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Ph: 09633390101
Vol. 9(3)
Sept-Dec. 2011
Executive Committee
Dr. T.N. Vijayakumar
Dr. Muhamed Jafer Palot
Vice President
Mr. Sathyan. N.K
Jt. Secretary
Mr. C.J. Thomas
Mr. Muhamed Rafeek A.P.M.
Dr. Dinesan Cheruvat
Dr. K. Kishorekumar
Mr. K.G.Bimalnath
Mr. V. Syam
Mr. S. Arjun
Mr. T. Ajithkumar
Dr. Vijayanthi
Dr. K. Fousy
Mr. Muralikrishnan. V.P
Dr.Rajesh K.P
O. Jayarajan
Dr. Zeenath
Mr. Abdul Riyaz. K.
Madhuraj. T.V.
Vijesh Vallikunnu
Mr. C. Sashikumar
Editorial Board
Dr. Dinesan Cheruvat
Mr. Babu Kambrath
Dr. K.P. Rajesh
Mr. V.C. Balakrishnan
Mr. Praveen. J
Prof. I.G. Bhaskara Panikker
Nature Education Officer
Dr. K. Kishorekumar
Cover: Orange Owlet
Balakrishnan Valappil
Magic Prints, Calicut
Mr. Balakrishnan Valappil
High literacy has been hailed as an indicator of social development in Kerala since India's
independence. This is true to a certain extent and is reflected in the fields of public health, hygiene and
awareness of social responsibilities like family planning. A direct outcome of high literacy is the
popularity of Malayalam newspapers and periodicals in Kerala. An average Keralite is addicted to the
newspaper, literally. A day in the remotest village in Kerala begins with men sitting in the local tea shop
with a newspaper in hand. It goes without saying that the Malayalam newspaper has tremendous
influence over the Kerala psyche.
As elsewhere in India, issues relating to the conservation of the environment have come up in
Kerala too, from time to time. The proposal to construct a dam across River Kunthi in Silent Valley in
the early 1980s and the resistance to this by some enlightened individuals of the general public – now
this breed is referred to as environmentalists – could be considered as the first instance here that was in
the limelight of the print media. It has been three decades since then, it is interesting to see how the local
press reacts to the environmental issues today.
One good example of how the print media could influence the public sentiment and policy
makers is the highlighting of the sufferings of the people in Kasaragode district who were the victims of
years of aerial spraying of the pesticide endosulphan in the cashew plantations owned by the public
sector Plantation Corporation of Kerala. The press reports and photographs gave great impetus to the
sustained efforts of some committed individuals of the locality and their supporters from different parts
of Kerala. After a prolonged campaign, all the political heavyweights had to jump into the bandwagon
against the pesticide use which forced an adamant bureaucracy to budge and the use of the pesticide was
finally banned in the state.
But, the fourth estate had not been as enthusiastic as this on all the environmental issues.
Even if they were, it has been only at the beginning of the campaigns, soon interest dwindled and the
battle had to be continued by a small group of people indefinitely: we witness this in the case of the
conservation of Chalakudy River. Another problem is that most of the papers with a large circulation in
Kerala have a multitude of local editions and this, in a way, restricts the spread of a particular news item.
In many cases, the stand of the press is not clear and they even contradict. A few examples:
1. The closure of the highway that runs through Bandipur National Park during the night invited heated
opposition from certain quarters in Kerala, especially Wayanad district. Anyone who has driven
through this road at least once will be aware of the presence of wild animals and it needs only basic
reasoning to imagine the impact of heavy traffic on them, even during the day. Defying all logic, the
press was generally supportive of the protest against the closure; at the same time several newspapers
often carried photographs of animals hit by some vehicles and herds of elephants waiting beside the
road to cross over!
2. A public hearing was held at Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary in January 2011 to discuss the proposal of
bringing the adjacent Kottiyur and Thirunelly Reserve Forests under the protected area network. The
officials of the Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department, who initiated the meeting, elected
representatives of the panchayaths, members of the legislative assembly of Kerala, representatives of
the media and members of the general public were present. The people from the Thirunelly area
protested against the proposal citing examples of the human- animal conflicts that already existed there,
and argued that declaring the reserve forest as a sanctuary would aggravate the problem further; they
boycotted the meeting without waiting for any explanation from the Forest Department officials. The
villagers living on the periphery of Kottiyur also had such reservations, but the MLA of the locality
explained to them how it would be helpful to get sufficient funds to mitigate problems like human-
animal conflicts once the reserve forest was declared as a sanctuary. Her talk was very effective and
convinced the people. But, on the following day, all the newspapers carried reports only on the boycott
and there was not a word about the other happenings at the hearing.
These are just two instances of how a biased media can mislead public opinion. The same
story continues on the proposal of culling wild boar population. Newspapers in certain parts of Kannur
district carried reports of villagers being attacked by the wild boar almost every day! Generally, reports
on wildlife attacks are always exaggerated and the forest department officials are pictured as villains.
Far-reaching environmental issues like the proposal of Pathrakadavu project in place of Silent Valley,
the extensive illegal sand mining which has killed River Bharathapuzha, the destruction of mangroves
in various parts of the state, encroachment of the backwater systems – all these momentarily catch the
fancy of the press, but never sustain it.
Naturalists, on their part, should be aware of the part the media can play on several
conservation issues in Kerala. Having a good interaction with the press is very important. Giving the
correct information and cross checking the accuracy of the reporting also will enhance the cause.
C. Sashikumar
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Ph: 09633390101
Vol. 9(3)
Sept-Dec. 2011
Executive Committee
Dr. T.N. Vijayakumar
Dr. Muhamed Jafer Palot
Vice President
Mr. Sathyan. N.K
Jt. Secretary
Mr. C.J. Thomas
Dr. Muhamed Rafeek A.P.M.
Dr. Dinesan Cheruvat
Dr. K. Kishorekumar
Mr. K.G.Bimalnath
Mr. V. Syam
Mr. S. Arjun
Mr. T. Ajithkumar
Dr. Vijayanthi
Dr. K. Fousy
Mr. Muralikrishnan. V.P
Dr.Rajesh K.P
Mr. O. Jayarajan
Dr. Zeenath
Mr. Abdul Riyaz. K.
Mr. Madhuraj. T.V.
Mr. Vijesh Vallikunnu
Mr. C. Sashikumar
Editorial Board
Dr. Dinesan Cheruvat
Mr. Babu Kambrath
Dr. K.P. Rajesh
Mr. V.C. Balakrishnan
Mr. Praveen. J
Prof. I.G. Bhaskara Panikker
Nature Education Officer
Dr. K. Kishorekumar
Cover: Orange Awlet
Balakrishnan Valappil
Magic Prints, Calicut
Mr. Balakrishnan Valappil
Contact Address:
Malabar Natural History Society,
Sushila Mandir,
B.G Road, Nadakkavu P.O.,
Calicut - 673 011, Ph: 09447470439,
Membership details:
Ordinary -Rs.100/-,
Life - Rs. 2000/-,
Institutional - Rs. 250/-,
Student - Rs. 50/- (upto 12th standard)
Conservation for Extraction Part-I
Historical Antecedents of Forest Reservation in Colonial Travancore
Amruth M.
Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Thrissur.
“The instrument, the knife, that carved out the new, rudimentary forest was the razor-sharp interest in the production
of a single commodity….Having come to see the forest as a commodity, scientific forestry set about refashioning it as a
commodity machine. Utilitarian simplification in the forest was an effective way of maximizing wood production in the short
and intermediate term. Ultimately, however, its emphasis on yield and paper profits, its relatively short time horizon, and,
above all, the vast array of consequences it had resolutely bracketed came back to haunt it.”
James C. Scott (1998) Seeing Like a State
In this multi-part paper I shall describe the efforts made from 1850s to 1940s in creating government-‘forest estate’
in Travancore. These efforts were made with the aid of conceptual armoury drawn from the emergent science of Continental
Forestry. I will demonstrate how nature/forests began to be viewed as a resource and how it was utilised in an effort to govern
nature to enhance production and productivity. Here, ideas of ‘improvement’ and ‘progress’ are treated as developmental
reasons. We will proceed by examining key episodes in the introduction of Continental Forestry ideals under the Colonial
conditions. Thrust will be to demonstrate how forestry aimed to ‘conserve’ forests for future production and consumption.
Before embarking on a description of the measures adopted for establishing a government forest estate by means of
reservation of forests, it is necessary to understand the contexts and historical antecedents of these developments.
Historical Antecedents
This section will provide the historical context in which the measures to create forests was introduced in Travancore
towards the last decades of the 19 century. Forests of Travancore were linked to the world system of trade for centuries. But,
there was no systematic scheme envisaged for improvement of forests prior to second half of 19 century.
European and Arabian trade at the South-Western Coast of India from sixteenth to eighteenth centuries were
predominantly in spices and condiments, most of which were procured from the forested inlands. The consistency and
volume of trade in historical accounts suggest that there existed collection and supply networks and merchant guilds
3 th
developed due to trade. By late 17 century, European traders began to exert considerable political influence on the local
rulers with regards to the monopolistic trade rights on pepper and other merchandise. The goods thus collected served as
th th
capital for inland trade also. Towards the end of 17 century and early decades of the 18 century, the trade centres were began
to be dominated by the foreign trading companies. However, their gaze had not fallen on the forestland from where most of the
spices originated to flow to these centres. Gradually, centralised political power was extended to the whole of the territory,
especially following the entry of chartered trading companies of England and France, and it culminating in Colonial
th 4
domination by the end of 18 century.
It was substantiated that after 1792 an important shift took place in terms of sources of the capital that financed the
Colonial activities in Travancore (as elsewhere in the south-western coast). This shift in policy had long-lasting impacts on
shaping the Land Revenue Administration and consequent interventions in the forestlands of newly annexed regions. Land
revenue became important source of financing the Colonial project in comparison to trade surplus. The shift occurred was
coterminous with annexation of Malabar and incorporation of the Princely States of Cochin and Travancore to the territories of
English East India Company.
The two consecutive treaties with the Company, the first in 1795 and the second in 1805, left Travancore with only a
nominal autonomy in adopting the measures or reforms suggested by the paramount power. The provisions of the treaty of
1795 bound Travancore to closely adhere to the ‘advices as the English Government shall occasionally judge it necessary to
offer’ on matters relating to state finances, collection of revenue, administration of justice, extension of commerce,
encouragement of trade, agriculture and industry. Of course, British paramountcy had deemed itself fit to make advices in
most matters. The second treaty of 1805 revised tributes, raising it almost ten times more than that of the previous. The period
that followed the second treaty witnessed the revolt of 1808 in Travancore and subsequently Col. John Munroe assuming the
offices of Dewan and Resident. This situation was especially conducive for British to wield power in all the matters of the
State. The Resident virtually assumed the power of throne on grounds of the fragile political situation in the State. Therefore,
the period of Col. Munroe as British Resident of the State witnessed a radical restructuring of the State’s general
administration in line with that prevailed in British India. Among the successive reformation and reorganisation of the
revenue administration in the Travancore the most crucial one was that of Munroe’s period (1811-15). The characteristic
feature of this reform is a conscious effort for emulating the similar system prevalent in the Madras Presidency.
The revenue administration, therefore, became the most influential and authoritative apparatus of the state. The tributes and
the land revenue became the most important source of income in Travancore as elsewhere. This dependence on the land
revenue meant drawing the State policies towards the land revenue settlements as a measure of intensification of agriculture
based production. Following the transfer of territories to the British Crown in late 1850s extension of the land put to
‘productive’ purposes received a new impetus.
Focus on Timber
It is well known that the affairs of forests were keenly observed and controlled by the British paramountcy as the fine
timbers for various purposes, especially teak for the Royal Navy’s seafaring vessels, had assumed strategic importance in the
domination of maritime trade. The interest of the Travancore government on the forests was mainly to maximize the revenue
for which it was hard-pressed due to the payment of tributes to paramountcy. In early decades of the 19 century, the growing
scarcity of fine timber in the forests, due to indiscriminate felling by private agencies, had already become a concern. As a
result, more attention fell on the affairs of forests, especially on timber. The office of Conservator was among the first three
British offices that were created in the State which in a way indicates the importance given to forests by the colonial power.
During the second decade of 19 century, almost half of the total land area (approximately 8754 sq. km. out of the
16458 sq. km.) of the State was forested, while the area of forests in the metropolitan countries such as Britain was
insignificantly small. Early Colonial interests on the forests were on spices and timber. Among the forest spices, cardamom
was a state monopoly for nearly a century until late 19 century. There were inquiries on the availability of teak timber from the
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forests of the Malabar Coast right from the late 18 century. As early as in the late 18 century a timber depot was opened at
Aleppey during the period of Dewan Raja Kesava Das. A post of Conservator was created in early 1800s to organise
extraction and supply of the timber to the depots in Aleppey to be sold to the British-Indian dockyards for shipbuilding.
Towards 1820s, it was reported that teak at the most accessible parts of the river basins that were leased out to the private
contractors for extraction were exhausted of timber. Subsequently extraction of teak by private contractors was replaced by the
direct operation by government agency under the supervision of a British officer. Initially the offices of the Conservator and
Commercial Agent were held by a single officer. The original purpose of Commercial Agency was sale of Sirkar pepper alone.
Later monopoly commodities such as cardamom, teak timber and other forest produces were also sold by the Commercial
Agent. It also functioned ‘…as a trustworthy medium of supplying all valuable foreign articles of merchandize required for the
use of Palace and State….’ The duties of the Conservator and Commercial Agent were separated in early 1820s. The first
fulltime Conservator was a British, Urban Verres Munro, son of Col.Munro, the British Resident at Travancore. The
conservancy did not mean conservation in its presently used sense. Concern of the office of the conservator was confined to
overseeing the supply and sale of the timber in the timber yard at the Aleppey.
Manpower was limited and the Department was manned by personnel who usually had no prior experience or expertise in
forestry. Major activities of the Department were procuring of timber and hill produce to government Commercial Agent,
levying of river duty on the timber transported, and issuance of regulations and proclamations for controlling hill cultivation
and forest offences. A few proclamations for restricting the extraction of state monopoly produces were issued during the
period. The Conservator’s territories within the State were loosely defined either in terms of occurrences of the royal timber or
in terms of the watch stations it maintained to check unauthorised transportation of timber through rivers.
Apart from the intensification of agriculture based production, there were also attempts of extending area under
plantation crops. For instance, Travancore responded to the demand for land by European planters favourably by fixing
concessional rent and moderate taxes. State also incurred expenses of developing communication networks much necessary
for increasing accessibility to hitherto unopened territories / plantation zones in the hills. These policies favoured the
intentions of European planters who were interested in growing subtropical cash crops in the higher altitudes; gradually
resulting in the large-scale plantations in the High Ranges. In the wake of establishment of coffee plantations in the High
Ranges by J.D. Munro, the then Dewan of Travancore observed:
The Sircar feels satisfied that the country would largely benefit by the introduction of the capital, skill and enterprise
of European gentlemen in utilising tracts of valuable land, which for the most part would otherwise be untouched for
generations. It has accordingly been the anxious desire of the Sircar to afford facilities for planters… (RAT 1862-63: 13).
Extension of plantations meant alteration of forested lands. During the European / Arabian trade, the companies were
never involved in production. Rather they confined to the costal area. Only after the British began to concentrate on the
production, the forestlands came under their surveillance; this was consequential in the alteration of forests.
Domesticating Nature-Usefulness of Knowledge
As mentioned earlier, in the early 19 century, the locus of control on forests was on the produce. This was
operationalised through monopolisation or controlling of the transportation and trade of these forests produces. Gradually the
attention and locus of control had shifted to forestland and its productivity. Timber such as rosewood and anjily were declared
as monopolies along with teak by 1844. Sandalwood and ebony were made so in 1865. Similarly, a score of other forest
produces such as wax, ivory and cardamom were also made state monopolies. There were stringent regulations on capturing
and killing of wild elephants. Further, by 1873 itself two Assistant Conservators of the Department were posted at Malayattoor
and Collacadavoo, as these locations were ‘the principal stations to which the timber felled in the forests… [were] brought and
sent out to various parts.’ Though these aspects of control on timber and hill produces and their procurement and sale were
often taken for the forest conservancy, the organized drive for ‘improvement’ of the forestlands on the basis of Forestry was to
begin only in the post-1860s. This change was coterminous with similar development of the tropical forestry and commercial
plantation agriculture in other parts of the British-India. In 1864, following statement appeared in the Report on the
Administration of Travancore:
…it is the belief of the Sirkar that the management of the forests is yet susceptible of much improvement.
