ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, October 1, 2023

Upcoming Event

Citizen Poll for State Butterfly of Sikkim




Kindly cast your vote on to choose the STATE BUTTERFLY OF SIKKIM, and share the link with your friends and family so that they can vote, too. YOU CAN VOTE ONLY ONCE.




Butterflies are ambassadors of nature conservation, and they are important biological indicators that reflect the health of our environment. To create awareness about butterflies among the citizens of India and to celebrate our state natural treasures, the butterfly enthusiasts and nature-lovers from all over the country have gathered as a State Butterfly Campaign Consortium to nominate Sikkim State Butterfly. We already have our State Bird, State Animal, State Flower and State Tree, but we still do not have the State Butterfly. Considering the ecological importance, conservation significance, and growing popularity of butterflies among the general public, it is high time we nominated the State Butterfly. In a true democratic manner, we believe that ordinary citizens should drive this effort, which might be a first for Sikkim.




Prominent stalwarts in the field of butterfly biology and conservation across India came together on a single platform to derive the following criteria for selecting the State Butterfly:


1. The butterfly should have cultural, ecological and conservation significance for the nation as well as internationally.
2. The butterfly should be charismatic.
3. The butterfly should have an inherently attractive biological aspect that is engaging to the public.
4. The butterfly should be easily identified, observed and remembered.
5. The species should not have multiple forms.
6. The butterfly caterpillars should not be harmful or a pest.
7. The butterfly should not be too commonplace.
8. Avoid species which are already designated as a State Butterfly.


The Officer / Staff / Individual involved committee for State Butterfly: M.L. Srivastava, ACS-cum-PCCF, Pradeep Kumar, APCCF, D.C. Nepal, CCF-CWLW, N.W. Tamang, CCF/PD, B. Abhay Bhaskar, CF/APD, Merab Basnet, DFO(WP), Chewang Tashi Bhutia, ACF(R&E), Dr. Bharat Pradhan, TA(SBB), Dr. Durga Pradhan, P.S. (HARC), Dr. Bhoj Kumar Acharya, Associate Professor (Deptt. of Zoology, SU), Nosang Muringla Limboo, Usha Lachungpa, Chief Patron, BAMOS-NCS, Sunita Khatiwada, TA, R&E and Nawang G. Bhutia.


Considering the above criteria, the committee headed by the ACS-cum-PCCF, Forest and Environment Department arrived at a final list of about 10 (ten) butterfly species. From these, a scoring system was used in voting by all the Consortium members to shortlist the final two (2) species viz. Blue Duke and Krishna Peacock Butterfly.


Blue Duke Krishna Peacock
blue duke krishna peacock

BLUE DUKE (Bassarona durga): According to the experts consulted, this gorgeous Himalayan butterfly is as iconic and charismatic as the Krishna Peacock. This is another photographers' dream which is rather rare, protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and found mostly in densely forested areas in Sikkim and other parts of Himalaya. Thus it is also a great USP for Eco-tourism in Sikkim, Dzongu, North District being the place where it has been the most photographed.


Among the most beautiful of Indian butterflies it is best seen on mud, and on rotting fruit or other decaying material. Much attention is needed on its as yet unknown life cycle or its larval host plants, which would be vital for its conservation.


This gorgeous butterfly has been photographed by our own Nawangla Bhutia, Matrika Sharma, Sonam Pintso Sherpa Lama, Nosang Limboo, Sonam Wangchuk Lepcha, Karma Tempo, Bharat Karki, Ukila Bhutia and others butterfly photographers.


» Read More at https://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/bassarona-durga


KRISHNA PEACOCK (Papilio krishna): According to the experts consulted, this glamorous Swallowtail ("Gauthali puccharey") Himalayan butterfly is not just an iconic charismatic butterfly of the State. This photographers' dream is rather rare but is most often seen only in Sikkim than any other states in India. Thus it is a great USP for Eco-tourism in Sikkim.


It is among the most beautiful of Indian butterflies and visits flowers and wet mud, and never on rotting fruit or other decaying material. Even its life-cycle is well known as its larval host plants are of the Lemon family (Rutaceae) such as Citrus spp., Zanthoxylum spp., Evodia spp. etc. locally called Jyambir, Timbur, Khanakpa, etc. They are not affected as the butterfly only needs some tender leaves to complete its lifecycle. A great event even for children as well as adults to watch, study and learn .


This has been photographed by our own Nawangla Bhutia, Matrika Sharma, Sonam Pintso Sherpa Lama, Nosang Limboo, Sonam Wangchuk Lepcha, Tenzing W. Bhutia and others.


» Read More at https://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/papilio-krishna

details 1


Blue Duke (Bassarona durga) distribution map for subspecies viz B. durga durga and B. durga splendens

map 1

krishna peacock

Krishna Peacock (Papilio krishna) distribution map for subspecies viz P. krishna krishna and P. krishna manipuri

map 2



Note : The text matter for this e-publication has been taken from the National Butterfly Of India - A Citizen Poll (https://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/national-butterfly-poll) and modified through expert consultation for Sikkim context.


» Click here to Vote  



YOU CAN VOTE ONLY ONCE. Voting is open from 11th April 2022 to 30th April 2022 midnight.