The Beetle bug…

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that’s Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.

I remember this nursery rhyme from my childhood…. but it was not till recently that I actually took notice of them. The ‘Ladybird’ is usually referred to as ‘Beetle‘ by us.. which also brings to mind, either the 60’s car Beetle Volkswagen.. or as children the famous series of ‘Ladybird’ books.. and as a teen the famous “Beatles‘, on whose music we all were humming along… It was only after I shifted into the mountains that I started noticing this little ‘bug’… and then, I suddenly realised that there were more varieties than I had thought till now…

The usual image being that of the red ladybird painted with a few black dots…. seven to be precise.. three on each wing and one central spot… called ‘Coccinella septempuctata’, or the ‘seven spotted’ beetle

Coccinella septempunctata

While ‘Coccinella septempunctata’ may have the distinction of being most common and portrayed Ladybird…. but much to my astonishment another species actually took the distinction of being the most common one…. but it comes in so many colours and designs that one would not associate it as being the same species….  As explained by Dr. Janakiraman Poorani, Harmonia eucharis (Mulsant) – is a highly polymorphic species and it is sometimes difficult to believe such different patterns belong to one species”. And this can indeed be witnessed with the record of Kalatope Sanctuary …..

Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis
Harmonia eucharis

One other species which is very widely found at the altitude of 2000 mts is Epilachna sp…. Apart from one positive id made by Dr. Pooani, I am quite confused about the others… and maybe they too are merely colour and spot variations of the same… unfortunately cannot be confirmed without dissection and is something beyond my capabilities….

Epilachna sp
Epilachna sp
Epilachna ocellata

This year, due to some change in weather conditions (or some other natural phenomenon) I chanced to find a few unusual new varieties which I had not noticed in the Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary, like

Cheilomenes sexmaculata
Adalia tetraspilota
Illeis c.f. confusa
Halyzia sanscrita
Harmonia dimidiata

I am amazed continually by the varied species and the beauty of nature that I have had a chance to observe in the Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary. And I do hope that those who have visited these pages of the records of this sanctuary and have visited there or have the chance to live there get to notice these beauties and appreciate them as I have been able to…..

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT to Dr. Janakiraman Poorani from Project Directorate of Biological Control, Banguluru for her guidance and help in identifying all these Beetles. Her website ‘Coccinellidae of the Indian subcontinent’ is perhaps the only useful Ladybird identification site I have found till now for Indian species of Ladybirds.
 
Ladybird links
http://www.ladybuglady.com/
http://www.scribd.com/doc/37478206/Coccinellidae
http://www.nbaii.res.in/Featured%20insects/Harmonia_eucharis.htm
http://www.dpughphoto.com/beetles.htm
http://www.ento.csiro.au/biology/ladybirds/links.htm
 
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Kalatope Moths – Zygaenidae, Drepanidae & Lasiocampidae

Credits first: Thankful to Dr. Roger Kendrick and Peter Smetacek for leading me to these identifications and helping me to learn about moths, as also to the members of the facebook groups… who through their constant appreciation and ‘likes’ made it a special exercise to present the variety of moths found at Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary…

Please DO report any errors found on these pages through the comment box…

Check-list of Kalatope Moths – Families ‘Zygaenidae, Drepanidae & Lasiocampidae’

FAMILY

SUB-FAMILY

TRIBE

SPECIES

Zygaenidae

Chalcosiinae

Chalcosiini

Campylotes histrionicus – Westwood, 1839

Zygaenidae

Chalcosiinae

Chalcosiini

Chalcosia pectinicornis – Linnaeus, 1758

Zygaenidae

Chalcosiinae

Chalcosiini

Soritia puchella – Kollar, 1844

Zygaenidae

Chalcosiinae

Chalcosiini

Soritia puchella complex – Kollar, 1844

Zygaenidae

Procridinae

Artonini

Artona (=BALATAEA) zebraica – Butler, 1876

Zygaenidae

Procridinae

Artonini

Artona quadrimaculata – Moore, 1879

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

Drepanini

Agnidra discispilaria – Moore, 1868

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

Drepanini

Drepana pallida, Moore, 1879

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

Drepanini

Macrauzata fenestraria, Moore, 1868

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

Drepanini

Macrocilix mysticata – Walker, 1863

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

Oretini

Oreta sp. Walker, 1855 (c.f. O.vatama)

Drepanidae

Thyatirinae

Thyatirini

Thyatira batis, Linnaeus, 1758

Drepanidae

Thyatirinae

 

Habrosyne sp. Hübner, 1821 (c.f. H.indica)

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

 

Auzata sp. Walker, 1863 (c.f. A.semipavonaria)

Drepanidae

Drepaninae

 

Callidrepana patrana – Moore, 1866

 

Lasiocampidae

Lasiocampinae

Pinarini

Lebeda sp – Walker, 1855 (c.f. L. nobilis)

Lasiocampidae

Lasiocampinae

Pinarini

Dendrolimus sp. – Germar, 1812 (c.f. D. cheela)

Lasiocampidae

Lasiocampinae

Pinarini

Kunugia lineata – Moore, 1879

Lasiocampidae

Lasiocampinae

Pinarini

Paralebeda plagifera – Walker, 1855

Lasiocampidae

Lasiocampinae

Trabalini

Trabala vishnou – Lefèbvre, 1827

Kalatope Moths – Family ‘Crambidae’

I am fortunate to be staying in a place where an abundance of flora and fauna is found, added to this, the luck of coming across the helpful community of ‘IndianMoths’ on Facebook, which has helped me understand and identify the Moth species I have come across. The members of this group like Dr. Roger Kendrick, Peter Smatacek, Sachin Gurule, Shubhalaxmi Vaylure… (and the list goes on) have supported my queries and continue guiding me in this field……

Presenting the check-list of the ‘Crambidae’ family of Moths from Kalatope. To see the images in this list, please click on it and the image page will open…

Please DO point out errors or suggestions for these pages in the comments box..