There are parts of forests where there is magnificent timber which ought to be, but which cannot be, brought down;
first because there are no roads, and secondly, because Elephant-power, considered indispensable, is limited. The renovation
of the forests which are being worked, is left entirely to natural processes….It is the intention of the Sirkar to arrange for the
Conservator visiting some of the best worked forests of British India, with a view to see if any particular instruction is to be
gained. (RAT 1864-65: 52)
Need for improving the forests, making the forest work more efficiently and improved timber productivity are well
reflected in the above statement. Travancore attempted to replicate British Indian system of forest administration. Timber
extraction at the direct supervision of the government necessitated establishment of a network of labours, contractors and
traders. Activities such as capture of elephants and their training proved to be an indispensable part of the scheme.
Forests of Mahendragiri which was managed by the Revenue Department were brought under the Conservator in
1882. This act was a response to the indiscriminate felling and consequent directive passed by Madras Presidency. In the pre-
reservation period (i.e. prior to 1890s), such incidents of inclusion of forest tracts to the Forest Department’s jurisdiction were
frequent. Majority of the forest tracts in the State, excepting the land under the supervision of Superintendent of Cardamom
and a small portion in the Southern Travancore, came under the jurisdiction of the Conservator by then.
Another significant development in pre-reservation era was a change in the land revenue policy that occurred around 1883.
New policy emphasised taxing the fertility (productive potential) of land whereas the old one taxed the actual crop produced.
One of the consequences of adopting this criterion was the creation of newer productivity categories of land that belonged to
definite tax-tariff. The land is taxed on these tariff rates even if it was not cultivated. In an address to the land owners of
Travancore, Dewan explained the reason behind this reform as below:
It is true that only a portion of the land yields any return at present, and that the vacant portion even if planted at once,
would take probably 7 or 8 years to come into bearing, but surely the unplanted portion can be and a matter of fact, turned to
account in a hundred ways. The coconut plant does not interfere with the ground being cultivated, with anything the owner
likes to grow. He can and does grow vegetables, plantains, arrowroot, yams and edible roots of all kinds. It can be no hardship
to pay a trifle for land which can be put profitable account in so many ways. It is true that the owner pays little or nothing for
such land now, but that is precisely why he does not care to work, why he is lazy and earns so little, and why his cultivation,
such as it is, is so slovenly. The sooner the cultivators in Travancore are made to see that if they take up land they are bound to
pay for it, the better for them and the country in general. They will become much more useful and active members of the
community than they are. (RAT 1882-83: cxxiii)
This was a manifestation of the State’s aspirations for making its subjects more enterprising in the production of
wealth by making improvements on land. The rationale behind the shift of attention from crops to fertility of land
subsequently influenced the perception on forms of land use also. The changed treatment of forest as ‘land’, as opposed to the
standing crop of timber, also justified the reservation of forests and charting out territories for ‘improvement’ of its ‘value’ with
the aid of specific management inputs. This was a criterion already followed in the British-Indian revenue settlements. But in
Travancore, the shift was coterminous with the shift in forest policy. The Forest Act, which came into effect in 1888, classified
forests in terms of its productive potential of timber. Similarly, choice of plantation sites was also made by considering their
productivity and land value. Therefore, these logics of reforms significantly recast the idea of what forests ought to be. From
this historical background let us return to the forestry discourse under colonial conditions.
The political-economic rationale inherent in forestry discourses were often bundled along with other legitimising
discourses of colonialism and modernisation. In a deeper sense, this logic formed the leading thread of practice. However,
there were crevices between the rationale and practices. This rationality was different from the rationality of other competing
discourses on desiccation and shifting cultivation. This is to argue that, although colonialism is all about control of economy,
the self-justification of it could be achieved only through the Orientalist discourse. Orientalism represented the Occident as
progressed and Orient as yet to be progressed or primitive. Therefore, when the notions of progress and primitive are invoked,
they imply certain notions of altered ways of production for which society should be reordered; only then the economic end is
ensured. In a way, this provided new measures of civility, progress and improvement. To achieve this end, novel mechanisms
and institutions of calculative procedure were introduced.
In the forthcoming section I would sketch the process of realignment of institutions to a more amenable modular form
for enabling ‘legibility’ . This legibility was rendered by practice of Eurocentric/modern knowledge which in turn
simultaneously constituted hybrid forms of knowledge. This knowledge constituted new objects; created diverse new
regulatory strategies; mechanisms, technologies, institutions, policies, language regimes and calculations. This enabled
strategies of control and action from distance and proximity.
Achieving such controls required an appraisal of existing forest governance and finding out its defects for better
conservancy of forests. This requirement was necessitated by the increased demand for wood and timber which had to be met
by intensification of extraction. The idea of sustained yield that was already in circulation demanded the quantification of
available resources over space and time. It was found that what is equally important is phasing and planning of extraction;
where, techniques of Continental Forestry came in handy. However, existence of suitable administrative machinery, legal
provisions and well-demarcated forest territory, which are the prerequisites for introducing Sustained Yield Principles, were
lacking in the State. Moreover, by early 1880s, it was being strongly felt that the forest had much room for improvement,
provided the Department is reconstituted to suit the changed times. Timber prices had escalated so much that the existent
rates of seigniorage were redundant. Besides, valuable forests were being destroyed due to ‘kumari or hill cultivation and by
fires which in the absence of legislation could not have been checked’.
As a consequence, in 1884, a Joint Committee on Administration of Travancore Forests, consisting of senior officers
of forest, revenue and other departments, was constituted to look into the matters of forest administration and report on its
defects. In the joint Report, the Committee expressed their conviction that there existed an urgent need for a revision of the
system of administration of forests in the State. Assistant Conservator, T.F. Bourdillon, was assigned the duty of preparing a
detailed report on the modalities of effecting these changes. The Committee also made proposals for reserving forests and for
making an enactment similar to that of Madras Forest Act. Subsequently, a draft regulation was prepared. Travancore
promulgated the first Forest Regulation in 1888 for ‘want of a comprehensive legislative enactment for the proper protection’
of forests. The Act emulated Madras Forest Act (1882) which was in turn a modified version of Indian Forest Act brought out
in 1878. Indian Forest Act had provisions for forming two kinds of forests the ‘reserved forests’ and ‘protected forests’. In case
of reserved forest, the right to use it was exclusively vested with the government, boundaries of which were clearly demarcated
and others could use it only with government permission. Whereas the protected forests were those Government forests that
were not yet been surveyed and temporarily been open to limited private use. Madras Government declined to implement the
Indian Forest Act of 1878 as the rights of the villagers over the forests were such as to prevent the formation of exclusive State
Reserves. Madras Forest Act also was framed in the same general lines as the Indian Forest Act. However, the procedures
relating to the constitution of reserved forests were made more people-friendly and simple.
The regulation of 1888 was revised and expanded in 1893 with provisions for asserting state rights over the
monopoly forest produces. The regulation of 1888 concerned only about the reservation forests; this was retained in the 1893
regulation more or less fully. The Government was aware of the controversies such bills and regulations created in other
British-Indian Provinces. Finally, the forest regulation was passed in Travancore and it prohibited most of activities that had
been practiced laymen in the forests. The Travancore Forest Regulation was formulated in close compliance with the similar
acts of Madras and British-India. The Forest Rules along with the forest regulation provided a detailed framework for
translating the ideals of the Continental Forestry into practice. The legal framework formed the crucial invention and
contrivance that empowered the foresters to assert the rightness of their specialised knowledge over the “ignorant” by
labelling their practices as criminal.
To suit the operationalisation of the new legal instruments, the Forest Department was completely reorganised by the
turn of 20 century by dividing the territory under its jurisdiction into Divisions and Ranges on the lines of the British Forest
Administration. As in the case of other Acts and policies, in this instance also Travancore replicated British-Indian
administrative courses, of course with a time lag in comparison to Bengal and Madras. The objective of passing forest
regulation was to consolidate all activities to a forest territory that was exclusively owned by the state. This was made possible
by extinguishment of the private rights once and for all; this process was called ‘forest settlement’; where, the word
‘settlement’ stands for settlement of private rights. State owned Forest Estate was a requirement for practicing the Continental
Forestry that was originally constituted as one of the cameral sciences in the 18 and 19 century Germany and France.
The condition that made such reforms necessary is reflected in a retrospective statement made in the year 1930s by
the official historian.
No rules were issued for the guidance of the department; no forest demarcation was done; no survey was carried out;
no fire-protection was attempted; no roads and bridle-paths were opened in the forests; and no rest-houses or camping sheds
were constructed to facilitate inspection. The unsystematic felling and removal of timber was another grave menace to forest
growth. No process of extraction under any working plan was contemplated, while smuggling was rampant, and the
insufficiency and inefficiency of the small illiterate, irresponsible preventive staff employed to combat the evil was all but
notorious. Nor was the complicated, unreliable and unmethodical manner of keeping accounts in the departments calculated to
enhance its prestige. (Iyer 1998: 321)
The need of the time was a departure from this chaos. What is aimed at was institutionalisation and modernisation of
forest governance. In the part-II of this we will examine some key process in the creation of a normalised forest in Travancore.
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Rammohan, K.T. (2006). Tales of Rice: Kuttanad, Southwest India. Thiruvananthapuram: Centre for Development Studies.
RAT (Report on the Administration of Travancore) various years (from 1862 to 1947), Travancore Govt., Trivandrum.
Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism: Western Concepts of the Orient. London: Penguin Books.
Scott, J. C. (1998). Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University
TFM (Travancore Forest Manual) (1917, 1947), Travancore Govt., Trivandrum.
Tharakan, P.K.M. (1999). Development of Colonial Economy In Kerala, (1850-1947). In Cheriyan, P.J. (Ed.), Perspectives on Kerala
History- The Second Millennium (pp. 360-401). Thriuvananthapuram: State Editor, Kerala State Gazetteers.
Varghese, T. C. (1970). Agrarian Change and Economic Consequence: Land Tenures in Kerala, 1850-1960. Bombay: Allied.
Ward,B.S, & Conner,P.E. (1863)[1994]. Geographical and Statistical Memoir of the Survey of the Travancore and Cochin States Executed
under the Superintendence of Lieutenants Ward and Conner from July 1816 to the end of the Year 1820 Vol. I. Reprinted State
Editor, Gazetteers Department, Trivandrum.
1. This is an extract from a forthcoming monograph titled Governing 'Man' and 'Nature' in Colonial Travancore.
2. Maj or i t ems of t r ade i ncl uded: pepper, gi nger, coi r, ci nnamon, s eal i ng wax, cl ove, car damom,
myrobalan,indigo,tamarind, Myrrh, zerumbet, camphor, cubebs, nutmeg, sandal, zedoary etc.
3. Mathew (1999 : 180-221)
4. Roughly in the mid-18 century, one of the Kingdom - Venad - consolidated and extended command over the smaller principalities with the
aid of English East India Company to form Travancore.
5. Tharakan (1999: 360-401)
6. Aitchison (1983) quoted in Rammohan (1996: 13)
7. Enhanced from Rs. 78,000 to more than Rs. 8,00,000 (Varghese 1970, quoted in Chundamannil 1993: 13)
8. Revolt of 1808 was lead by Dewan Velu Thambi Dalawa.
9. Resident was the diplomatic representative of the British Paramaountcy in Princely States. Col. John Munroe was the Resident of the
Travancore from 1810 to 1819. His assuming of the office of the Dewan and Resident simultaneously, was responsible for enabling revenue
10. These reforms had further implications of weakening of the existing upper-caste dominated power structure in State. For a detailed
treatment of the impact of the revolt of 1808, leading to a near total annexation of State by British, and subsequent reforms in the line of
British-India, see Rammohan (1996: 11-17). The structure of the upper caste dominated state administration, including revenue and
justice up to the lower rung at village level, was affected by the reforms.
11. The new modes of land revenue system also had decisive influence on various social and production relations, especially, effecting a shift
towards increasingly monetised economy, among almost all strata of society. (Ludden 1999: 170-72) For instance, during 1867-68, the
revenue from the paddy land in Travancore was Rs. 11,13,006, while the same from garden land Rs. 4,02,804, out of the total revenue Rs.
16,69,316 from land. This means that, the revenue due to paddy amounted to roughly 67 percent of total land revenue. The gross revenue
from all sources were about 52 lacs (RAT 1867-68 : 32).
12. Ludden (1999:159-70 )
13. Mann (2001)
14. The other two were, offices of political resident and the commercial agent (Rammohan 1996: 95).
15. According to Bourdillon, the average acreage of forest per 100 persons in Travancore and United Kingdom was respectively 90 and 6
(Bourdillon 1993: 122).
16. Mann (2001: 9-26). By the end of the 18 century the British in effect replaced the Arabs as buyers of teak timber for their construction of
the sea going vessels (Chundamannil 1993 : 12).
17. Chundamannil (1993. :12)
18. Chundamannil (1993:13)
19. Ward and Conner (1863 : 41)
20. RAT (1874-75: 56)
21. Concessional land rent announced in this regard continued to be the same for both food and cash crops. Declining state income from
conventional trade and restrictions on imports of rice were also been reasons for adopting measures for promoting paddy cultivation
(Rammohan 2006 : 15-22).
22. Augmenting of the revenue flow continued to be the motive behind most of the policies and proclamations announced in Travancore

pale lower mandible. The pale
supercilium was broad, long,
edged dark above and extended
well behind the eye. The dark eye-
stripe also was prominent and
ext ended behi nd t he eye,
alongside the supercilium. The
throat was white and the underpart
was whitish, with buffish breast
Sighting of Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola
and the first photographic record of the species from Kerala
Mujeeb Panchili
Panchili House, Kaithappoil , Thamarassery, Kozhikode, Kerala
pertaining to the utilisation of land, especially those intended to facilitate expansion of food and cash crop cultivation in the forested lands,
th th
even in late 19 and early 20 centuries.
23. Chundamannil (1993 :12-13)
24. RAT (1872-74: 82)
25. See Rammohan (1996: 95-106), According to him, there was a demand explosion for timber in the post 1860s which would have
prompted State to make initiatives for improvement of forests.
26. The British Indian Forest Department establishment had a formal beginning in 1864 with Dietrich Brandis as Inspector General of
Forests (Chundamannil 1993: 20). The first version of Indian Forest Act was brought out in 1865, soon after the institution of the Forest
Department. It was replaced by a more 'sophisticated' Act in 1878.
27. The Cardamom Hills was under the control of Conservator until 1869. It was thereafter transferred to Cardamom Department which
started functioning in 1823. The forests in South Travancore was under the direct control of the Revenue Department (RAT 1872-74: 82) also
see Nair, Chundamannil and Muhammad (1984 : 53).
28. Reforms in the revenue administration that took place in the early 19 century under the zealous initiative of Col. Munroe as the British
Resident involved annexation of the land and property owned by the temples. This brought to focus the land as a source of revenue. The
assessment of tax was based on the actual produce from land. The new system of assessment all lands were classified based on the
productivity classification and determining the possible maximum yield from cultivation of each of these categories of land.
29. See the Address by the Dewan of Travancore to the Leading Landholders, on 24 March 1883 (RAT 1882-83: cvii-cxxv). Such policies
had already been in practice in Madras Presidency. However, for us what is interesting is the change in the general logic in taxation and locus
of control (RAT 1882-83: cxxiii).
30. It may be noted that, in Travancore, the policy of reservation of forests was followed on the basis of the report of the committee on
improvement of forests -1884. However, both these policies were coterminous.
31. See Grove (1994) for a scholarly treatment on colonial Desiccation Discourses.
32. See Said (1978)
33. See Scott (1998) for the specific meaning in which the word 'legibility' is used here.
34. 'Action at a Distance', See Latour (1987) cited in Miller and Rose (1993: 76).
35. RAT (1882-83 : 53). Also see Rammohan (1996: 96-97), where he demonstrated that there was a demand-explosion for timber around
1860s. It is also stated that “The quantity of teak exports from Tiruvitamkur doubled between 1882 and 1892. Between 1860 and 1900, the
value of timber of all kinds exported expanded by more than seven-fold….”
36. RAT (1882-83: 53)
37. RAT (1890-91:113)
38. The Indian Forest Act was passed in 1878; the Madras Forest Act was delayed by four years because of the strong disagreement prevailed
among the cadres of foresters in the Presidency on annexing forests as intended in Indian Forest Act. Majority of the foresters in the Madras
Presidency were sympathetic to the needs of villagers. Resultantly the Madras Act was more liberal than the Indian Forest Act. I have not
ventured a comparison of the provisions of the Acts of Madras and Travancore, but it is glaringly evident that the provisions such as village
forest is lacking in the Travancore Act.
