SEASONAL PATTERNS IN BUTTERFLY DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE IN RELATION TO WEATHER PARAMETERS AT KAMBALAKONDA ECO-TOURISM PARK, VISHAKHAPATNAM.
Kambalakonda eco-tourism park spread over an area of 80 hectares comprises Scrub Jungle type of vegetation with herbs, trees and shrubs with different flowering seasons. A total of 41 butterfly species belonging to 8 families were observed during the study period i.e. 2007-2008. Among these maximum butterfly sighting were witnessed in Pieridae followed by Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, Lycaenidae, Danaidae, Acaraeidae, Satyridae and Hesperiidae. Of the 41 butterfly species 23 were encountered all through the year. More than half of the total butterfly species were encountered in wet season (58%) i.e. during July- November because the frequent rains in this period promote luxuriant growth and flowering in this season that serves as food source for the butterflies. The regression analysis indicated that monthly average temperature, monthly average day length, monthly average relative humidity and monthly total rainfall could collectively influence the abundance of butterflies of different families to different extents.