Butterflies, or ‘Putali’ as they are locally known are in abundance in Nepal. And here at Gurung Valley, we are seriously blessed with the amount of Butterflies that we have buzzing around our camp. We’ve so far counted over 50 different species at our camp alone, and I think we’ve barely scratched the surface. Due to the diversity of Nepal, with the alpine mountains, lush valleys and tropical Terai region, there are over 651 different varieties recorded in Nepal (which is 10 times the amount recorded in England which is around the same size) and thats 3.72% of the worlds butterflies.
We’ve been using wikipedias extensive list to identify the ones that we have found at Gurung Valley. And are considering renaming to Butterfly Valley because of the amount we have found!
For the avid butterfly watcher, the best seasons for butterfly watching in Nepal are late March/April, mid May/mid June and late August/September during the monsoon months. If you are lucky you will catch glimpses of Great Orange Tips, Oakblues, Purple Sapphire Circles or common Brimstones.
Nepal’s butterflies belong to five different families: the whites, blues, swallowtails, skippers and nymphalids (or brushy-footed butterflies). They are different from moths in that they have clubbed antennae whereas moths have pointed or feathered antennae. Butterflies are usually more colourful and mostly fly during the day, although a few are crepuscular: they fly at dawn or dusk. Moths are often more hairy and mostly fly at night.
Our camp offers a perfect environment for butterflies as they tend to like more tropical climes. We have plenty of undeveloped open space for them and have been tactfully planting for them to encourage breeding.
If you like butterflies then we would love for you to come and stay at Gurung Valley to see them for yourself. Check out some of the butterflies we have managed to snap pictures of already on our facebook album.
Find out more about Butterflies in Nepal;
- Wilipedia’s List of Nepal’s Butterflies.
- Visit the Butterfly Musuem in Pokhara, also known as the Annapurna Natural History Museum.
- “Illustrated Checklist of Butterflies of Nepal” by Colin Smith