39. TFM (1917: 1-2)
40. As introduction to bill, T.Rajaram Rao provided a detailed introduction for the Act. In the very beginning of the Introduction he stated that
“While the working of Forest laws is causing much heart-burning and complaint in British India, the introduction of a Bill passing a law on
the same subject in this country requires special explanation….”. (TFM 1917: 1)
41. TFM (1917: 13-17)
42. Rajan (1998).

Here, I place on record the sighting of
Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola in a
paddyfield at Thamarassery, Kozhikode district.
Date and time: 29 December 2011, 9am to 10am.
Description: Very much like Blyth's Reed-
Warbler A. dumetorum, but had a rufous tinge on
its back, rump and sides of breast; the bill was
shorter than that of Blyth's and had a dark tip with
Fluttering of Birds in Malayalam Poetry
Rajeswari C
Guest Lecturer, Department of Malayalam, Mercy College, Palakkad
Love of nature is an innate emotional expression of a poet. In his/her creation, many poets have used birds and
animals as symbolic representations of human life. Among all wild creatures, the bird has always been closest to human kind
because flight and song make birds exceptionally noticeable in every sort of environment and can easily be observed and
appreciated. Thus, birds become important poetic imagery in the thoughts and creativity of poets.
While referring to seasons, life and culture, birds have profoundly influenced the minds of Malayalam poets. That might have
been the reason for the presence of birds in various forms in Malayalam poetry throughout history. Malayalam poets tried to
reflect the changing landscape and human nature using birds as symbols. Thus, the fluttering of birds in Malayalam literature,
especially poetry is very deep and pervasive. Apart from narrating the beauty of nature, Malayalam poets took it as the moral
responsibility to protect birds and animals through their writings. They could recognize that the extinction of these flying
creatures may cause the demise of this vibrant earth. This has created the blending of many environmental issues the earth
faces, with poetry.
Unlike the traditional Malayalam poetic style, a new environmental awareness evolved on such issues during the
later stage. In order to provide the beauty of nature in poems, birds are used as backgrounds in different ways. At the same
time the bird has also been used as an instrument to recognize the natural catastrophe. Thus, the birds are considered as a
natural element in poetry for soothsaying the natural disasters.
For all these poets, birds were symbols of freedom. They have served to express views against social injustice and evils from
time to time. In his writing 'Kilippattu', Ezhuthachan has tried to generate a moral sentiment through Bhakthi. Nurturing of
such an emotion was highly demanded during that period. One can find names such as Garuda, Jadayu, Sampathi etc. often in
the ancient epics and literature.Though these birds resemble the species of kites, eagles or vultures, the poets gave them human
The poets adopted birds to be the voice of nature. The versatile faces of nature in poetry such as the passive, roaring
&dreaming states could be depicted by the presence of birds. It could also be used as the symbol of the savage earth. In his
writing 'Oru Vilapam', V C Balakrishna Panicker has used the sounds of Mottled Wood-Owl (kuttichulan) for expressing the
anger of nature. In this example, nature's roar has been symbolized in the way of an epidemic. Hence, these symbols are used
as concrete objects to represent an abstract idea.
In modern Malayalam poetry, different imageries have been evolved to fight against the greed of man. Thus it comes out as an
expression from the heart of poet against the deterioration of the environment.
“ oru kiliyude nilavilikkenthu
Vila ! prakrithyakanakkunokunnu'
Ningalen lokathe enthu chaithu- Sugathakumari]
' Kaatharamakum vilikku maruvili
Etho kilithan vithumball mathram”
and flanks. It had pinkish brown legs
and feet.
Habitat and behavior: I saw the
birds in a damp paddyfield near
Thamarassery around 40 m
above MSL, c.30 km away from
Kozhikode on the Wayanad
route. There were four birds
searching for food, along with
Blyth's Reed-Warbler and White-
rumped Munia Lonchura striata.
These birds could be seen clearly
when they moved around in the
paddy. They usually foraged at the base
of the plants, occasionally perching on the stalks. I could
photograph two individual birds of the species during the
time of observation.
Sashikumar et. al. (2011)
have included this species in the
secondary list ('unverified sight
reports') and mention two
sightings from Kerala. As far as
I know, this is the first sighting
of this species from Kerala,
substantiated by photographs.
Sashi kumar, C. , Pr aveen J. ,
Muhammed Jafer Palot and P O Nameer.
2011. Birds of Kerala – Status and
Distribution. D C Books, Kottayam.
The symbol of birds helps to capture the mind and feelings of any reader. This is a perception from the poets who
deal with nature in their writings. These poets tried to create awareness in the society on the changes in nature brought about
by man himself. In 'Ezhimala' Sachidanadan gives an example for that. The poem gives a picture of nature's disaster caused
by the encroachment of man.
“ Pettennorudivasam
Bootukalkumeethe bootukal vannu
Azhissiyude pukalppattukalkkumeethe
Buldosarukal panjuvannu
Paranarude velicham pootha
Vengayilum churappunnayilum
Kuruvikalude chora therichu veenu”
The plot of the poem narrated the issues that evolved in connection with the establishment of Ezhimala Naval
Academy. Though the poet had always depicted the murmur and music of little sparrows in a romantic mood, the sparrow
seems to be looking at the darkness of danger in this poem.
The poet has constructed imaginary symbols for this. It seems that the usages are made according to the suitability of
“ 'vithum kaikottu' mennengum
Muzhangummattu rappakal
Mavinthoppil ninnu padu-
Ma vishupakshiyengupoy”
[Sankrama sandhyail – P Kunjiraman nair]
By saying thus the poet indicates the loss of nature. The song of 'Vishupakshi' - the migratory Indian Cuckoo is a part
of childhood nostalgia of many Malayalees. The poet has written the whole poem in the same tune of the song of the cuckoo
and the image created by the poet can make any one fly with the bird to its own world. These images create a feeling of oneness
with the bird.
But there are some expressions such as 'pathirakozhi', 'mazhapakshi' etc. which gets a place in poetry, though all of
them are imaginary birds representing some characteristics of humans or nature.
No Malayalam poet ever invoked the beauty of nature into the poem to such an extent like P Kunjiraman Nair. We can
also perceive the devastation of nature in his poems and he strongly advocated the need for conservation of nature through his
writings. .
“ chirichu kaivasathakki
Thoppake chathiyan mazhu
Veedilatha vishupakshi
Etho desantharathilay”
[Poomottinte kani- P Kunjiraman Nair]
“ Nilachu vanmaragalokkeyum vetti
Kudiyirakkapetta vishupakshithan kalaganam”
[Parudesa nashtam – P Kunji raman Nair]
These lines symbolise the homeless birds that are forced to move away from their native place. These poems also
depict the jinx of deteriorating rural villages in the midst of modern industrialised civilisation. The wail of birds, homeless
birds, screams of birds, vanishing birds, voiceless birds etc. are the usages that indicate the destiny of depleting environment in
In his poem 'Bhumikkoru charamgeetham' ONV Kurupu states that the brightness of sweet truth of life in earth at
least once lies on the wings of swan, may be on its silver edges.
The poet also elaborates nature's emotion through classic attribution.
“ nammalkuyirthanna bhumiyopavamam
Thanmakkaleyourthu kezhum 'Jarithayay'
[Sargaka pakshikal - ONV]
The phrase 'kezhum Jarithayay' is a usage of classic imagination and represents a mother's sacrifice and tears for the
survival of her children.
According to Leonard Lutwack, birds are used more frequently in poetry than in any other genre because they can be
incorporated more easily in the minute imagery that makes up the basic stuff of poetry than in the border elements of plot and
character upon which poem and fiction depend.
Heronries of North Kerala - 2011
C. Sashikumar, C. K. Vishnudas, S. Raju, P. A. Vinayan & V.A. Shebin
C. Sashikumar, Sree Nilayam, Pattanur P O, Kannur 670595.
C. K. Vishnudas, Vishnu Nivas, Karimkutty P O, Kalpetta 673121, Wayanad.
S. Raju, Kavil Variam, Kodakara, Thrissur.
P. A. Vinayan, Pandancheri House, Vemom P O, Mananthavady, Wayanad 670645.
V.A. Shebin, Valiyaparambil House, Chiramanangad P.O, Thrissur, Pin-680604.

Communal nesting places of large water birds are known as heronries. Usually, different species breed at the same
place, even on the same trees forming mixed species heronries. Kerala has about 15 species of resident and breeding water
birds nesting in various heronries. Protection of heronries is very important for the conservation and management of these
species, many of which are integral part of our agricultural ecosystem. Documentation of these heronries, information on the
species breeding within our area and knowledge of the current status of our heronries are the first basic steps in the direction of
chalking out a conservation strategy regarding these birds.
S. Subramanya (2005) compiled most of the information available – many of them contributed by different
birdwatchers in Kerala and some from published data – on the heronries of Kerala till that time. In 2006 and 2007, Malabar
Natural History Society (MNHS) organized census of the heronries of the north Kerala districts of Kasaragode, Kannur,
Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad based on the voluntary work of its members and co-operation of the Forests and
Wildlife department, Government of Kerala (Sashikumar & Jayarajan, 2007 and 2008). The survey of 2007 was the most
extensive till then and had recorded 4,930 nests of 10 species of waterbirds in 73 sites in the five districts.
As part of the Malabar Ornithological Survey 2010 – 2011 – a bird survey project sponsored by the Forests and
Wildlife Department, Kerala covering the six north Kerala districts of Kasaragode, Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad,
Malappuram and Palakkad – we conducted a census of the heronries in these districts in July and August 2011.
All the known heronries were listed. An appeal to inform the location of heronries was published in the local
newspapers (this was possible for Kasaragode and Kannur districts only) and the new heronries also were added to the list.
During the census, each heronry was visited and all information on the number of nests of each species, the number of adult
and young birds present, the activity of the birds, details of the location, information of the nest tree, data on the nearby
wetlands etc. were noted in the prescribed data sheet. The history of the heronry, disturbances and threats, if any, also were
noted. Whenever possible, participation of the local birdwatchers and people was ensured and with this interaction, the
problems of the heronry and the problems faced by the local people from the heronry were understood.
Results and Discussion
8,677 nests belonging to 12 species of waterbirds from 102 sites were counted during the survey. The details
regarding the breeding species of each site in the six districts are given in Table 1.
Thus, the depiction of birds in poetry occurs in different ways.
A) To explain the poetic background.
B) Using natural element [here birds] as metaphors.
C) Source or energizer to create feelings and emotions.
D) Narrating natural objects for the sake of narration only.
E) For the sake of emotional expression.
Beyond this classification in the involvement of nature in poetry, the presence of nature and its elements including
birds set a trend in the fulfillment of poetic ecstasy.
The recognition, recapture and defense of problems of nature in modern Malayalam poetry has become the trend
today. Besides, the world of experience of women, and the Dalit aesthetic sense, environmental awareness also gets a vantage
place in recent literature. This we can perceive in a wide range of expressions about nature in the writings of eminent
Malayalam poets like N.V.Krishnavarrier, Sugathakumari, Ayyappa Panicker, Sachidandan, D.Vinayachandran, and K.G.
Sankara Pillai . They stirred up the course of modern Malayalm poetry in its great strength. The poets could really integrate the
beauty of life and the flight of birds. Thus, the waves of their soul and emotions from nature have fluttered across the creative
lines of these poets that have become an inseparable phenomenon in Malayalam poetry.
Distribution of heronries
The highest number of heronries (28) and number of nests (3,917) were recorded in Kannur district. Palakkad had
the same number of heronries, but the total number of nests was only 865. The distribution of heronries in Palakkad was unique
in that all of them were small, scattered and had larger number of nest trees. In Wayanad, there were only three heronries, but
they had 766 nests belonging to nine species. Kozhikode had the least number of species as well as nests; this may be due to
lesser coverage, but interestingly, the results were similar in the earlier census also.
Fig. 1 shows the distribution of heronries in Malabar (number of nests shown in the secondary axis on right). The
maximum number of species breeding in any district was nine and the minimum three.
Location of the heronries
Table 2 shows the percentage of the location types of the 102 heronries. Evidently, more than 93% of the heronries
were situated in Government land; only 7% of the heronry sites were privately owned. This is an interesting situation unique
to Kerala. A major part of the heronries were located on trees on the sides of the roads, including National Highways, State
Highways and interior roads. Several nest trees stood on busy market places, bus stands and such places where lots of people
congregate. The heronries at Kannur, Mahe, Ramanattukara etc. were typical of this type of location. Small towns like

Palayad, Sivapuram etc. of Kannur district also had similar sites. Nest site selection in this type of locations created ire in the
local people and provoked action against the nesting birds.
Table 1. Heronries of Malabar
Median Egret 395 3 9 3 486 8 82 2
Table 2. Location of heronries
Species: interesting patterns
Twelve species of waterbirds nested in the 102 heronries of Malabar. Indian Pond Heron nested in 91 sites with 3,185
nests and was the most widespread and numerous breeder followed by Little Cormorant with 2,955 nests in 68 sites (Fig. 2).
These two species together shared 71% of the total nests in the region (Fig. 3). Rest of the 10 species had a share of 29%. Grey
Heron, Purple Heron, Large Egret and Cattle Egret together had a share of less than 1%; all these species nested in one site each
only and except for Koduvally where Grey Heron nested, the other sites were in Wayanad. Oriental White Ibis nested only at
Panamaram. Little Egret bred in 31 sites and Black-crowned Night Heron and Median Egret in 15 and eight sites respectively.
Indian Shag had 191 nests in six sites in Kasaragode, Kannur and Palakkad districts.
Panamaram heronry in Wayanad was unique as it had three species which bred nowhere else; it had nine species
breeding in all – the highest for any heronry for the whole region. Cattle Egret bred only here and nowhere else in Kerala;
Oriental White Ibis bred here and nowhere else in Malabar.
At Naniyoor heronry in Valapattanam River, Darter, Median Egret and Little Egret were breeding: this is the first
record of these species breeding in the north Kerala districts of Kasaragode, Kannur and Kozhikode. About 50 Asian Open-
bill Storks were seen perched at the heronry in Naniyoor in August, but there was no evidence of their breeding there.
Three nest sites were situated in small uninhabited mangrove islets: two of them in the Valapattanam River at
Keeriyad and Naniyoor and one in Anjarakandy River at Koduvally. Another islet in Mahe River called Naduthuruthi at
Kariyad was inhabited and did not have much natural vegetation. All the three heronries of Wayanad were on the bank of
Kabani River and two of them were entirely on bamboo clumps.
Nest Trees
A total of 399 trees belonging to 34 species (excluding mangrove trees and bamboo) were used by the birds for
nesting. Table 3 has the list of the species of trees and the number of each. Bamboo clumps standing at the riverbank were used
extensively in the heronries at Wayanad and in the three islets, mangrove trees were used as the nesting substratum; these two
types are not included in the list. Rain tree (36.6 %) seemed to be the most preferred nest tree, followed by Mango (6.6 %). At
least 14 species of trees in the list were usually planted as shade trees or avenue trees by the government departments. The birds
must be utilizing whatever trees are locally available, suitable for nest building.
Globally Threatened species
Darter and Oriental White Ibis are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Darter was found to breed at eight sites
with 255 nests. For Darter, 1% of the biogeographic population is 40 and the breeding population of adults in Malabar will
come to 12.75% of the biogeographic population. The heronries of Klari (Kottakkal) and Randathani in Malappuram district
together had 241 nests of this species. Darter seems to be extending its breeding range as indicated by the new breeding
records from Kasaragode and Kannur districts.
Oriental White Ibis was found to breed at Panamaram where 123 nests were counted. Kumarakam is the only other
place where this species breeds in Kerala. At this place, apart from the breeding birds, more than 500 Oriental White Ibis
arrived every evening to roost. 1% of the biogeographic population for this species is 250.
1% of the biogeographic population is one of the criteria for declaring a place as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The
three heronries mentioned above will fulfil this criterion.
Table 3. List of Nest Trees
Major Heronries
There were 21 heronries with more than 100 nests (Table 4). Out of this, four were in Kasaragode, eight in Kannur,
one each in Kozhikode and Palakkad, five in Malappuram and two in Wayanad. Four heronries had more than 400 nests.
Keeriyad heronry in Kannur had the highest number of nests: 1108 nests belonging to five species. Palakkad had only one
heronry with more than 100 nests. As mentioned already, Panamaram with nine species had the most number of species.
