COMMON GRASS YELLOW (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     6th July 2024        

Context: For the first time, a large-scale migration of Common Grass Yellow was observed during the three-day butterfly survey which concluded at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) recently.

Common Grass Yellow

  • Distribution: The Common Grass Yellow butterfly, known scientifically as Eurema hecabe, is widely distributed across Asia, North America, Africa, and Australia.
  • Habitat: They prefer flying close to the ground in open grassy or bushy terrains, which is reflected in their common name.
  • Features:

o Coloration: Their wings display vibrant yellow hues ranging from sultry sulfur shades to lush lemon yellows, exhibiting 'seasonal polyphenism' influenced by seasons and location.

o Wing Markings: The forewings feature broad, irregular black outer markings, while the underside displays various black marks with a yellow center.

o Behavior: Often observed in large groups, females typically forage alone for nectar from a wide array of flowering plants.

o Migration: Exhibiting migratory behavior, these butterflies are known to migrate in significant numbers across Africa and much of Asia south of the Himalayas.

  • Conservation Status:

o IUCN Red List: Listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population trend.

o Legal Protection: Not legally protected in India under any schedules of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR)

  • Location: Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, spanning 321 sq. km. at the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • An integral part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, India's first Biosphere Reserve.
  • Border Shared With: Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) to the West, Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) to the North, Nilgiris North Division to the South and East, and Gudalur Forest Division to the South West.