Blue Mormon Butterfly: Importance and Overview

Blue Mormon Butterfly: Importance and Overview

Question: Maharashtra is the first State in the country to have a State Butterfly namely the Blue Mormon butterfly. Discuss the importance of this move. Also provide an overview of the Blue Mormon butterfly.


• Maharashtra has become the first state in the nation to announce a State Butterfly, the Blue Mormon

• Blue mormon or Papilio polymnestor was assigned as the state butterfly at a State Wildlife Board meeting

• This will go a long way towards conservation of the species and preservation of the biodiversity hotspot

• This is one of the most neglected species and the move to declare this butterfly a state species will impact conservation here positively


• Blue Mormon is a large, swallowtail butterfly found in Sri Lanka and India

• It is mainly restricted to the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, coastal belts and South India

• This butterfly can be seen in the mainland between Vidharbha and Western Ghats region of Maharashtra

• The Blue Mormon is easily identifiable and it has wonderful velvet type black wings dotted with bright blue spots

• It is found in the forested hilltops of Matheran and Mahabaleshwar

• This butterfly is found across the globe in Australasia and the Indomalaya zone

• First description was provided in 1775 by Cramer

• The wing span of the butterfly is around 12 to 14 cm

• The butterfly belongs to the family Papilionidae

• It has black forewings and under side and a yellowish band divided by black veins or strips at the margin

• Hind wings are light blue and the body is black.

• Females of the species are bluish and grey

• Protection Provision: To protect the butterfly, there is an EU regulation on trading with flora and fauna species. This butterfly is also on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and finds mention in CITES/Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

• The Kingdom of this butterfly is animalia while its phylum is anthropoda. It belongs to the Insecta class and the order Lepidoptera. Belonging to the suborder Ditrysia, it belongs to the genus Papilio

Facts and Stats

• Maharashtra has around 225 varieties of butterflies

• It accounts for 15% of the country’s estimated butterfly population

• The Blue Mormon is second largest to size

• It is second only to the Southern Birdwing, among all butterflies
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