Table 4. Major Heronries
14 Kondotty Malappuram 253 4
16 Randathani Malappuram 201 3
The breeding cycle
The breeding of the waterbirds coincides with the onset of the southwest monsoon in Kerala. Early nesters arrive at
the heronries by the third week of May and the breeding continues till the first half of October. In years of good monsoons, like
the one we had in 2011, in many heronries, breeding activities in all stages could be seen throughout the season. It could be that
some pairs take more than one brood or the birds which could not utilize the early breeding season nest later in the season.
More research is needed to get a clear picture over a period of time.
Heronry Census – an overview
Table 5 gives an overview of the heronries of north Kerala over the years. The increase in the number of heronries and
nests indicates better coverage of the census in north Kerala and not the increase in the breeding population of the waterbirds.
By far, the current survey had the maximum coverage in north Kerala compared to the previous two surveys; but several
heronries in Palakkad district have not been counted. Complete coverage of all heronries in Kerala shall give a clear picture of
the breeding population of waterbird species in the state.
As is evident, the majority of the heronries are located in government land. As it happens often, many roadside trees
are cut every year. At many heronries, the local people considers the nesting birds as a nuisance and often drive them away
even before the commencement of the breeding season. This is a serious problem, apart from instances of killing for the pot.
Sashikumar, C and O. Jayarajan (2007) Census of the heronries of north Kerala. Malabar Trogon 5 (1): 2-8.
Sashikumar, C and O. Jayarajan (2008) Census of the heronries of north Kerala – 2007. Malabar Trogon 6 (1):14-19.
Subramanya, S. (2005) Heronries of Kerala. Malabar Trogon 3 (1): 2-15.
We express our since gratitude to the Forests and Wildlife Department, Government of Kerala for initiating the
Malabar Ornithological Survey as part of which the heronry survey was done. P C Rajeevan helped us to conduct the survey at
Kannur and Kasaragode districts, V Syam at Kozhikode district, Dr Seethikoya at Malappuram district and L Namassivayan at
Palakkad district; we are indebted to them. We are grateful to C Sunilkumar of Mathrubhumi daily newspaper, Kannur for his
contribution in gathering information on the locations of heronries.
Nectar Feeding Butterflies in the Canopy of Divi Divi Caesalpinia coaiaria
Rajashree Raju
Kavil Variam, Kodakara Thrissur
Though butterflies feed on a variety of substances, flower nectar is their prime source of food. Besides nectar
butterflies feed on squashed and rotting fruits or other vegetable matter, tree sap, certain rotting animals, minerals from wet
soil and varying combinations of all these. Male butterflies of several species aggregate on sodden earth, dung, mammalian
urine, mud puddles for mineral requirements. Certain butterflies, especially species of Swallowtails, Whites and Yellows,
Blues and some of the Brush-footed butterflies obtain the bulk of their nutritional requirements from flower nectar. A few
Brush-footed butterflies feed on pollen. Diet of adult butterflies is even more varied than their caterpillars. But, very little
information is available on feeding habits and food resources of adult butterflies compared to that of the larvae (Kunte 2000).
This note is on the butterflies feeding nectar from the flowers in the canopy of a Divi Divi plant (Caesalpinia
coriaria). Divi-divi is a leguminous tree or large shrub native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and northern South
America. It grows up to 30 ft tall, often much less. Its shape is very contorted in its native exposed coastal sites. In other
environments it grows into a low dome shape with a clear sub canopy space. Divi-Divi flowers during the warm weather, but
the flowers are not very showy. They are yellow in color.
Use of flower nectar is probably the basic trait in butterflies, and the slender, flexible proboscis of flower-feeding
butterflies is particularly suited to feeding from narrow flower tubes (Barth, 1991). The butterflies do not feed indiscriminately
from any flowers that they might find. There are preferences for nectar with specific chemical composition (Kunte, 2000).
Butterflies differ in their dependency on nectar for somatic maintenance and reproductive potential (Gilbert 1981).
Butterflies, feeding on the canopy of a Divi Divi (Caesalpinia coriaria) tree in a one acre well wooded homestead
situated at Ollur, seven km from Thrissur town, were observed. The canopy of the tree was full of bunches of greenish white
flowers and butterflies were actively feeding nectar. Individual flower is very small with a corolla length 0.6 cm. The height of
the tree was 8m and GBH was 70 cm.
A total of 45 species of butterflies were found during close observation of the canopy in four consecutive days (19 –
22 October 2011). Observations were made from 11.30 - 13.30 hrs (FN) and again from 15.00 - 17.00 hrs (AN). Day 1 and 2
were sunny days and the other two were cloudy. Maximum number of individuals (115) was found on FN of the 2 day.
Butterflies were more active during the sunny days and were less active during the cloudy days. Butterflies were identified
through direct observation with the help of a pair of binoculars. In some cases the species were photographed and identified
with the help of standard field guides such as Kunte (2000) and Kehimkar (2008). Table 1 shows the number of species and
individuals observed during each day.
4 20 52 32 63
All the 45 species were classified according to their families. Six of them were Swallowtails (Papilionidae), eight
belonged to the group of Whites and Yellows (Pieridae), four were Blues (Lycaenidae), 18 were Brush-footed butterflies
(Nymphalidae) and nine were Skippers (Hesperiidae). List of the species and their numbers found on each day is shown in
Table 2.
The numbers given in the table are the number of individuals observed. The actual number of individuals that visited
the tree could be much more because I could observe only one side of the canopy which was visible from the terrace of my
house from where I made the observations.
Certain species of butterflies were actively feeding for whole day time and in all days. There were nine such species: Blue
Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Double Banded Crow, Brown King Crow, Common Crow, Tamil Yeoman, Great Eggfly, Common
Cerulean and Tailed Jay. Majority appeared on the canopy at irregular intervals. Common Lascar, Common Four-ring,
Common Palmfly, Striped Tiger, Common Albatross and One-spot Grass Yellow were observed only once. Some of the
butterflies occasionally visited the flowers of Bauhinia purpurea adjacent to the Divi Divi tree. Most of the Skippers were
active during the evening hours. Chestnut Bob and Suffused Snowflat were observed only during the evening hours. Certain
Blue Tigers in groups (a group of 3-4 and 4-5) and as single were seen resting on the twigs for 5 to 15 minutes after which they
started feeding again. I could also observe mating/courtship flight of 2 -3 pairs of Blue Tigers each day.
Many migratory species were observed among the butterflies in the canopy of Divi Divi . Seventeen out of the 45 species
observed are known to migrate. The list of the species is given below.
1. Blue Tiger (Tirumala limniace)
2. Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis)
3. Striped Tiger (Danaus genutia)
4. Glossy Tiger (Parantica aglea)
5. Double Banded Crow (Euploea Sylvester)
6. Brown King Crow (Euploea klugii)
7. Common Crow (Euploea core)
8. Chocolate Pansy (Junonia (Precis) iphit)
9. Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina)
10. Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae)
11. Crimson Rose (Pachliopta hector)
12. Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe)
13. Mottled Emigrant (Catopsilia pyranthe)
14. Common Emigrant (Catopsilia Pomona)
15. Common Albatross (Appias albina)
16. Brown Awl (Badamia exclamationis)
17. Small Banded Swift (Pelopidas mathias) (known to migrate locally)
Divi Divi tree at the house yard at Ollur normally flowers during October of every year (after the southwest monsoon).
This year it started flowering in the first week of Octobe; only a few butterflies were found feeding at that time. By third week
of October, the canopy was full of flowers and butterflies. Last year (2010) also, there were lots of butterflies in the canopy
during the first week of October and I had counted 27 species of butterflies. List of the species observed in 2010 is given in
Table 3.
Comparison of the data of the two years is not possible as no detailed observation was carried out in 2010. But some
species like Palm Bob, Common Flat, Common Leopard and Pea Blue were absent in 2011.
More observation on such assemblage of various species of butterflies in the canopy of different flowering trees of
our area would be interesting as there are not many studies on butterflies in the canopy (Schulze et al. 2001).
Barth, F G. 1991. Insects and flowers, the biology of a partnership. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
DeVries, P.J. 1988. Stratification of fruit-feeding nymphalid butterflies in a Costa Rican rainforest. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera
26: 98–108.
Gilbert, L. E. 1981. The biology of communities. – In R. I. Vane-Wright & P. R. Ackery (eds.), The Biologyof Butterfl ies, pp. 41–54. −
Academic Press, London.
Isaac Kehimkar, 2008. The Book of Indian Butterflies, BNHS , Bombay
Krushnamekh Kunte, 2000. Butterflies of Peninsular India, University Press, Hyderabad.
Schulze, C.H., Linsenmair, K.E. & Fiedler, K. (2001). Understorey versus canopy – patterns of vertical stratification and diversity among
Lepidoptera in a Bornean rainforest. Plant Ecology 153: 133-152.
Occurrence of the Anaimalai Gecko Hemidactylus anamallensis
Gunther, 1875 from Chembra, Wayanad, Kerala
Vivek Philip Cyriac*, Arjun C.P. and Tijo. K. Joy
Centre for Wildlife Studies, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad, Kerala
The genus Hemidactylus is a widely distributed and the second most specious genus among the geckkonine lizards
of the world (Carranza and Arnold, 2006; Giri, 2008; Giri 2009). It occurs in the old world tropics, the Mediterranean and
also in the tropical America (Smith, 1935; Giri et al. 2009). In India this genus is presently represented by 28 species (Rohini
and Karanat, 2010). Although this genus is one of the most explored groups among Indian geckos, nothing much is known
about their distribution and natural history.
Hemidactylus anamallensis was described by Günther (1875) as Gecko anamallensis based on specimens from
Anaimalai Hills. It was later placed under the genus Hoplodactylus by Boulenger (1885). Later Smith (1933) assigned it to a
new genus called Dravidagecko. Subsequently it was shown that Dravidagecko is a Gekkonine gecko while Hoplodactylus is
a diplodactyline gecko (Underwood, 1954; Kluge 1967). Bauer and Russell (1875) later placed this gecko in the Genus
Hemidactylus based on its digital structure. Recent phylogenetic studies on the Indian Hemidactylus by Rohini and Karanth
(2010) showed that H.anamallensis is basal to all other Hemidactylus and its allocation to this genus was again questioned.
This gecko is known to be present in the hill ranges of Anaimalai, Palni, Tirunelveli and Eravikulam (Smith, 1935; Murthy,
1985; Das 2002).
During a study of the reptiles of Chembra peak of Mepadi forest range, two specimens of Hemidactylus geckos were
observed on the walls of an abandoned building. Both specimens were caught, photographed and all necessary scalation
details and measurements were collected. On examination both the geckos were found to be female; one was gravid with two
eggs. The geckos were then released back in the same locality. The species was later confirmed as Hemidactylus anamallensis.
The species was identified as Hemidactylus anamallensis based on its overall grayish brown colouration, marbled
with dark brown. The tail was thick at the base, cross-barred with dark brown and covered with small scales. Head was
depressed and was covered with small granular scales. Rostral was without median groove, nasal in contact with the rostral
and the first labial. Ventral scales were imbricate and smooth; Mentum was sub-triangular with 2 pairs of post mentals, the first
pair in contact with each other, Subcaudals enlarged and uniform. This species is easily differentiated from all other
Hemidactylus by the presence of undivided scansors on the toes. The measurements and pholidosis of the two specimens are
provided in Table 1.
The geckos were found in an abandoned building at the base of Chembra peak (11˚32'19”N 76˚05'15”) at an elevation
of about 1090m ASL. These geckos are sympatric with H. brookii and Cnemaspis sp. Though some authors consider H.
anamallensis to be widely distributed in the forests of the Western Ghats (Murthy, 1990; Daniel, 1983), their exact locality is
not known and its distribution in the Western Ghats is poorly understood. The present report forms the first record of this
species from Wayanad District, not mentioned by Thomas & Easa 1997, suggesting that the region is still largely unexplored
with regard to the Herpetofauna.
We thank the Kerala Forest Department and their staff for permission. Our special thanks to the Mepadi Forest
Table1: Morphometric Data of Hemidactylus anamallensis from Chembra, Wayanad
Bauer, A.M. & A.P. Russell.1995. The systematic relationship of Dravidagecko anamallensis Günther .1875. Asiatic Herpetological
Research, 6: 30-35
Carranza, S. & Arnold, E.N. 2006. Systematics, biogeography, and evolution of Hemidactylus geckos (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) elucidated
using mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 38, 531–545.
Giri, V. B. & A.M. Bauer. 2008. A new ground-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Maharashtra, with a key to the
Hemidactylus of India. Zootaxa 1700:21–34.
Murthy, T.S.N. 1990. A Field Book of Lizards of India. Records of Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Papers 115: 1-122.
Rohini Bansal and K. Praveen Karanth. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of Hemidactylus geckos (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the Indian
subcontinent reveals a unique Indian radiation and an Indian origin of Asian house geckos, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 57:
Smith, M.A.1935. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma: Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. 2: Sauria. Taylor & Francis,
Thomas, J., J. Sabu & P. S. Easa. 1997. Status and distribution of reptiles in Wyanad, Kerala. Cobra 28: 25-30.
Range Officer, Shri Ranjith for providing all facilities and for supporting us during the study and Dr. Anil Zachariah for
his support and encouragement during field work.
Hemidactylus anamallensis from Chembra, Wayanad; Inset showing undivided lamellae of the left leg
An Updated Checklist of Butterflies of Kerala with their
Malayalam Names
1 2 3 4
Muhamed Jafer Palot , V.C. Balakrishnan , Balakrishnan Valappil & S. Kalesh
Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghat Regional Centre, Calicut- 673 006
Neelambari, Kannapurram Post, Kannur – 670 301
Nest, Padinhattummuril, Malappuram- 676 506
Aswathi, Medical College Post, Thiruvananthapuram- 695 012
Ever since the publication of Keralathile Chithrashalabhangal (Butterflies of Kerala) in Malayalam (Palot et al,
2003) an array of butterfly-watching activities has been undertaken in Kerala. The book had about 150 Malayalam names of
butterflies commonly found in Kerala state. In the present communication we have coined new names for the rest of the
species pertaining to the state. Thus a total of 316 species were provided with Malayalam names (Table.2). The naming process
was initiated at the Butterfly camp conducted at Aralam WLS from 13 – 15 January 2012. The list was also discussed among
other senior butterfly-watchers.
Of the 334 species of butterflies so far known from the Western Ghats (Kunte, 2011), 316 were recorded from the state of
Kerala (Table.1). The family Nymphalidae dominated with 95 species followed by Lycaenidae (93 species), Hesperiidae (78
species), Pieridae (31 species) and 19 species from the family Papilionidae. In the present checklist nomenclature is followed
after Gaonkar (1996) and the English names were adopted from Wynter- Blyth (1957).
