A team of researchers from Sikkim University recently rediscovered the Small Woodbrown Butterfly species at Bakhim in Khanchendzonga National Park after 120 years. A study conducted by Sailendra Dewan, Bhoj Kumar Acharya and Sudeep Ghatani of Zoology department of Sikkim University revealed it.
The researchers conducted the study by capturing specimens of the butterfly species along with photographic evidence. The findings of the study have been published in a recent issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The butterfly species was first discovered by a scientist named de Nicéville in 1887.
The Small Woodbrown Butterfly also called Lethe Nicetellais so named because of the presence of brown wings measuring around 50 millimeters which are marked with white spots.
Of the 41 species of Lethethat are found in India, 32 species are reported from Sikkim alone. The species of Lethe are also found in Sunda Islands, Japan and Siberia.
After this important rediscovery, researchers are planning to explore the diversity of butterfly species in other areas of Sikkim namely Teesta and Rangeet valley and adjoining areas in Darjeeling-Kalimpong of West Bengal.