current affairs - 2023-10-22

Butterfly makes a rare call in Himachal


In the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh, the paintbrush swift, a rare butterfly found in the western Himalayas, has been captured on camera and identified for the first time. Approximately 25% of all butterfly species in India are found in this state.

What is the Wild Bhattiyat Project?

  • The Wild Bhattiyat Project is a conservation and research initiative undertaken by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, specifically within the Bhattiyat Forest Range of the Dalhousie Forest Division in Himachal Pradesh, India. 
  • This project is designed to study and document the biodiversity of the region, particularly in the Bhattiyat area.

What is the new species of Butterfly found through the project ?

  • The paintbrush swift is a species of butterfly belonging to the Hesperiidae family. It is extremely rare in the western Himalayan region, which makes its discovery in Himachal Pradesh noteworthy.

What are the characteristics of the Paintbrush swift?

  • Classification and Family: The Paintbrush swift is a member of the Hesperiidae family, which is also referred to as the skippers. The skippers are a family of butterflies distinguished for their swift flying and distinct features.
  • Flight Properties:
    • Usually brown in color, the butterfly’s wings have unique markings.
    • The Paintbrush swift is easily identified by its two distinct spots located in the top forewing cell. The typical name for these spots is “brushstrokes” or “paintbrush strokes,” which is how these spots are commonly referred to.
  • Cell Spots: One important characteristic that sets the forewing cell apart is the existence of two distinct spots. The Paintbrush swift can be distinguished from closely related species thanks to this characteristic.
  • Food Source for Larvae: Bamboo and a few other types of grass are the larval diet of the Paintbrush swift. An key component of the biology and ecology of the species is an understanding of the larval food source.
  • Size:Paintbrush swift butterflies fluctuate in size, but generally speaking, they are within the normal range for butterflies in their family. When measured against certain other butterfly families, skippers are frequently smaller.
  • Habitat and Distribution: It is known that the Paintbrush swift is widespread in areas of central, northeastern, and southern India. In the western Himalayas, particularly Himachal Pradesh, where it was just found and recorded for the first time, it is, nevertheless, thought to be rare.
  • Widespread Family: With numerous species found all throughout the world, the Hesperiidae family, to which the Paintbrush swift belongs, is one of the largest butterfly families.


In general, initiatives like the Wild Bhattiyat Project are essential for advancing the field of biodiversity conservation and study as well as for comprehending and safeguarding the distinctive ecosystems and species present in certain areas.This finding is important from a scientific standpoint as well as emphasizing the necessity of continuing conservation and monitoring initiatives to preserve and comprehend the rich biodiversity of the western Himalayan region.