Table.1: Family-wise distribution of butterflies in Western Ghats and Kerala Name Malayalam Name Malayalam Name
1 Spot Swordtail, Pathysa nomius (Esper) Pottu Vaalvaalan ]pÅn hmÄhme³
2 Fivebar Swordtail, Pathysa antiphates (Cramer) Varayan Vaalvaalan hcb³ hmÄhme³
3 Common Jay, Graphium doson (C & R Felder) Naattu Kudukka \m«pIpSp¡
4 Tailed Jay, Graphium agamemnon (Linnaeus) Vira vaalan hndhme³
5 Common Bluebottle, Graphium sarpedon (Linnaeus) Neela kudukka \oe¡ pSp¡
6 Common Rose, Pachliopta aristolochiae (Fabricius) Naattu rose \m«ptdmkv
7 Crimson Rose, Pachliopta hector (Linnaeus) Chakkara Shalabham N¡ cie`w
8 Malabar Rose, Pachliopta pandiyana (Moore) Malabar Rose ae_mÀ tdmkv
9 Southern Birdwing, Troides minos (Cramer) Garuda Shalabham KcpUie`w
10 Common Mime, Papilio (Chilasa) clytia, Linnaeus Vazhanapoombatta hg\]q¼mä
11 Malabar Banded Swallowtail, Papilio liomedon (Moore) Pulli vaalan ]pÅnhme³
12 Blue Mormon, Papilio polymnestor (Cramer) Krishna Shalabham IrjvWie`w
Table. 2: A checklist of butterflies of Kerala with their Malayalam names
13 Red Helen, Papilio helenus (Linnaeus) Chuttikaruppan Np«n¡ dp¸³
14 Common Mormon, Papilio polytes (Linnaeus) Naarakakali \mcI¡ mfn
15 Malabar Raven, Papilio dravidarum (Wood-Mason) Malabar Raven ae_mÀ dmh³
16 Lime Butterfly, Papilio demoleus (Linnaeus) Naaraka shalabham \mcIie`w
17 Common Banded Peacock, Papilio crino (Fabricius) Naattu Mayuri \m«pabqcn
18 Malabar Banded Peacock, Papilio buddha (Westwood) Buddha mayoori _p²abqcn
19 Paris Peacock, Papilio paris (Linnaeus) Chutti mayoori Np«nabqcn
20 Indian Cabbage White, Pieris canidia Linnaeus Cabbage shalabham Imt_Pv ie`w
21 Pioneer(Caper White), Anaphaeis aurota Fabricius Kareera velumban Icoc shfp¼³
22 Common Gull, Cepora nerissa Fabricius Naatupaatha \m«p]m¯
23 Lesser Gull, Cepora nadina Lucas Kaattupaatha Im«p]m¯
24 White Orange Tip, Ixias marianne Cramer Venchenchirakan sh¬sN© ndI³
25 Yellow Orange Tip, Ixias pyrene Linnaeus Mannhachenchirakan aª  sN© ndI³
26 Common Jezebel, Delias eucharis Drury Vilasini hnem kn\n
27 Painted Sawtooth, Prioneris sita C Felder Cholavilasini tNmehnem kn\n
28 Plain Puffin, Appias indra Moore Vella Puffin shÅ] ^n³
29 Spot Puffin, Appias lalage (Doubleday) Pulli Puffin ]pÅn  ] ^n³
30 Striped Albatross, Appias libythea Fabricius Varayan albatross hcb³ BÂ_t{Smkv
31 Chocolate Albatross, Appias lyncida Cramer Chocolate albatross tNm¡ vteäv BÂ_t{Smkv
32 Common Albatross, Appias albina Felder Albatross BÂ_t{Smkv
33 Lesser Albatross, Appias wardii (Moore) Pulli albatross ]pÅn  BÂ_t{Smkv
34 Psyche, Leptosia nina Fabricius Pottu vellaatti s]m«pshÅm«n
35 Great Orange-Tip, Hebomoia glaucippe Linnaeus Chengirakan sN© ndI³
36 Small Salmon Arab, Colotis amata Fabricius Chembazhukka shalabham sN¼ gp¡ ie`w
37 Large Salmon Arab, Colotis fausta (Olivier) Vanchembazhukka shalabham h³sN¼ gp¡ ie`w
38 Small Orange-Tip, Colotis etrida Boisduval Cheruchorathunchan sNdptNmc¯p©  ³
39 Plain Orange-Tip, Colotis eucharis Fabricius Chorathunchan  tNmc¯p©  ³
40 Crimson-Tip, Colotis danae (Fabricius) Chenjorathunchan sN t ©  mc¯p©  ³
41 Dark Wanderer, Pareronia ceylanica (C & R Felder) Irulan naadodi Ccpf³ \mtSmSn
42 Common Wanderer, Pareronia valeria (Cramer) Naadodi \mtSmSn
43 Common Emigrant, Catopsilia pomona Fabricius Manha thakaramuthi aª  ¯ I cap¯n
44 Mottled Emigrant, Catopsilia pyranthe Latreille Thakaramuthi XI cap¯n
45 Small Grass Yellow, Eurema brigitta Cramer Cherumanha paappathi Ipª n]m ¸m¯n
46 Spotless Grass Yellow, Eurema laeta Boisduval Dwiroopi manha paappathi Zzncq]n aª ]m ¸m¯n
47 Common Grass Yellow, Eurema hecabe Linnaeus Manha paappathi aª ]m ¸m¯n
48 Three-Spot Grass Yellow, Eurema blanda Boisduval Mupottan Paappathi aps¸m«³  ]m¸m¯n
49 Nilgiri Grass Yellow, Eurema nilgiriensis C & R Felder Nilgiri Paappathi \o eKncn ]m¸m¯n
50 Nilgiri Clouded Yellow, Colias nilgiriensis Felder & Felder Peethambaran ]oXmw_c³
51 Common Beak Libythea lepita (Moore) Chundan shalabham Np­³ie`w
52 Club Beak Libythea myrrha(Godart) Gadha chundan KZNp­³

Subfamily Danainae
53 Glassy Tiger, Parantica aglea (Stoll) Thelineelakaduva sXfn \o e¡  Sph
54 Nilgiri Tiger, Parantica nilgiriensis (Moore) Nilgiri kaduva \o eKncn¡  Sph
55 Dark Blue Tiger, Tirumala septentrionis (Butler) Karineelakaduva Icn \o e¡  Sph
56 Blue Tiger, Tirumala limniace Cramer Neelakaduva \oe¡  Sph
57 Plain Tiger, Danaus chrysippus Linnaeus Erickuthappi Fcn¡ vX¸n
58 Common Or Striped Tiger, Danaus genutia Cramer Varayan kaduva hcb³¡  Sph
59 Common Indian Crow, Euploea core (Cramer) Arali shalabham Acfn ie`w
60 Double-Branded Crow, Euploea sylvester (Fabricius) Paalvalli shalabham ]mÂhÅn ie`w
61 Brown King Crow, Euploea klugii Moore Aal shalabham BÂie`w
62 Malabar Tree Nymph, Idea malabarica Moore Vanadevatha h\tZ hX
63 Tawny Rajah Charaxes bernardus (Fabricius) Chembazhakan sN¼ gI³
64 Black Rajah Charaxes solon (Fabricius) Puliyila shalabham ]pfn bn eie`w
65 Blue Nawab Polyura schreiberi (Godart) Neela nawab \oe \hm_v
66 Common Nawab Polyura athamas (Drury) Nawab \hm_v
67 Anomalous Common Nawab Polyura agraria Swinhoe Pulli nawab ]pÅn  \hm_v
68 Southern Duffer Discophora lepida (Moore) Mulangadan apf ¦m S³
69 Palm King, Amathusia phidippus (Linnaeus) Oalarajan Hmecm P³
70 Whitebar Bushbrown Mycalesis anaxias Hewitson Pulli thavidan ]pÅn Xhn S³
71 Small Longbrand Bushbrown Mycalesis igilia Fruhstorfer Chinna Thavidan Nn¶Xhn S³
72 Long-Brand Bushbrown Mycalesis visala Moore Neeelvarayan thavidan \oÄhcb³ Xhn S³
73 Pale-brand Bushbrown Mycalesis khasia Evans Varayan thavidan hcb³ Xhn S³
74 Redeye Bushbrown Mycalesis adolphei (Guérin-Ménéville) Chengannan thavidan sN¦®³ Xhn S³
75 Red -disc Bushbrown, Mycalesis oculus (Marshall, 1880) Theekannan Xo¡ ®³
76 Gladeye Bushbrown, Mycalesis patnia Moore Poonganni ]q¦®n
77 Tamil Bushbrown Mycalesis subdita Moore Thamil thavidan XanÄ Xhn S³
78 Common Bushbrown Mycalesis perseus (Fabricius) Thavidan Xhn S³
79 Dark Branded Bushbrown Mycalesis mineus (Linnaeus) Irulvarayan thavidan CcqÄhcb³ Xhn S³
80 Common Treebrown Lethe rohria (Fabricius) Malathavidan ae´ hn S³
81 Tamil Treebrown Lethe drypetis (Hewitson) Marathavidan ac´ hn S³
82 Bamboo Treebrown Lethe europa (Fabricius) Mulathavidan apf ´ hn S³
83 Common Threering Ypthima asterope (Klug) Mukanni ap¡ ®n
84 Jewel Fourring Ypthima avanta Moore Rathnanethri cXv\t\{Xn
85 Common Fivering Ypthima baldus (Fabricius) Panchanethri ]©  t\{Xn
86 White Fourring Ypthima ceylonica Hewitson Velli naalkanni shÅn  \m¡ ®n
87 Nilgiri Fourring Ypthima chenui (Guérin-Méneville) Nilgiri Naalkanni \o eKncn \m¡ ®n
88 Common Fourring Ypthima huebneri Kirby Naalkanni \m¡ ®n
89 Palni Fourring, Ypthima ypthimoides Moore Palni Naalkanni ]f\n \m¡ ®n
90 Baby Fivering Ypthima philomela (Linnaeus) Cheru Panchanethri sNdp]©  t\{Xn
91 Tamil Catseye Zipaetis saitis Hewitson Poochakanni ]q¨¡ ®n
92 Nigger Orsotriaena medus (Fabricius) Karuppan Idp¸³
93 Common Evening Brown Melanitis leda (Linnaeus) Kariyila shalabham Icn bneie`w
94 Dark Evening Brown Melanitis phedima (Cramer) Irulan kariyila shalabham Ccpf³ Icn bneie`w
95 Great Evening Brown Melanitis zitenius (Herbst) Vankariyila shalabham h³Icn bneie w
96 Travancore Evening Brown Parantirrhoea marshalli
Wood-Mason Eetta shalabham Cuä ie`w
97 Common Palmfly Elymnias hypermnestra (Linnaeus) Oalakandan Hme¡  WvS³
98 Cruiser Vindula erota Fabricius Cruiser/Suvarnashalbham kph˨ie`w
99 Tamil Yeoman Cirrochroa thais (Fabricius) Marotti shalabham atcm«nie`w
100 Rustic Cupha erymanthis (Drury) Vazhangathan hb ¦ X³
101 Small Leopard Phalanta alcippe Stoll Cherupulithayyan sNdp]pen s¯ ¿³
102 Leopard Phalanta phalantha Drury Pulithayyan ]pen s¯ ¿³
103 Indian Fritillary Argynnis hyperbius Linnaeus Girishrengan Kncn{iywK³
104 Tamil Lacewing Cethosia nietneri Felder & Felder Lace shalabham sebvkv ie`w
105 Tawny Coster Acraea terpsicore (Linnaeus) Theechirakan Xo¨n dI³
Subfamily Limenitidinae
106 Commander Limenitis procris (Cramer) Vellilathozhi shÅn et¯mgn
107 Common Sergeant Athyma perius (Linnaeus) Sergeant kÀPâv
108 Blackvein Sergeant Athyma ranga Moore Ottavarayan sergeant Hä hcb³ kÀPâv
109 Staff Sergeant, Athyma selenophora (Kollar) Chuvappuvarayan sergeant Nph¸vhcb³ kÀPâv
110 Colour Sergeant, Athyma nefte (Cramer) Colour sergeant IfÀ kÀPâv
111 Common Lascar Pantoporia hordonia (Stoll) Narivarayan \cn hcb³
112 Extra Lascar Pantoporia sandaka (Butler) Pulivarayan ]penhcb³
113 Common Sailer Neptis hylas Linnaeus Pontha chuttan s]m´ ¨pä³
114 Shortbanded Sailer Neptis columella Moore Cherupulli Ponthachuttan sNdp]pÅn  s]m´ ¨pä³
115 Chestnut-Streaked Sailer Neptis jumbah Moore Iruvarayan Ponthachuttan Ccphcb³ s]m´ ¨pä³
116 Yellowjack Sailer Neptis viraja Evans Mannha ponthachuttan aª s]m´ ¨pä³
117 Sullied Sailer Neptis soma Eliot Chola ponthachuttan tNme s]m´ ¨pä³
118 Clear Sailer Neptis nata Moore Ilam ponthachuttan CÃwt]m´¨pä³
119 Southern Sullied Sailer Neptis clinia Moore Theckan Chola ponthachuttan sX¡ ³ tNme s]m´ ¨pä³
120 Clipper Parthenos sylvia (Cramer ) Clipper ¢n¸À
121 Common Baron Euthalia aconthea (Cramer) Kanithozhan I\n t¯m g³
122 Gaudy Baron Euthalia lubentina (Cramer) Kanivarnnan I\nhÀ W³
123 Baronet Euthalia nais (Forster) Agnivarnnan AánhÀW³
124 Blue Baron Euthalia telchinia (Ménétriés) Neela kanithozhan \oe I\n t¯m g³
125 Grey Count Tanaecia lepidea (Butler) Pezhalan t]gm f³
126 Redspot Duke Dophla evelina (Stoll) Kanirajan I\ncm P³
127 Common Map Cyrestis thyodamas Boisduval, Bhoopada shalabham `q]S ie`w
128 Angled Castor Ariadne ariadne Linnaeus Chithrakan Nn{XI³
129 Common Castor Ariadne merione(Cramer) Aavanachoppan BhWt¨m ¸³
130 Joker Byblia ilithyia (Drury) Joker tPm¡ À
131 Black Prince Rohana parisatis (Westwood) Karairajan IcncmP³
132 Painted Courtesan Euripus consimilis (Westwood) Chithrangadan Nn{XmwKZ³
133 Indian Red Admiral Vanessa indica (Herbst) Cholarajan tNmecm P³
134 Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus) Chithritha Nn{XnX
135 Blue Admiral Kaniska canace (Linnaeus) Neelarajan \oecm P³
136 Gray Pansy Junonia atlites (Linnaeus) Vayalkotha hbÂt¡ mX
137 Peacock Pansy Junonia (Precis) almana (Linnaeus) Mayilkanni abn¡ ®n
138 Yellow Pansy Junonia (Precis) hierta (Fabricius) Peethaneeli ]oX\oen
139 Chocolate Pansy, Junonia (Precis) iphita (Cramer) Chocolate shalabham tNm¡ vteäv ie`w
140 Lemon Pansy Junonia (Precis) lemonias (Linnaeus) Pullikurumban ]pÅn ¡ pdp¼³
141 Blue Pansy Junonia orithya (Linnaeus) Nila neeli \ne\oen
142 Great Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina (Linnaeus) Vanchottashalabham h³sNm «ie`w
143 Danaid Eggfly Hypolimnas misippus (Linnaeus) Chottashalabham sNm«ie`w
144 South Indian Blue Oakleaf Kallima horsfieldi Kollar Okkila shalabham Hm¡ n e ie`w
145 Autumnleaf Doleschallia bisaltide malabarica (Cramer) Suvarna Okkilashalabham kphÀ® Hm¡ n e ie`w
Family: Lycaenidae
146 Plum Judy, Abisara echerius (Moore) Aattackari B«¡ m cn
147 Apefly Spalgis epius (Westwood) Markkada shalabham aÀ¡ Sie`w
148 Red Pierrot Talicada nyseus Guérin Chenkomali sNt¦m amfn
149 Common Pierrot Castalius rosimon Fabricius Naattukomali \m«ptIm amfn
150 Dark Pierrot Castalius ananda de Nicéville Irulan komali Ccpf³ tImamfn
151 Angled Pierrot Caleta caleta Hewitson Varayan komali hcb³ tImamfn
152 Banded Blue Pierrot Discolampa ethion Westwood Neelavarayan komali \oehcb³ tImamfn
153 Zebra Blue Syntarucus plinius (Fabricius) Zebra neeli ko{_\oen
154 Bright Babul Blue Azanus ubaldus Cramer Karivelaneeli Icnthe\oen
155 Dull Babul Blue Azanus uranus Butler Irulan karivelaneeli a§ nb Icnthe\oen
156 African Babul Blue Azanus jesous Guérin-Meneville Kaappiri karivelaneeli Im¸ncn Icnthe\oen
157 Quaker Neopithecops zalmora Butler Paanalunni ]mWep®n
158 Malayan Megisba malaya (Horsfield) Malayan aeb³
159 Plain Hedge Blue Celastrina lavendularis (Moore) Velineeli then \oen
160 Common Hedge Blue Acytolepis puspa (Horsfield) Naattu velineeli \m«pthen \oen
161 Hampson’s Hedge Blue Acytolepis lilacea (Hampson) Kaattuvelineeli Im«pthen \oen
162 White Hedge Blue Akasinula akasa (Horsfield) Velli velineeli shÅn \oen
163 Whitedisc Hedge Blue Cyaniris albidisca Moore Irulan velineeli Ccpf³ then \oen
164 Lime Blue Chilades laius (Cramer) Naarakaneeli \mcI\oen
