Coimbatore-based Darshan M Trivedi enters the India Book of Records for photographing a single butterfly in 67 variations
Butterfly fanatic Darshan M Trivedi has captured 67 such color variations of this single species, a feat that has earned him an entry into the Indian Book of Records. This butterfly can be distinctive because it displays two kinds, a wet-season (summer time) type, seen from December to March, the place it has a number of eye-spots on the wings, presumably for cover from predators. In the dry-season (winter) type, it seems to be a lot bigger and shows a number of variations in color and markings. “The recognition is for shooting the maximum number of photographs of the butterfly in dry season form (DSF),” says Darshan.
When Darshan moved to Coimbatore from Gujarat on a piece switch, town’s inexperienced areas impressed him to take up Nature pictures over the weekends. “I purchased a DSLR and started clicking flora and fauna, birds, butterflies, and dragonflies. I explored macro photography with bugs, beetles, spiders, and insects. Once you are hooked, you want to explore more,” he factors out. That is how he grew to become an everyday at Nature walks carried out by birding societies in addition to actively collaborating in chicken and butterfly census of the Forest Department.
In the method, he tracked the Common Evening Brown butterfly for over 4 years and ended up with an enormous assortment of pictures. “While the wet season form is common, the pigmentation of the dry season form depends on several factors like humidity and environment. The morphology of the wings are different. The colour also changes based on where it lays eggs. For example, a building construction site lends the wings a rusted metal colour. It is like magic,” he explains.
At Kallar, situated on the foothills of the Nilgiris, he photographed the butterfly in excessive camouflage. “It’s a muddy area and there was a pile up of yellow logs. Here, the butterfly showcases a mix of yellow and brown. In some areas where greenery has dried up, the butterfly has the colour of dead plants.” He says one has to search for inexperienced bushes to identify this butterfly because the frequent grass is its host plant. “You can find me roaming parks and the botanical garden at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University campus with my camera looking for butterflies every Sunday, from dawn to noon. In some forms, the variation is in the form of dots or lines on the wings.”
Darshan has additionally caught the butterfly in a bluish shade on the botanical backyard because it feasted on nectar. “What is exciting is the possibility of many variations. Sometimes, it carries white lines on the body, may be it laid eggs near white walls. A deeper study is required to understand it better.”
The award is a good motivator, says Darshan, who has been following Nature for over seven years. “I have photographed over 100 species of butterflies. Once I hit 200, I will look for an entry in the Asia Book or Guinness Book of Records.”