Butterflies of Kashmir

Vincent Kollar, a famous nineteenth-century entomologist, published the first monograph on the Butterflies of Kashmir* in 1840.

Further lists compiled by British army officers in the late nineteenth century compared with recent studies reveal the 20 butterfly species most commonly found in the Kashmir valley.

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 Dark Clouded Yellow (Colias fieldii electo/crocea)
8. The Great Satyr (Aulocera padma)
9. The Indian Cabbage White (Pieris canidia)
10. The Indian Fritillary (Argyreus hyperbius)
11. The Indian Red Admiral (Vanessa indica)
12. The Indian Tortoiseshell (Vanessa cashmirensis)
13. The Large Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae)
14. The Large Silverstripe (Childrena childreni)
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 Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia/issaea)

Over the years I have photographed most of these butterflies along with other not-so-common species across the valley .


The Bath White

The Brimstone

The Common Grass Yellow

The Dark Clouded Yellow

The Kashmir Arrowhead / Himalayan Blackvein

The Large Cabbage White

The Pale Clouded Yellow

The Small Cabbage White


The Blue Admiral

The Dark Green Fritillary

The High Brown Fritillary

The Himalayan Silverstripe

The Indian Fritillary

The Indian Tortoiseshell

The Large Tortoiseshell

The Lidder White Admiral

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.

The Peacock

The Plain Tiger

The Queen of Spain Fritillary

The Rusty Sailer

The Danaid Eggfly

[Image Courtesy Wikipedia]


The Common Satyr

The Dusky Meadow Brown

The Great Satyr

The Narrow-banded Satyr

The White-edged Rock Brown


The Brown Argus

The Common Argus

The Common Blue

The Common Copper

The Hill Hedge Blue

The Himalayan Meadow Blue

The Pale Grass Blue

The Pea Blue

The White-bordered Copper


The Common Beak


The Common Yellow Swallowtail

[Image Courtesy Wikipedia]


The Himalayan Swift

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, A. 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 and Danaid Eggfly images are reproduced courtesy of Wikipedia. All other images © Dr. Bakshi Jehangir. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is not permitted.]