165 Indian Cupid Chilades parrhasius (Fabricius) Manimaaran aWnamc³
166 Small Cupid Chilades contracta (Butler) Cherumaaran sNdqamc³
167 Dark Grass Blue Zizeeria lysimon (Hübner) Irulan pulneeli Ccqf³ ]pÂ\oen
168 Lesser Grass Blue Zizeeria otis (Fabricius) Cherupulneeli sNdp]pÂ\oen
169 Pale Grass Blue Pseudozizeeria maha (Kollar) Pulneeli ]pÂ\oen
170 Tiny Grass Blue Zizula gaika (Trimen) Chinna pulneeli Nn ]pÂ\oen
171 Grass Jewel Freyeria trochylus (Freyer) Rathnaneeli cXv\\oen
172 Gram Blue Euchrysops cnejus (Fabricius) Payar neeli ]bÀ\oen
173 Plains Cupid Edales pandava (Horsfield) Naattumaaran \m«pamc³
174 Ciliate Blue Anthene emolus (Godart) Kokilan tImIne³
175 Pointed Ciliate Blue Anthene lycaenina (C Felder) Vanakokilan h\tImIne³
176 Forget-me-not Catochrysops strabo (Fabricius) Neelakan \oeI³
177 Silver Forget-me-not Catochrysops panormus (C Felder) Venneelakan sh¬\oeI³
178 Peablue Lampides boeticus (Linnaeus) Pattani neeli ]«m Wn \oen
179 Dark Cerulean Jamides bochus Stoll Karimbottu vaalaatti Icn s¼m«p hmem«n
180 Common Cerulean Jamides celeno (Cramer) Pottu vaalatti s]m«phm em«n
181 Metallic Cerulean Jamides alecto (Felder) Kaattu pottuvaalaatti Im«p s]m«phm em«n
182 Large Four-line Blue Nacaduba pactolus (Felder) Van chathur varayanneeli h³ NXpÀhcb³\oen
183 Pale Four-line Blue Nacaduba hermus (Felder) Chathur varayanneeli NXpÀhcb³\oen
184 Pointed Lineblue Nacaduba helicon Felder Muna varayanneeli ap\ hcb³\oen
185 Transparent Six-line Blue Nacaduba kurava (Moore) Thelivarayan neeli sXfn hcb³\oen
186 Opaque Six-line Blue Nacaduba beroe (Felder & Felder) Varayanneeli hcb³\oen
187 Rounded Six-line Blue Nacaduba berenice
(Herrich-Schäffer) Mothira Varayanneeli tamXnc hcb³\oen
188 Common Lineblue Prosotas nora (Felder) naattu varayan neeli \m«p hcb³\oen
189 Tailless Lineblue Prosotas dubiosa (Semper) VaalillaVarayanneeli hmenà hcb³\oen
190 White-tipped Lineblue Prosotas noreia (Felder) Velli varayanneeli shÅnhcb³\oen
191 Dingy Lineblue Petrelea dana (De Nicéville) Irul varayan neeli CcpÄ hcb³\oen
192 Indian Sunbeam Curetis thetis (Drury) Suryashalabham kqcyie`w
193 Shiva’s Sunbeam Curetis siva Evans Shiva suryashalabham inh kqcyie`w
194 Toothed Sunbeam Curetis dentata Moore Muna suryashalabham ap\ kqcyie`w
195 Silverstreak Blue Iraota timoleon Stoll Rajathaneeli cPX\oen
196 Leaf Blue Horsfieldia anita Moore Ilaneeli Ce\oen
197 Many-tailed Oak-Blue Thaduka multicaudata Moore Thalirneeli XfnÀ\oen
198 Large Oakblue Arhopala amantes (Hewitson) Van Thalirneeli h³XfnÀ\oen
199 Aberrant Oakblue Arhopala abseus (Hewitson) Apoorva Thalirneeli A]qÀh XfnÀ\oen
200 Dark Broken-Band Oakblue Arhopala atrax (Hewitson) Murivarayan Thalirneeli apdnhcb³ XfnÀ\oen
201 Centaur Oakblue Nilasera centaurus (Fabricius) Yavana Thalirneeli bh\ XfnÀ\oen
202 Rosy Oakblue Panchala alea (Hewitson) Rosy thalirneeli tdmkn XfnÀ\oen
203 Tamil Oakblue Narathura bazaloides (Hewitson) Thamil thalirneeli XanÄ XfnÀ\oen
204 Common Acacia Blue Surendra quercetorum (Moore) Acacia neeli At¡  jy\oen
205 Silver Streaked Acacia Blue Zinaspa todara (Moore) Velli acacia neeli shÅn At¡ jy\oen
206 Yamfly Loxura atymnus (Cramer) Kunhivaalan Ipª nhm e³
207 Common Silverline Spindasis vulcanus (Fabricius) Vellivarayan shÅn hcb³
208 Long-banded Silverline Spindasis lohita (Horsfield) Neel vellivarayan \oÄshÅnhcb³
209 Plumbeous Silverline Aphnaeus schistacea Moore Chera vellivarayan tNcm shÅnhcb³
210 Abnormal Silverline Aphnaeus abnormis Moore Komali vellivarayan tImamfn shÅnhcb³
211 Common Shot Silverline Aphnaeus ictis Hewitson Chemban vellivarayan sN¼ ³ shÅn hcb³
212 Scarce Shot Silverline Aphnaeus elima Moore Neelachemban vellivarayan \oesN¼ ³ shÅn hcb³
213 Lilac Silverline Aphnaeus lilacinus Moore Lilac vellivarayan sseemIv shÅnhcb³
214 Redspot Zesius chrysomallus Hübner Chonan shalabham tNmW³ ie`w
215 White Royal Pratapa deva (Moore) Shwethambari tizXmw_cn
216 Silver Royal Ancema blanka (De Nicéville) Rajathambari cPXmw_cn
217 Broadtail Royal Creon cleobis (Godart) Vaalan Neelambhari hme³ \oemw_cn
218 Plains Blue Royal Tajuria jehana Moore Samathala Neelambhari kaXe \oemw_cn
219 Peacock Royal Tajuria cippus (Fabricius) Neeeambhari \oemw_cn
220 Spotted Royal Tajuria maculata Hewitson Pottuvellambhari s]m«pshÅmw_cn
221 Branded Royal Ops melastigma (De Nicéville) Varayan Neelambhari hcb³ \oemw_cn
222 Banded Royal Charana jalindra Moore Pattambhari ]« \oemw_cn
223 Common Imperial Cheritra freja (Fabricius) Vellivaalan shÅn hm e³
224 Monkey Puzzle Rathinda amor (Fabricius) Iruthalchhi CcpXe¨n
225 Common Onyx Horaga onyx (Moore) Gomedakam tKmtaZIw
226 Brown Onyx Horaga viola Moore Kaatu Gomedakam Im«ptKmtaZIw
227 Common Tinsel Catapaecilma elegans Druce Manivarnnan aWnhÀW³
228 Orchid Tit Chliaria othona (Hewitson) Orchid neeli HmÀ¡ nUv \oen
229 Nilgiri Tit Chliaria nilgirica (Moore Nilgiri neeli \oeKncn \oen
230 Fluffy Tit Zeltus etolus (Fabricius) Churulvaalan NpcpÄhm e³
231 Cornelian Deudorix epijarbas (Moore) Kanithurappan I\nXpc¸³
232 Common Guava Blue Virachola isocrates (Fabricius) Peraneeli t]c\oen
233 Large Guava Blue Virachola perse (Hewitson) Vanperaneeli h³ t]c\oen
234 Indigo Flash Rapala varuna (Hewitson) Indigo flash C³UntKm ^vfmjv
235 Slate Flash Rapala schistacea (Moore) Slate flash tÉäv ^vfmjv
236 Common Red Flash Rapala iarbus (Fabricius) Red flash sdUv^vfmjv
237 Malabar Flash Vadebra lankana (Moore) Sahyadri Flash klym{Zn ^vfmjv
238 Plane Bindahara phocides (Fabricius) Kathivaalan I¯nhme³
Family: Hesperiidae
239 Brown Awl Badamia exclamationis (Fabricius) Thavidan Aara Xhn S³ Bc
240 Pale Green Awlet Bibasis gomata (Moore) Varayan Aara hcb³Bc
241 Orange-striped Awl/Orange Awlet Bibasis jaina (Moore) Ponnara shalabham s]m¶mc ie`w
242 Orangetail Awl/Pale Green Awlet Bibasis sena (Moore) Theevalan Aara Xohm e³Bc
243 Indian Awlking, Choaspes benjaminii (Guérin-Meneville) Aararajan BccmP³
244 Common Awl Hasora badra (Moore) Pulliyara ]pÅnbmc
245 Common Banded Awl Hasora chromus (Cramer) Naattuvaraynara \m«phcb\mc
246 White Banded Awl Hasora taminatus (Hübner) Vellivarayan aara shÅn hcb\mc
247 Plain Banded Awl Hasora vitta (Butler) Kaattuvarayanara Im«phcb\mc
248 Dingy Scrub-Hopper Aeromachus dubius
(Elwes & Edwards) Kaattupulchadan Im«p]p¨mS³
249 Pygmy Grass/Scrub-Hopper Aeromachus pygmaeus
(Fabricius) Chinnapulchadan Nn¶]p¨mS³
250 Bush Hopper Ampittia dioscorides (Fabricius) Ponthachadan s]m´¨mS³
251 Coorg Forest Hopper Arnetta mercara (Evans) Kaatuthullan Im«pXpų
252 Vindhyan Bob Arnetta vindhiana (Moore) Vindhyan Kaattuthullan hnÔy³ Im«pXpų
253 Paintbrush Swift Baoris farri (Moore) Eetta sharashalabham Cuäicie`w
254 Hedge/Hampson’s Hedge-Hopper Baracus vittatus (Felder) Velithullan thenXpų
255 Beavan’s Swift Pseudoborbo bevani (Moore) Thavidan sharashalabham XhnS³icie`w
256 Rice Swift Borbo cinnara (Wallace) Shara shalabham icie`w
257 Kanara Swift Caltoris canaraica (Moore) Kanara sharashalbham Im\d icie`w
258 Blank Swift Caltoris kumara (Moore) Pottilla sharashalabham s]m«nÃm icie`w
259 Philippine Swift Caltoris philippina (Herrich-Schäffer) Philippine sharashalabham ^nenss¸³ icie`w
260 Wax Dart Cupitha purreea (Moore) Meymezhukkan sabvsagp¡ ³
261 Palm Redeye Erionota thrax (Linnaeus) Panachenganni ]\wsN¦®n
262 Giant Redeye Gangara thyrsis (Fabricius) Vanchenganni h³sN¦®n
263 Indian/Ceylon Ace Halpe homolea (Hewitson) Manhavarayan Sharavegan aª hcb³ icthK³
264 Moore’s Ace Halpe porus (Mabille) Vellavayaran sharavegan shÅhcb³ icthK³
265 Chestnut Bob Iambrix salsala (Moore) Chengurumbhan sN¦pdp¼³
266 Common Redeye Matapa aria (Moore) Chenganni sN¦®n
267 Restricted Demon Notocrypta curvifascia (Felder & Felder) Pullichhathan ]pÅn ¨m ¯³
268 C Banded Demon Notocrypta paralysos
(Wood-Mason & de Nicéville) Varayan chathan hcb³ Nm¯³
269 African Straight/Straight Swift Parnara naso (Fabricius) Nervarayan sharashalabham t\Àhcb³ icie`w
270 Dark Branded Swift Pelopidas agna (Moore) Irulvaryan shalabham CcpÄ hcb³ icie`w
271 Conjoined Swift Pelopidas conjuncta (Herrich-Schäffer) Pullisharashalabham ]pÅnicie`w
272 Dark Small-Branded Swift Pelopidas mathias (Fabricius) Cheruvaryan sharashalbham sNdphcb³ icie`w
273 Large Branded Swift Pelopidas subochracea (Moore) Peruvarayan sharashalabham s]cphcb³ icie`w

274 Contiguous Swift Polytremis lubricans
(Herrich-Schäffer) Chemban Sharashalbham sN¼icie w
275 Confucian/Chinese Dart Potanthus confucius
(Felder & Felder) Cheena pottan No\s]m«³
276 Pallied Dart Potanthus pallida (Evans) Ilam Manja pottan Cfwaª s]m«³
277 Palni Dart Potanthus palnia (Evans) Pazhani pottan ]f\ns]m«³
278 Pava Dart Potanthus pava (Fruhstorfer) Mannhapottan aª s]m«³
279 Pseudomaesa/Common Dart Potanthus pseudomaesa
(Moore) Naattupottan \m«ps]m«³
280 Coon Psolos fuligo (Mabille) Cherachirakan tNcm ¨n dI³
281 Yellow-Base/Golden Tree Flitter Quedara basiflava
(De Nicéville) Swarna marathullan kzÀWac¯pų
282 Maculate Lancer Salanoemia sala (Hewitson) Chekavan tNIh³
283 Bicolour Ace Sovia hyrtacus (De Nicéville) Pandan sharavegan ]m­³ icthK³
284 Indian Palm Bob, Suastus gremius (fabricius) Panankurumban ]\¦pdp¼³
285 Small Palm Bob, Suastus minuta (Moore) Kunhikurumbahan Ipª n¡ pdp¼³
286 Tamil Grass Dart Taractrocera ceramas (Hewitson) Manhapulthullan aª ]pÂXpų
287 Common Grass Dart Taractrocera maevius (Fabricius) Naattu Pulthullan \m«p]pÂXpų
288 Dark Palm Dart Telicota ancilla (Herrich-Schäffer) Panamthullan ]\´pų
289 Pale Palm Dart Telicota colon (Fabricius) Mannha Panamthullan aª ]\´pų
290 Plain Palm Dart Cephrenes chrysozona (Plötz) Naattu Panamthullan \m«p]\´pų
291 Southern Spotted Ace or Unbranded Ace Thoressa
astigmata (Swinhoe) Pullisharvegan ]pÅnicthK³
292 Evershed’s Ace Thoressa evershedi (Evans) Mala sharavegan aeicthK³
293 Madras Ace Thoressa honorei (De Nicéville) Sahyadri sharavegan klym{Zn icthK³
294 Tamil Ace or Sitala Ace Thoressa sitala (De Nicéville) Chemban sharavegan sN¼³ icthK³
295 Grass Demon, Udaspes folus (Cramer) Vella chaathan shŨm ¯³
296 Tree Flitter Hyarotis adrastus (Stoll) Naattumarathullan \m«pacXpų
297 Tamil Dartlet Oriens concinna (Elwes & Edwards) Sahyadri Chinnan klym{ZnNn¶³
298 Common Dartlet Oriens goloides (Moore) Naattu Chinnan \m«pNn¶³
299 Golden Angle Caprona ransonnetti (Felder) Suvarnaparappan kphÀ®] c¸³
300 Spotted Angle Caprona agama (Moore) Chuttiparappan Np«n] c¸³
301 Spotted Angle Caprona alida (De Nicéville) Chuttiparappan Np«n] c¸³
302 Malabar Spotted Flat Celaenorrhinus ambareesa (Moore) Pulliparappan ]pÅn ¸ c¸³
303 Common Spotted Flat Celaenorrhinus leucocera (Kollar) Naatupulliparappan \m«p ]pÅn ¸ c¸³
304 Tamil Spotted Flat Celaenorrhinus ruficornis (Mabille ) Kaattupulliparappan Im«p ]pÅn ¸ c¸³
305 Tricolour Flat Cogia indrani (Moore) Varanaparappan hÀ®¸c¸³
306 Fulvous Pied Flat Coladenia dan (Fabricius) Chembarappan sN¼ c¸³
307 Common Yellowbreasted Flat Gerosis bhagava (Moore) Vellaparappan shÅ] c¸³
308 African Mallow/Marbled Skipper, Gomalia elma (Trimen) Chemban Thullichadan sN¼ ³ ]pÅn ¨m S³
309 Chestnut/Banded Angle Odontoptilum angulata (Felder) Varayan parappan hcb³ P] c¸³
310 Common Small Flat Sarangesa dasahara (Moore) Kunhiparappan Ipª n ¸ c¸³
311 Spotted Small Flat Sarangesa purendra (Moore) Paaraparappan ]md¸ c¸³
312 Indian Grizzled/Indian Skipper Spialia galba (Fabricius) Pullichaadan  ]pÅn ¨m S³
313 Immaculate/Large/Suffused Snow Flat Tagiades gana
(Moore) Himaparappan lna] c¸³
314 Common/Ceylon Snow Flat Tagiades jepetus (Stoll) Naattuparappan \m«p] c¸³
315 Water Snow Flat Tagiades litigiosa (Möschler) Ilamungi Ceap§ n
316 Angled Flat/Black Angle Tapena twaithesi (Moore) Karimbarappan Icn ¼ c¸³
The authors are grateful to all butterfly watchers of Kerala for their help, knowledge and co-operation in compiling
this checklist. The first author is indebted to the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata and the Officer-in-Charge, ZSI,
Kozhikode for facilities and encouragements.
Gaonkar, H. 1996. Butterflies of the Western Ghats, including Sri Lanka. A biodiversity assessment of a threatened mountain
system. A report submitted to the Centre for Ecological Sciences Bangalore.
Jafer Palot, M., Balakrishnan, V C and Babu Kambrath. 2003. Keralthile Chithrashalbhangal. Malabar Natural History
Society. Kozhikode. 204pp.