Kalatope Moths – Check-list of the ‘Crambidae’ Family

FAMILY

SUB-FAMILY

TRIBE

SPECIES

Crambidae

Acentropinae

 

Eoophyla sejunctalis, Snellen 1876

Crambidae

Crambinae

Crambini

Crambus sp, Fabricius, 1798

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Bradina diagonalis, Guenee 1854

Crambidae

Pyraustinae

 

Pyrausta sp, Schrank, 1802

Crambidae

Schoeonobiinae

 

Scirpophaga sp. Treitschke 1832

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

c.f. Omiodes analis

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Agathodes ostentalis, Geyer, 1837

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Conogethes punctiferalis, Guenée, 1854

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Cotachena sp. Moore 1885 (c.f. pubescens)

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

 

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Herpetogramma luctuosalis, Bremer, 1864

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Lamprosema commixta, Butler, 1873

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Leucinodes orbonalis, Guenée, 1854

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Maruca vitrata, Fabricius, 1787

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Nomophila noctuella, Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Omiodes sp. – Guenée, 1854

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Polythlipta cerealis Lederer, 1863

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Pygospila tyres, Cramer, 1780

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Spoladea recurvalis, Fabricius, 1775

Crambidae

Spilomelinae

 

Syngamia falsidicalis, Walker, 1859

Crambidae

Scopariinae

 

maybe Scoparia or Eudonia sp

Crambidae

Evergestinae

 

Crocidolomia pavonana – Fabricius, 1794

Crambidae

Acentropiinae

 

Eoophyla sp – Swinhoe, 1900

ssssssss….pring…..

Foraying in the forest has become a regular affair for us, especially now that the spring is here, flowers blooming, trees budding, fungi mushrooming, pleasant breezes, bubbling brooks, what can one ask for except a clear spring day, a little food to quell the pangs of hunger and the sight of woods to ramble around…

During the week.. caught up in between the work and school schedules, it is not possible to really look carefully for the hidden treasures of nature. But, come weekend we run off into the forest, delighting in it’s splendours… peering into bushes, jumping over the fallen trees, studying the various plants and delighting in every new leaf or flower announcing the spring, but wait….. careful….

The last weekend, when we just started out for our walk.. we were surprised to see a reptile snoozing in the sun, not at all budging at our approach… While not exactly squeamish, but my nature skills are definitely confined to watching.. and .. not teasing animals.. especially snakes… Rather early for them to be coming out, I had thought, since the snows have barely melted a week back… but there it lay, in front of me, peacefully snoozing…. a Gloydius himalayanus… or as it is known commonly as the ‘Himalayan pit viper’…

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We have often come across this species during our ramblings in the forest. This year we have sighted it sooner than in the last few years, almost as soon as the snow melted. Generally very shy and will sooner retrace into it’s hiding place rather than attack, however, I have often heard of grass-cutters or loggers being bitten. The bite of the ‘Himalayan pit viper’ is not very poisonous and the local doctors generally give a ‘Tetnus’ injection and put the patient under observation for a few days. But, sometimes it can cause swelling and blackening of the area where bitten, but generally gets better within a week or two. Till today I have not heard of anyone dying of a snake bite around our parts.

While I have not found any official records of ‘Himalayan Pit vipers’ in the Chamba region of Himachal Pradesh, India.. but we have used ‘The Book of Indian Reptiles & Amphibians’ by J.C.Daniel to help us identify it.. as far as the locals are concerned.. all snakes are described as ‘Keeda’.. which would literally mean a worm..

the lost wisdom….

When I started collecting the data about the flowers of Kalatope-Khajjiar Wildlife sanctuary, I found various interesting facts about them. The most amazing were about the medicinal uses of the plants. In fact, most of the plants, I found in the sanctuary, were either used medicinally or were edible.

The two flowers I had written aboutPrinsepia utilis’ and Daphne bholua var. glacialis’ in my last post, also as it turned out, had traditional medicinal uses in Nepal.

The oil from the seed of ‘Prinsepia utilis’, is applied externally as a treatment for rheumatism and muscular pain caused by fatigue and also applied to the forehead and temples in the treatment of coughs and colds. The fruit is also used in Chinese medicine. Reference.

The juice of the roots, of ‘Daphne bholua’, combined with molasses, is used in the treatment of fevers and intestinal problems and a decoction of it’s bark is used to treat fevers. The leaves are also crushed and used for sinusitis.

Amazing….!! But the disturbing fact is that people are leaving this knowledge of their ancestors and relying more and more upon the antibiotic medicine, leading to more complications than cure…..

A beginning….

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Winter, spring, summer, rain…..

all the seasons are in their own ways,

unique, beautiful and so fresh…

just open your eyes once…

and, you’ll never be the same again…

Big or small..

green or black..

there’s a balance,

which even though not seen

is so fine…

that we could never replicate it..

with all our might…

A love for life….

lot of people go through their whole lives never really SEEING… We live in a beautiful world and live in it without ever realising the beauty that surrounds us. Coming to the mountains or going by the seaside… everyone will see the snow-covered peaks.. or the everlasting ocean on the horizon.. for a moment.. and then the moment changes.. just a faint memory lingers like a fragrance in our minds….

STOP…!!

LOOK… at the blade of grass below your feet… but maybe you’re not lucky enough to have a magnifying glass to REALLY see the intricacy of life that exists in it…

I am trying through these pages to bring the nature alive, for all those who visit .. just as it came alive for me…

The pages will grow with time.. and I’ll get better with my photography too.. keep looking….

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