Butterflies of Kashmir

Vincent Kollar, a famous nineteenth-century entomologist, published the first monograph on the Butterflies of Kashmir* in 1840. Over the years I have photographed most of these butterflies along with other not-so-common species across the valley.

Further lists compiled by British army officers in the late nineteenth century compared with recent studies (and my own photographs) reveal the 20 butterfly species most commonly found in the Kashmir valley (in alphabetical order):

1. The Bath White (Pontia daplidice)
2. The Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya)
3. The Common Beak (Libythea lepita)
4. The Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
5. The Common Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
6. The Common Yellow Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
7. The Danaid Eggfly (Hypolimnas missipus)
8. The Dark Clouded Yellow (Colias fieldii electo/crocea)
9. The Himalayan Cabbage White (Pieris canidia)
10. The Himalayan Silverstripe (Argynnis childreni)
11. The Indian Fritillary (Argyreus hyperbius)
12. The Indian Red Admiral (Vanessa indica)
13. The Indian Tortoiseshell (Vanessa cashmirensis)
14. The Large Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae)
15. The Narrow-Banded Satyr (Aulocera brahminus)
16. The Painted Lady (Vanessa/Cynthia cardui)
17. The Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias erate/hyale)
18. The Pea Blue (Lampides boeticus)
19. The Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)
20. The Himalayan Queen Fritillary (Issoria issaea)


1. The Bath White

2. The Blue Pansy

3. The Common Beak

4. The Common Brimstone

5. The Common Copper

6. The Common Yellow Swallowtail

[Image Courtesy Wikipedia]

7. The Danaid Eggfly

8. The Dark Clouded Yellow

9. The Himalayan Cabbage White

10. The Indian Fritillary

11. The Indian Red Admiral

12. The Indian (Himalayan) Tortoiseshell

13. The Large Cabbage White

14. The Himalayan Silverstripe

15. The Narrow-banded Satyr

16. The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady is the most widespread butterfly in the world and routinely migrates thousands of kilometres every year especially in the palearctic zone to which Kashmir belongs.

17. The Pale Clouded Yellow

18. The Pea Blue

19. The Plain Tiger

20. The Himalayan Queen Fritillary

Click here for more butterflies of Kashmir.

Corrections and suggestions are welcome.

*Upon being jilted by his fiancee, Charles von Hügel, an Austrian nobleman, decided to embark upon an exploratory grand tour of Asia. His experiences are recorded in a four-volume work : Kaschmir und das Reich der Siek. The second volume described Kashmir’s history, geography and resources; and in 1848, the Royal Geographical Society awarded von Hügel its Patron’s Medal, “for his enterprising exploration of Cashmere.”

On his return, von Hügel handed over his extensive collection of natural specimens to the foremost specialists of his day. The celebrated Munich zoologist, Andreas Johann Wagner, described the ‘Mammals of Cashmere‘ from these specimens while Vincent Kollar, a famous entomologist published a the first monograph on the ‘Butterflies of Kashmir‘.

[The Common Yellow Swallowtail image is reproduced courtesy of Wikipedia. All other images © Dr. Bakshi Jehangir. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is not permitted.]