Kunte, K. (2007): Checklist of Butterflies of Western Ghats, Southwestern India, in K.A.Subramanian. (ed) Diversity and
Conservation of Invertebrates in the Western Ghats (In Press). ATREE. , Bangalore.
Wynter-Blyth, M.A. 1957. Butterflies of the Indian region. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. 523pp.
On 3 February 2012, at 07.10 hrs in the morning,
one of us (PCR) was watching birds feeding on the figs of a
Ficus arnottiana tree growing in the crevices of the
southern ridge of the laterite plateau of Madayipara. There
were about 10 orioles, a few barbets and a group of six
green-pigeons. On close observation, PCR found that the
pigeons were different from
t he Pompa dour a nd
Yellow-legged Green-
Pigeons he usually met
with on the fruiting trees
of this locality and
i dent i f i ed t hem as
Orange-breasted Green-
Pigeons. He could take a
few photographs of the
birds and confirm the
identity after consulting
the field guides. Out of
the six birds, two were
male with orange breast
band bordered with lilac
on top; grey on the nape of
the birds extended well to upper
back, vent was rufous and tail grey. PCR, saw the same
number of Orange-breasted Green-Pigeons on the same
tree on 4 February with Dr Khaleel Chovva, on 5 February
with Dr Jayan Thomas and on 6 February with K V
Uthaman. Good photographs of the male as well as the
female could be taken by the second author on 4 February.
PCR visited the locality again on 8 February, but no pigeons
were seen but on 12 February, six birds, probably the same
group, were seen feeding on the same tree. On this
occasion, a male was seen engaged in some sort of a
courtship with a female, chasing, making cooing calls and
cocking the tail. On most days, the group flew in from south
and stayed on the tree feeding for more than an hour.
Orange-breasted Green Pigeon is rare in Kerala;
there are very few authentic sightings of this
species from Kerala in the past one decade (Sashikumar et
al. 2011). This species was not recorded during the
Travancore – Cochin Ornithological Survey 2009 and
Malabar Ornithological Survey 2010 – 2011 covering most
of the forested areas of the state (C Sashikumar, personal
communication). Even the
historic records suggest that
it has been scarce in
Kerala: Ferguson found it
not common in the 19
century (Ferguson &
Bourdillon 1903 – 1904)
and Salim Ali did not
come across it during his
1933 Tr avancor e –
Cochin Ornithological
Survey (Ali & Whistler
1935 – 1937).
The present one
could be probably be the
first photographic record of
this pigeon from Kerala,
though a dead specimen was
photographed at Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary by K V
Eldhose (Sashikumar et al. 2011)
Ali, Sálim and Whistler, Hugh (1935 - 1937) The ornithology of
Travancore and Cochin. Part I. Journal of the Bombay Natural
History Society 37(4) – 39(3) in 7 parts.
Ferguson, H. S. and Bourdillon, T. F. (1903 - 1904) The birds of
Travancore, with notes on their nidification. Journal of the
Bombay Natural History Society 15 (2) – 16 (1) in 3 parts.
Sashikumar, C, Praveen, J, Muhammed Jafer Palot, Nameer
P.O (2011). Birds of Kerala Status and Distribution, DC Books.
Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon Treron bicincta at Madayipara
1 2
P C Rajeevan and Dr. Khaleel Chovva
1 2
Pandanchira, Chovva, Kannur; Principal, Sir Syed College, Taliparamba, Kannur dist.
Checklist of Odonata of Kerala with their Malayalam names
1 2
Kiran.C.G. and David V.Raju
Mayooram, Pulari Nagar, Thittamangalam, Kodunganoor.P.O, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala,
Valiyaparambil, Kuzhimattom.P.O, Kottayam, Kerala,
The state of Kerala is a narrow stretch of land sandwiched between windward side of the southern Western Ghats and
Arabian Sea. Located between 8°18'- 12°48' N latitude. Kerala is enriched with a myriad of flora and fauna. From sea level up
to 2694m in high mountains of Western Ghats, the state is truly blessed in terms of invertebrate diversity. An average annual
rainfall of 3107 mm and 44 rivers makes this region highly habitable for Odonates. Odonata is one of the ancient groups of
large invertebrates having 5740 species globally. In India Odonata comprise of 470 species in 139 genera and 19 families
(Subramanian, 2009)
Odonata studies in India started with Linnaeus and Selys-Longchamps, and later were taken to its pinnacle by the
exemplary works of Laidlaw and Fraser.F.C. The three Volume book, written by Fraser F.C, 'Fauna of British India, Including
Ceylon and Burma published in 1933,1934 and 1936 respectively was a milestone in Odonata research in India. Post
independence the works mainly revolved around scientists from the Zoological Survey of India and regional Universities with
many papers on Odonata distribution, new species descriptions and life histories. Prasad & Varshney (1995) published the
checklist of Odonates of India,which was a major landmark in Odonata studies in the last century.
After the studies of Fraser, which were restricted to the region north of Cochin, there was a significant lacuna in the
study of Odonata in Kerala. This was later being filled-in gradually, by works of Muhamed Jafer Palot, Emiliyamma. K.G and
Francy Kakkasery. Peters described the last new species Agriocnemis keralensis, from the state in 1981 from Trivandrum
(Peters 1981). The first attempt of coining Malayalam names for 30 common species of Kerala was undertaken by Muhamed
Jafer Palot and Babu Kambrath (2001). The Pictorial handbook on common Dragonflies and Damselflies of Kerala by
Emiliyamma et al (2005) was the first book on dragonflies of the state Dr. Francy Kakkassery was instrumental in
popularizing common odonates of Kerala in Internet. He also contributed to life history studies of few Odonata in Kerala
(Kiran & Kakkasery ,2007). Emiliyamma et al., (2007) documented 136 species on their work on Odonata diversity of the
state. Another significant and popular book was Dragonflies and Damselflies of Peninsular India - A Field Guide,
(Subramanian, 2009) this contributed significantly to the knowledge on Indian Odonata and helped to bring Odonata watching
as an interesting pastime among the masses.
Here in this paper we report 147 species from 14 families from the state of Kerala. This is the first exhaustive list of
Odonata from the state based on our extensive fieldwork spanning the last 12 years.
Checklist of Odonates of Kerala with vernacular names
Scientific name Malayalam Name English Name
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Anisoptera IóXp¼nIÄ Dragonflies
Family: Aeshnidae kqNnhme³ IóXp¼nIÄ Darners
1 Anaciaeschna jaspidea (Burmeister, 1839) Xpcp¼³ cmP³ Rusty Darner
2 Anaciaeschna donaldi Fraser, 1922 tNme cmP³ Donald’s Darner
3 Anax guttatus (Burmeister, 1839) acXI cmP³ Blue-Tailed Green Darner
4 Anax immaculifrons Rambur, 1842 \oe cmP³ Blue Darner
5 Anax parthenope (Selys, 1839) Xhn«v cmP³ Dusky Darner
6 Gynacantha bayadera Selys,1891 X¯½Xp¼n Parakeet Darner
7 Gynacantha dravida Lieftinck,1960 kqNnhme³ cmsImXn¨n Brown Darner
8 Hemianax ephippiger (Burmeister, 1839) Xpcp¼³ Nm¯³ Ochre Darner
Family:Chlorogomphidae aeap¯·mÀ Mountain Hawks
9 Chlorogomphus campioni (Fraser,1924) \oeKncn aeap¯³ Nilgiri Mountain Hawk
10 Chlorogomphus xanthoptera (Fraser, 1919) B\ae aeap¯³ Anamalai Mountain Hawk
Family:Corduliidae tImac·mÀ Daggerheads
11 Hemicordulia asiatica Selys, 1878 Im«p acXI³ Indian Emerald
12 Idionyx minima Fraser,1931 Nn¶³ tImacw Little Daggerhead
13 Idionyx rhinoceroides Fraser,1934 sIm¼³ tImacw Rhinoceros Daggerhead
14 Idionyx saffronata Fraser,1924 Imhn tImacw Saffron Daggerhead
15 Idionyx travancorensis Fraser, 1931 sX¡ ³ tImacw Travancore Daggerhead
16 Idionyx corona Fraser,1921 \oeKncn tImacw Little Daggerhead
17 Idionyx nadganiensis Fraser,1924 hcb³ tImacw Stripped Daggerhead
18 Macromidia donaldi (Fraser,1924) \ng tImacw Dark Daggerhead
Family:Gomphidae ISph Xp¼nIÄ Clubtails
19 Acrogomphus fraseri Laidlaw,1925 s]m¡ ³ ISph Fraser’s Clubtail
20 Asiagomphus nilgiricus ]mdaq¯³ ISph Nilgiri Clubtail
21 Burmagomphus pyramidalis Laidlaw,1922 ]pÅn NXpchme³ ISph Spotted Sinuate Clubtail
22 Burmagomphus laidlawi Fraser,1924 NXpchme³ ISph Plain Sinuate Clubtail
23 Davidioides martini Fraser,1924 sskc{µn ISph Syrandhri Clubtail
24 Gomphidia kodaguensis Fraser,1923 ]pg ISph Kodagu Clubtail
25 Heliogomphus kalarensis Fraser,1934 tNme ISph Forest Lyretail
26 Heliogomphus promelas (Selys,1873) ]pÅnhme³ tNme ISph Spotted Lyretail
27 Ictinogomphus rapax (Rambur, 1842) \m«p ISph Common Clubtail
28 Macrogomphus wynaadicus Fraser,1924 hb\mS³ ISph Wayanad Bowtail
29 Megalogomphus hannyngtoni (Fraser,1923) s]cphme³ ISph Giant Clubtail
30 Megalogomphus superbus Fraser,1931 tNmc s]cphme³ ISph Beautiful Clubtail
31 Merogomphus longistigma (Fraser,1922) s]cp¦me³ ISph Long Legged Clubtail
32 Merogomphus longistigma
tamaracherriensis Laidlaw,1931 hS¡ ³ s]cp¦me³ ISph Malabar Long Legged Clubtail
33 Microgomphus souteri Fraser,1924 ISphm Nn¶³ Pigmy Clubtail
34 Onychogomphus malabarensis (Fraser,1924) hS¡ ³ \Jhme³ Malabar Clawtail
35 Onychogomphus nilgiriensis (Fraser,1922) \oeKncn \Jhme³ Nilgiri Clawtail
36 Onychogomphus acinaces (Laidlaw,1922) Ipdp \Jhme³ Laidlaw’s Clawtail
37 Paragomphus lineatus (Selys,1850) Nq­hme³ ISph Common Hooktail
Family:Libellulidae \oÀ ap¯·mÀ Skimmers
38 Acisoma panorpoides Rambur, 1842 tNmchme³ Xp¼n Trumpet-Tail
39 Aethriamanta brevipennis (Rambur, 1842) Xo¡ cnaq¯³ Scarlet Marsh Hawk
40 Brachydiplax chalybea Brauer, 1868 Xhn«p sh®od³ Rufous-Backed Marsh Hawk
41 Brachydiplax sobrina (Rambur, 1842) sNdp sh®od³ Little Blue Marsh Hawk
42 Brachythemis contaminata (Fabricius,1793) N§ mXn Xp¼n Ditch Jewel
43 Bradinopyga geminata (Rambur, 1842) aXn Xp¼n Granite Ghost
44 Cratilia lineata Foerster, 1903 Im«p ]Xp§ ³ Emerald-Banded Skimmer
45 Crocothemis servilia (Drury, 1770) hb Xp¼n Ruddy Marsh Skimmer
46 Diplacodes lefebvrii (Rambur,1842) Icn\ne¯³ Black Ground Skimmer
47 Diplacodes nebulosa (Fabricius, 1793) Np«n \ne¯³ Black Tipped Ground Skimmer
48 Diplacodes trivialis (Rambur,1842) \m«p \ne¯³ Ground Skimmer
49 Epithemis mariae (Laidlaw,1915) XoIdp¸³ Rubytailed Hawklet
50 Hydrobasileus croceus (Brauer, 1867) ]m­­³ ]cp´³ Amber Winged Marsh Glider
51 Hylaeothemis indica Fraser,1946 \oe \oÀt¯mg³ Blue Hawklet
52 Indothemis carnatica (Fabricius, 1798) Icn¼³ NcÂap¯n Black Scrub Glider
53 Lathrecista asiatica (Fabricius, 1798) tNmchme³ Xp¼n Asiatic Blood Tail
54 Lyriothemis species* hÀ® Xp¼n Blood Tail
55 Macrodiplax cora (Brauer,1867) s]mgn Xp¼n Estuarine Skimmer
56 Neurothemis fulvia (Drury, 1773) XhnS³ Xpcp¼³ Fulvous Forest Skimmer
57 Neurothemis intermedia (Rambur, 1842) ]p Xpcp¼³ Ruddy Meadow Skimmer
58 Neurothemis tullia (Drury, 1773) kzman Xp¼n Pied Paddy Skimmer
59 Onychothemis testacea Laidlaw, 1902 Im«p ]pų Stellate River Hawk
60 Orthetrum chrysis (Selys, 1891) sN´hnS³ hymfn Brown-Backed Red Marsh Hawk
61 Orthetrum glaucum (Brauer, 1865) \oe hymfn Blue Marsh Hawk
62 Orthetrum luzonicum (Brauer, 1868) {XnhÀ®³ hymfn Tricoloured Marsh Hawk
63 Orthetrum pruinosum (Burmeister,1839) ]hnghme³ hymfn Crimson-Tailed Marsh Hawk
64 Orthetrum sabina (Drury, 1770) ]¨ hymfn Green Marsh Hawk
65 Orthetrum taeniolatum (Schneider,1845) sNdp hymfn Ashy Marsh Hawk
66 Orthetrum triangulare (Selys, 1878) \oe Idp¸³ hymfn Blue-Tailed Forest Hawk
67 Palpopleura sexmaculata (Fabricius, 1787) \oe Ipdphme³ Blue-Tailed Yellow Skimmer
68 Pantala flavescens (Fabricius, 1798) HmWXp¼n Wandering Glider
69 Potamarcha congener (Rambur, 1842) ]pÅnhme³ Yellow-Tailed Ashy Skimmer
70 Rhodothemis rufa (Rambur, 1842) sN¼³ Xp¼n Rufous Marsh Glider
71 Rhyothemis triangularis Kirby, 1889 Icn\oeNndI³ Lesser Blue Wing
72 Rhyothemis variegata (Linnaeus, 1763) ie‘¯pXp¼n Common Picturewing
73 Sympetrum fonscolombii (Selys, 1840) Ip¦pa¨ndI³ Red-Veined Darter
74 Tetrathemis platyptera Selys, 1878 Ipų Xp¼n Pigmy Skimmer
75 Tholymis tillarga (Fabricius, 1798) ]hng hme³ Coral-Tailed Cloud-Wing
76 Tramea basilaris (Palisot de Beauvois, 1805) sN¼³ ]cp´³ Red Marsh Trotter
77 Tramea limbata (Desjardins,1832) Icn¼³ ]cp´³ Black Marsh Trotter
78 Trithemis aurora (Burmeister, 1839) knÔqc¨ndI³ Crimson Marsh Glider
79 Trithemis festiva (Rambur, 1842) ImÀ¯p¼n Black Stream Glider
80 Trithemis kirbyi Selys, 1891 tNm¸³ ]mdap¯n Scarlet Rock Glider
81 Trithemis pallidinervis (Kirby, 1889) IämSn Xp¼n Long-Legged Marsh Glider
82 Urothemis signata (Rambur, 1842) ]m­­³ hbÂsX¿³ Greater Crimson Glider
83 Zygonyx iris Selys,1869 \otcm«¡ mc³ Iridescent Stream Glider
84 Zyxomma petiolatum Rambur, 1842 kqNnhme³ kÔyXp¼n Brown Dusk Hawk
Family: Macromiidae \oÀImhe·mÀ Torrent Hawk
85 Epophthalmia frontalis Selys, 1871 ]pÅn \oÀImhe³ Spotted Torrent Hawk
86 Epophthalmia vittata Burmeister,1839 \m«p \oÀImhe³ Common Torrent Hawk
87 Macromia annaimalaiensis Fraser,1931 Im«p s]cpwI®³ Anamalai Torrent Hawk
88 Macromia flavocolorata Fraser,1922 aª s]cpwI®³ Yellow Torrent Hawk
89 Macromia indica Fraser,1924 \m«p s]cpwI®³ Indian Torrent Hawk
90 Macromia irata Fraser,1924 s]cpwI®³ Fraser’s Torrent Hawk
Suborder:Zygoptera kqNnXp¼nIÄ Damselflies
Family:Calopterygidae acXIXp¼nIÄ Glories
91 Neurobasis chinensis (Linnaeus, 1758) ]oenXp¼n Stream Glory
92 Vestalis apicalis Selys, 1873 Np«n¨ndI³ XWÂ Xp¼n Black-Tipped Forest Glory
93 Vestalis gracilis (Rambur, 1842) XWÂ Xp¼n Clear-Winged Forest Glory
