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.

The Bath White
The Blue Pansy
The Common Beak
The Common Brimstone
The Common Copper
The Common Yellow Swallowtail
The Danaid Eggfly
The Dark Clouded Yellow
The Great Satyr
The Indian Cabbage White
The Indian Fritillary
The Indian Red Admiral
The Indian Tortoiseshell
The Large Cabbage White
The Large Silverstripe
The Painted Lady
The Pale Clouded Yellow
The Pea Blue
The Plain Tiger
The Queen of Spain Fritillary

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

The Blue Admiral

The Brown Argus

The Clouded Yellow

The Common Argus

The Common Copper

The Common Grass Yellow

The Dark Green Fritillary

The Great Satyr

The High Brown Fritillary

The Himalayan Meadow Blue

The Himalayan Silverstripe

The Himalayan Swift

The Indian Fritillary

The Indian Tortoiseshell

The Kashmir Arrowhead / Himalayan Blackvein

The Large Cabbage White

The Large Tortoiseshell

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 Pale Grass Blue

The Peacock

The Plain Tiger

The Queen of Spain Fritillary

The Rice Swift

The Small Cabbage White

The White Admiral

The Lidder White Admiral

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‘.