Mass emergence of Cabbage White butterflies Pieris brassicae L. and Artogeia canidia Sparrman
April 10, 2006:The winter rains failed during the winter of 2005-2006 in the Kumaon Himalaya. Many butterfly species emerged earlier than usual, some as early as February, since it was unusually warm. Many Cabbage Whites also emerged. Over the festival of Holi in mid-March, it rained and the temperature dropped considerably. Practically all butterfly activity came to an end during that period. Subsequently, large numbers of both Cabbage White species emerged, very many more than in normal years. The butterflies of these species grew fewer by mid-April, when specimens of P. brassicae were very worn. A similar population outbreak was not observed in other species during the period.
Request for information
We would be interested in hearing whether observers have noticed the Cabbage Whites Pieris brassicae and Artogeia canidia at stations on the plains such as Lucknow, Delhi, Kanpur, etc. during the spring or summer of 2006.
Forest fires begin in Kumaon
April 12, 2006: The first fires have begun in the Himalayan foothills. It looks as though there will be no respite this year, since after the rains during Holi, there has been little or no rain. The annual burning of undergrowth is extremely detrimental to insect populations.
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