Scarce Shot Silverline, Pune , India by A S Bishnoi

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1. Cigaritis elima, the Scarce Shot Silverline, is a species of lycaenid or blue butterfly found in Sri Lanka and India. The species was first described by Frederic Moore in 1877 and is legally protected in India under Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

2. Almost all Indian butterflies are under threat, and some are critically endangered. Large areas, once forest or wasteland, full of wild plants that caterpillars eat, have now been cleared for agriculture, besides their habitat loss the widespread use of insecticide has drastically reduced numbers.

3. We have reared till date around 1000 butterflies(8 species) in our home garden and gave them wings to fly to support the chain of life. On weekends, we trek in the jungle collect caterpillars, host plants(seeds if possible), click butterflies, birds, insects and study them and also bring caterpillars along with host plants at home to rear them. So one fine day my daughter accompanied me for a long trek in the jungle. It was our routine trek and all of a sudden my daughter spotted Silverline. She was hopping here and there and we were waiting for one frame of this butterfly. We started chasing her, wherever she went in the jungle and some paths were inaccessible, still self and daughter followed without disturbing habitat. Finally after waiting for almost two hours, I could manage to click this frame.

4. If all butterflies/insects were to suddenly disappear from the earth, it would not be long before many other living things would vanish too, possible even mankind. Their existence is endangered and their survival is critical and needs to be protected. If one in 10 human can nurture one butterfly, the balance in the ecosystem will reach to self sustaining stage. Just wander, search for the eggs in the vicinity of your house (look for the tiny white/yellow dots), bring them home along with the food plant and give them wings to fly. In-fact we have inspired many of our neighbours and their children. They have started enjoying the life cycle of butterfly and supporting the butterfly rearing as well. The journey still continues

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