93 Vestalis gracilis montana (Fraser, 1934) Im«p XWÂ Xp¼n Montane Forest Glory
Family:Chlorocyphidae \oÀcXv\·mÀ Stream Jewels
94 Calocypha laidlawi (Fraser,1924) taLhÀ®³ Myristica Sapphire
95 Libellago lineata (Burmeister, 1839) Xhf¡ ®³ River Heliodor
96 Rhinocypha bisignata Hagen in Selys,1853 \oÀamWn¡ ³ Stream Ruby
Family:Coenagrionidae \ne¯·mÀ Marsh Darts
97 Aciagrion hisopa (Selys, 1876) \oeNn¶³ Violet-Striped Slender Dartlet
98 Aciagrion occidentale Laidlaw, 1919 \oeNp«n Green-Striped Slender Dartlet
99 Agriocnemis keralensis Peters,1981 ]¯n ]pÂNn¶³ Kerala Dartlet
100 Agriocnemis pieris Laidlaw,1919 \m«p ]pÂNn¶³ Pygmy Dartlet
101 Agriocnemis pygmaea (Rambur, 1842) shÅ ]pÂNn¶³ White Dartlet
102 Agriocnemis splendidissima Laidlaw,1919 Im«p ]pÂNn¶³ Splendid Dartlet
103 Archibasis oscillans (Selys, 1877) Acphn Xp¼n Blue-Banded Longtail
104 Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (Brauer, 1865) I\Âhme³ NXp¸³ Orange-Tailed Marsh Dart
105 Ceriagrion coromandelianum (Fabricius, 1798) \m«p NXp¸³ Coromandel Marsh Dart
106 Ceriagrion olivaceum Laidlaw, 1914 Icnw]¨ NXp¸³ Rusty Marsh Dart
107 Ceriagrion rubiae Laidlaw, 1916 Xo NXp¸³ Orange Marsh Dart
108 Ischnura aurora (Brauer, 1865) aª ]pÂamWn¡ ³ Golden Dartlet
109 Ischnura senegalensis (Rambur, 1842) \oe ]pÂamWn¡ ³ Senegal Golden Dartlet
110 Mortonagrion varralli Fraser,1920 Icn bn e¯p¼n Brown Dartlet
111 Onychargia atrocyana (Selys, 1865) F®¡ dp¸³ Black Marsh Dart
112 Paracercion calamorum (Ris,1916) Np«nhme³ XmacXp¼n Dusky Lily Squatter
113 Pseudagrion decorum (Rambur, 1842) Cf\oen ]q¯men Green-Striped Grass Dart
114 Pseudagrion indicum Fraser, 1924 aª hcb³ ]q¯men Yellow-Striped Grass Dart
115 Pseudagrion malabaricum Fraser, 1924 Im«p ]q¯men Jungle Grass Dart
116 Pseudagrion microcephalum
(Rambur, 1842) \m«p ]q¯men Blue Grass Dart
117 Pseudagrion rubriceps Selys, 1876 sN½pJ¸q¯men Saffron-Faced Grass Dart
Family:Euphaeidae Acphnb·mÀ Torrent Darts
118 Dysphaea ethela Fraser, 1924 Icn¼³ Acphnb³ Black Torrent Dart
119 Euphaea cardinalis (Fraser,1924) sX¡ ³ Acphnb³ Travancore Torrent Dart
120 Euphaea dispar (Rambur,1842) hS¡ ³ Acphnb³ Nilgiri Torrent Dart
121 Euphaea fraseri (Laidlaw,1920) sN¦dp¸³ Acphnb³ Malabar Torrent Dart
Family:Lestidae tNcmNndI·mÀ Spreadwings
122 Indolestes gracilis (Hagen in Selys, 1862) Im«p hncn¨ndI³ Davenport’s False Spreadwing
123 Lestes elatus Hagen in Selys,1862 ]¨hcb³ tNcmNndI³ Emerald Spreadwing
124 Lestes malabarica Fraser,1929 ae_mÀ tNcmNndI³ Malabar Spreadwing
125 Lestes praemorsus Hagen in Selys, 1862 \oe¡ ®n tNcmNndI³ Sapphire-Eyed Spreadwing
126 Lestes umbrinus Selys,1891* XhnS³ tNcmNndI³ Brown Spreadwing
Family:Platycnemididae ]mÂXp¼nIÄ Bush Darts
Copera marginipes (Rambur, 1842) aª ¡ men ]mÂXp¼n Yellow Bush Dart
127 Copera vittata Selys,1863 sN¦men ]mÂXp¼n Blue Bush Dart
Family: Platystictidae \ngÂXp¼nIÄ Reedtails
128 Platysticta deccanensis Laidlaw,1915 Ip¦pa \ngÂXp¼n Saffron Reedtail
129 Protosticta antelopoides Fraser,1931 sIm¼³ \ngÂXp¼n Spiny Reedtail
130 Protosticta davenporti Fraser,1931 B\ae \ngÂXp¼n Anamalai Reedtail
131 Protosticta gravelyi Laidlaw,1915 ]pÅn \ngÂXp¼n Pied Reedtail
132 Protosticta hearseyi Fraser,1922 sNdp \ngÂXp¼n Little Reedtail
133 Protosticta mortoni Fraser,1924 \oe]nSen \ngÂXp¼n Blue Necked Reedtail
134 Protosticta sanguinostigma Fraser, 1922 sN¼³ \ngÂXp¼n Red Spotted Reedtail
Family:Protoneuridae apfhme·mÀ Bamboo Tails
135 Caconeura gomphoides (Rambur,1842) apfhme³ Pale Spotted Bambootail
136 Caconeura ramburi (Fraser,1922) ae_mÀ apfhme³ Coorg Bambootail
137 Caconeura risi (Fraser,1931) hb\mS³ apfhme³ Wayanad Bambootail
138 Disparoneura apicalis (Fraser,1924) Np«nNndI³ apfhme³ Black Tipped Bambootail
139 Disparoneura quadrimaculata
(Rambur,1842) IcnwNndI³ apfhme³ Black-Winged Bambootail
140 Elattoneura souteri (Fraser,1924) sN¦dp¸³ apfhme³ Red Striped Bambootail
141 Elattoneura tetrica (Laidlaw,1917) aª ¡ dp¸³ apfhme³ Black And Yellow Bambootail
142 Esme cyaneovittata Fraser,1922 ]g\n apfhme³ Palani Bambootail
143 Esme longistyla Fraser,1931 \oeKncn apfhme³ Nilgiri Bambootail
144 Esme mudiensis Fraser,1931 sX¡ ³ apfhme³ Travancore Bambootail
145 Melanoneura bilineata Fraser,1922 hS¡ ³ apfhme³ Malabar Bambootail
146 Phylloneura westermanni (Selys,1860) NXp¸p apfhme³ Myristica Bambootail
147 Prodasineura verticalis (Selys,1860) Icns© ¼³ apfhme³ Black Bambootail
We are grateful to Francy Kakkassery, Allan Brandon, Punnen Kurien, Abraham Samuel,B. Sreekumar and K.G.Dilip for their
valuable inputs which immensely help this work. We are thankful to Muhamed Jafer Palot, E. Kunhikrishnan, K.A. Subramanian, K.G.
Emiliyamma, Manoj V. Nair, C. Susanth, Manu.P, Babu Kambrath and V.C.Balakrishnan for their help with the vernacular names. Sincere
thanks to S.Kalesh and Sandeep Das for their comments on earlier drafts. Special thanks to Arun C.G and Ramesh M. for their field support.
We would like to thank Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS), Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam Nature Society (KNS), Kottayam
for their facilities and encouragement.
Fraser, F.C (1933-36): The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Odonata. Vol I-III. Taylor and Francis Ltd., London.
Emiliyamma.K.G. Radhakrishnan.C., & Muhamed Jafer Palot (2005): Pictorial handbook on common Dragonflies and Damselflies of
Kerala. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. 67pp.
Emiliyamma. K.G., Radhakrishnan.C.,& Muhamed Jafer Palot (2007): Odonata (Insecta) of Kerala, Zoological Survey of India,
Kolkata.195pp +8 plates.
Muhamed Jafer Palot and Kambrath. 2001. Keralthile Thumbikal- Part-1. (Dragonflies & Damselflies of Kerala- Part-1). Balabhumi
(Popular Children's weekly- as a Supplement - Center spread). 14 December 2001.
Muhamed Jafer Palot and Babu Kambrath. 2001. Keralthile Thumbikal- Part-2. (Dragonflies & Damselflies of Kerala- Part-2). Balabhumi
(Popular Children's weekly- as a Supplement - Center spread). 21 December 2001.
Muhamed Jafer Palot and Babu Kambrath. 2001. Keralthile Thumbikal- Part-3. (Dragonflies & Damselflies of Kerala- Part-3). Balabhumi
(Popular Children's weekly- as a Supplement - Center spread). 28 December 2001.
Kiran C.G & Kakaserry,F (2007):Observations on mating and oviposition behavior of Tetrathemis platyptera Selys 1878, in Odonata:
Biology of Dragonflies, ed. Tyagi,B.K. Scientific Publishers, India.349-355p.
Peters (1981): Trockenzeit-Libellen ausdem Indischen Tiefland Deutsch Entomologische Zeitschrift (N.F) 28:93-108.
Prasad, M &Varshney, R.K. (1995): A checklist of the Odonata of India including data on larval studies. Oriental Insects, 29: 385-428p.
Subramanian, K.A. (2009): A checklist of Odonata (Insecta) of India, Zoological Survey of India. 36pp.
Subramanian, K.A. (2009): Dragonflies and Damselflies of Peninsular India - A Field Guide, Vigyan Prasar, Noida, India. 168pp.
Subramanian. K.A., Francy Kakkassery and Manjo.V.Nair (2011). The status and distribution of dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) of
the Western Ghats. In: Molur, S.,Smith, K.G., Daniel, B.A and Darwall, W.R.T. (Compilers). The Status and Distribution of Freshwater
Biodiversity in The Western Ghats. Pages 63-74. IUCN, Cambridge, UK & Zoo Outreach, Coimbatore, India.
John C Smrithi Sangamam.
In connection with the 3 death anniversary of our
beloved guru, Prof. John C. Jacob a meeting of the
Prathishtanam was conducted at Vadukunda Shiva Temple
Auditorium, Madayipara, Kannur district on 15 October
2011. More than 60 members from various parts of Kerala
had participated in the programme. Sri. A. Mohan Kumar,
Civic Chandran, Sunil Kumar, C., Shivaprasad Master,
Bhaskaran Vellur, Vishalakshan Master, G.K. Latha, Hari
Chakkarakallu, Asha Hari, Sheeja Mottammal, Pavithran
Vatakara, and Dr Jafer Palot spoke on the occasion.
Kerala Bird Race 2011
As part of the Kerala Birdrace-2011, sponsored
by KeralaBirder (an internet mailing group of bird-
watchers), along with The Hongkong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) and Yuhina Eco-
Media, MNHS organized a birdrace in north Kerala on 13
November 2011. 16 teams (four members per team) from
Kozhikode, Wynad, Kannur and Malappuram districts
participated in the contest covering the northern districts
of Kerala. The participants included children, young bird
enthusiasts, teachers, social workers and nature lovers.
They covered regions from Western Ghats to the coast
exploring almost all the diverse habitats watching birds.
The important birding locations covered during the dawn -
to -dusk survey by birders were Aralam WLS, Kannavam
forests, Janakikkadu, Peruvanamuzhi, Malabar WLS,
Periya Reserve Forests, Panamaram wetlands, Kadalundy
Programme conducted
Community Reserve, Kattampalli, Chemballikundu,
Ezhimla, Vellimuckuchali, Purathur, Kottooli wetlands,
Kolavipalam, Puthiyappa beach, Mavoor wetlands,
Kackavayal biodiversity centre, etc. As many as 211
species of birds were observed during the survey. The
important bird species observed during the bird race were
Watercock, Rufous Woodpecker, Ruddy Crake,
Sanderling, Shahin Falcon, Drongo Cuckoo, Black-tailed
Godwit, Rosy Starling, Dollar Bird, Booted Eagle, etc.
After the day-long bird monitoring all the
participating teams assembled in the evening at the
Hemlet Hall, Hotel Yara, Calicut for sharing their
experiences and ideas and enjoyed a delicious dinner. Shri.
V.K. Sreevalsan, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Calicut
inaugurated the concluding session. Dr. Vijayakumar.
Butterfly Study Camp
The 11 annual butterfly study camp was
th th
conducted at Aralam WLS on 13 -15 January 2012
jointly by Kerala Forests & Wildlife Department and the
Malabar Natural History Society, Kozhikode. More than
85 butterfly enthusiasts from various parts of Kerala and
Karnataka attended the programme. The programme was
inaugurated by Sri. K.V. Uthaman, Former Wildlife
Warden, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. Sri. K. Gopalan, Asst
Wildlife Warden welcomed the gathering. Sri. V.C.
Balakrishnan presided over the function and Dr. Md. Jafer
Palot, Coordinator, Butterfly Migration Study Project
briefed out the programme. An illustrated talk on
“Hesperiids of Kerala” by Dr. S. Kalesh, Director,
Travancore Natural History Society and a talk on 'early
stages of butterflies' by Balakrishnan Valappil also
delivered during the Camp
As in the case of the earlier surveys, eight locations
such as Valayanchal, Pookundu Colony, Narikadavu,
Kuruckathodu, Kariyankappu, Meenmutty falls, Chavachi,
and Paripputhodu were selected for the survey. During the
three days of survey a total of 148 species of butterflies were
recorded from the Sanctuary. The study indicated the
dominance of the family Nymphalidae with 43 species
followed by Lycaenidae (41species), Hesperiidae
(24species), and 15 species each form Papilionidae and
Pieridae. The list included five species of butterflies such
as Yellow Jack Sailer, Aberrant Oak Blue, Tamil Oak Blue,
Peacock Royal, Plain Banded Awl new to the sanctuary.
Thus, the total number of species recorded in the sanctuary
has come up to 241 after 11 annual surveys. Though many
mud-puddling sites of Common Albatross were noted
during the survey no migration was noticed this year.
T.N., President of MNHS presided over the function. Shri.
C.J. Thomas of MNHS welcomed the gathering and Shri.
Muhamed Rafeek gave vote of thanks. Dr. Jafer Palot,
Secretary, MNHS and Shri. Sajikumar, Asst. Conservator
of Forests also spoke on the occasion.
Prizes were given away to the teams which
counted the maximum number of species of birds and to
the 'Bird of the day' for a rare bird sighting. The Ist prize
was grabbed by Sri. Sasidharan Manekara & team of
Thalasserry, Kannur dt, spotting 163 species of birds.
Second prize was won by Sri. Roshnath & team of
Wayanad with 108 species and the third prize won by
Mujeeb Panchili & team of Thamarasserry, Kozhikode
district with 86 species. Black-tailed Godwit was the 'bird
of the day' and was spotted by Drishya & team of
University of Calicut, Tenhipalam, Malappuram district.
Turtle Walk at Thaikadappuram beach
MNHS in association with Neythal Turtle
Conservation Group organized a Turtle walk at
Thaikadppuram beach, Nileswaram, Kasaragod on 24-25
December 2011. The participants walked through the
beach in the night as well as early morning before sunrise.
Though we could not see any signs of Turtle breeding in the
beach, we could see many shorebirds like Green Shank,
Red Shank, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling, Brown-
headed Gull, Black- headed Gull, etc. Also saw a pair of
Black-capped Kingfisher on the beach. A nesting pair of
White-bellied Sea Eagle was also sighted at Punchavi
Kadappuram on a Casuarina tree. Many sightings of
Dolphins were noted near the coastal waters. Sri.
P.V.Sudheer Kumar, co-ordinator, Neythal Turtle
Conservation Group delivered a talk on conservation of
Marine Turtle activities in the beach. Sri. Bimalnath K. G,
Shyam, V.and Dr. Jafer Palot Co-ordinated the programme.
9-11 March 2012 : Bird Survey at Aralam WLS, Kannur District
24 March 2012 : Pelagic Bird Survey at Calicut coast.
st th
1 April 2012 : 10 Annual General Body Meeting of MNHS
April- May : Summer Vacation Programmes for students