Nature Journal Entries by Ecologists in India

1. “Syzygium cumini” by Ragul, a research intern with the TamiraSES project in ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu

2. “Beyond the Wall” by Dr. Thanigaivel A. who specialises in herpatofauna at ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre.

3. “Snapshot” by Sahanashree, a PhD student at ATREE working on ant taxonomy

4. “The Tree of Life” by Thalavaipandi S., a researcher at ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre

5. “The Southern Birdwing” by Ravi Jambedkar, a researcher with the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Bengaluru

“Aren’t butterfly life cycles fascinating to observe? Though, we rarely get to observe them to completion in the wild. Firstly the life cycle goes on for months and secondly the caterpillars are cryptic, the pupae are hidden under the foliage and the adults are simply restless.

I go out searching for caterpillars when I am in the field. I try to locate the host plant first and then keep observing it for caterpillars and eggs. Here is an illustration of the Southern Birdwing butterfly (Troides minos) as I would imagine to observe in the wild. One of the host plant species is an endemic creeper Aristolochia indica, used here for illustration purposes.”