, J.M., Corbara, B., He´ rault, B., Rossi V., Leponce, M., Orivel. J., & Bonal, D.(2011) Climate Change Impact on Neotropical Social Wasps. PLoS ONE 6(11): e27004; http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027004

Evans, W.H. (1927).The Identification of Indian Butterflies. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, xi+302pp.

Gadagkar, R. (1991). Chapter 5: Belonogaster, Mischocyttarus, Parapolybia, and Independent-founding Ropalidia, pp. 149–190. In: Ross, K.G. & R.W. Matthews (eds.). The Social Biology of Wasps, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, United States.

Kehimkar, I. (2008). The Book of Indian Butterflies. Oxford University Press, India, xvi+497pp.

Kunte, K. (2000). Butterflies of Peninsular India. Universities Press (India) Ltd, Hyderabad, India, xviii+254pp.

Kunte, K. (2011). Biogeographic origins and habitat use of the butterflies of the Western Ghats, south-western India. In: Priyadarshan, D.R., K.A. Subramanian, M.S. Devy & N.A. Aravind (eds.). Invertebrates in Western Ghats - Diversity and Conservation. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bengaluru.

Larsen, T.B. (1984). The zoogeographical composition and distribution of the Arabian butterflies. Journal of Biogeography 11: 119–158.

Larsen, T.B. (1987). The Butterflies of the Nilgiri Mountains of southern India (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 84: 291–316.

Niceville, L. de. (1890). The Butterflies of India, Burmah and Ceylon. Vol. III, Calcutta Central Press, Calcutta, xii+503pp.

Mahendroo, A. (2013). Talicada nyseus. Global Biodiversity Information Facility Data Portal accessed on 21 June 2013 (ID_parent/000472GBIF472969242)

Monsoon Report (2008). India Meteorological Department, National Climate Centre, Pune. Government of India, 197pp.

Monsoon Report (2009). India Meteorological Department, National Climate Centre, Pune. Government of India, 159pp.

Mott, C.L. (2010). Environmental Constraints to the Geographic Expansion of Plant and Animal Species. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10): 72.

Smetacek, P. (2009). Additions to the butterflies of Delhi. Bionotes 11(1): 15.

Smetacek, P. (2011). Four new lycaenid butterfly records from the Kumaon Himalaya, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(2): 1555–1558; http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2224.1555-8

Singh, A.P. (2005). Initial colonization of Red Pierrot butterfly, Talicada nyseus nyseus Guérin (Lycaenidae) in the lower western Himalayas: An indicator of the changing environment. Current Science 89(1): 41–42.

The Wealth of India, Vol. V, (1959). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, xxv+332pp.

Wahlberg, N. (2006).That Awkward Age for Butterflies: Insights from the Age of the Butterfly Subfamily Nymphalinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Systematic Biology 55(5): 703–714.

Wynter-Blyth, M.A. (1957). Butterflies of the Indian Region. Today & Tomorrow’s Printers and Publishers. New Delhi, xx+523pp.