Sikkim’s State Butterfly Blue Duke: Key Facts

Blue Duke has been declared as the state butterfly of Sikkim by Chief Minister P.S. Golay, during the World Environment Day celebrations. The announcement regarding this was made at Saramsa Garden near Ranipool during an event that was organized by the Forest department.

What do you know about Blue Duke?

  • The Blue Duke is blue and white in colour with the colour blue representing the sky while the white depicts the snow-clad Himalayan mountains, thus, representing Sikkim and its unique identity.
  • This butterfly is found at an altitude which is below 1,500 metres in the Himalayas and is generally found in places such as Passingdong, Pakyong, and Hee-Gyathang in Dzongu, Yangsum in West Sikkim, Lingee in South Sikkim, and Ranka and Tadong.
  • This species was found by Nosang in 2012, around the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College at Tadong, Gangtok. Since then, the current and previous governments had been approached by him to declare the species as the state butterfly.
  • The other name of this butterfly is Bassarona durga durga is unique to Eastern Himalayas and Sikkim and first discovered in the year 1858.
  • This is a highly protected species of butterfly and falls under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Why was Blue Duke selected as the state butterfly?

This butterfly is a native butterfly species of Sikkim. It was pitted against Krishna Peacock, another butterfly species. The two butterflies had been shortlisted among around 720 butterfly species in the state. An online voting was conducted from April to September to select Sikkim’s state butterfly. 4036 votes were received, out of which 57 percent of the votes went in favour of Blue Duke while Krishna Peacock received 43 percent of the votes.

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