Lake Habitants

Birds of Paradise

“Cue the lake

The birds are here

Not of a feather

But of many splendid feathers

Iris brushes

Let’s take a census”

Photographer Satish Chandrakaranth has captured some amazing pictures of the birds that inhabit Puttenahalli Lake. His informative descriptions of them enhance ones knowledge of these beautiful avians.

Cormorant:

Cormorants and shags are medium-to-large birds, with body weight in the range of 0.35–5 kilograms (0.77–11.02 lb.) and wing span of 45–100 centimetres (18–39 in). The majority of species have dark feathers. The bill is long, thin and hooked. Their feet have webbing between all four toes. 

Pond Heron:

Pond herons are herons, typically 40–50 cm long with an 80–100 cm wingspan. The Indian pond heron or paddy bird is a small heron. It is of Old World origins, breeding in southern Iran and east to the Indian subcontinent, Burma, and Sri Lanka. 

  • Ashy Prinia

Western Yellow Wagtail:

The western yellow wagtail is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. This species breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia.  

White Throated Kingfisher:

The white-throated kingfisher also known as the white-breasted kingfisher is a tree kingfisher, widely distributed in Asia from the Sinai east through the Indian subcontinent to the Philippines. This kingfisher is a resident over much of its range, although some populations may make short distance movements. 

Courtship:

During courtship male birds lure the female by offering feed! The Whitethroated Kingfisher begins breeding at the onset of the Monsoons. Males perch on prominent high posts in their territory and call in the early morning. The tail may be flicked now and in its courtship display the wings are stiffly flicked open for a second or two exposing the white wing mirrors.

Ashy Prinia:

The ashy prinia or ashy wren-warbler is a small warbler in the family Cisticolidae. This prinia is a resident breeder in the Indian Subcontinent, ranging across most of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and western Myanmar.  

Glorious Butterflies

“Lift the lake 

On a thousand wings

Of living moments

Powder coloured

Do not smudge”

The amazing variety of butterflies found at Puttenahalli Lake has been vividly photographed by Satishchandra Karanth. Know about their lifestyle through the profound descriptions that he has put out. 

1. Blue Mormon Butterfly:

Papilio polymnestor, the blue Mormon, is a large swallowtail butterfly found in south India and Sri Lanka. It is the “state butterfly” of the Indian state of Maharashtra.

2. Blue Tiger Butterfly:

Tirumala limniace, the blue tiger, is a butterfly found in South Asia and Southeast Asia that belongs to the crows and tigers, that is, the danaid group of the brush-footed butterfly family. This butterfly shows gregarious migratory behaviour in southern India. 

3. Common Crow Butterfly: 

Euploea core, the common crow, is a common butterfly found in South Asia to Australia. In India it is also sometimes referred to as the common Indian crow, and in Australia as the Australian crow. It belongs to the crows and tigers subfamily Danainae. 

4. Common Mormon Butterfly:

Papilio polytes, the common Mormon, is a common species of swallowtail butterfly widely distributed across Asia. This butterfly is known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females which mimic inedible red-bodied swallowtails, such as the common rose and the crimson rose. 

5. Crimson Rose Butterfly: 

Pachliopta hector, the crimson rose, is a large swallowtail butterfly belonging to the genus Pachliopta of the red-bodied swallowtails. 

6. Indian Jezebel Butterfly: 

 This variety is considered as one of the top three most beautiful butterflies in India.

Delias Eucharis, the common Jezebel, is a medium-sized pierid butterfly found in many areas of south and Southeast Asia, especially in the non-arid regions of India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. The common Jezebel is one of the approximately 225 described species in the genus Delias.  

7. Plain Tiger Butterfly:

Danaus Chrysippus, also known as the plain tiger, African queen, or African Monarch, is a medium-sized butterfly widespread in Asia, Australia and Africa. It belongs to the Danainae subfamily of the brush-footed butterfly family Nymphalidae. 

8. Striped Tiger Butterfly: 

Danaus Genutia, the common tiger, is one of the common butterflies of India. It belongs to the “crows and tigers”, that is, the Danainae group of the brush-footed butterflies family. The butterfly is also called striped tiger in India to differentiate it from the equally common plain tiger, Danaus chrysippus. 

Luminous Insects

“Don’t bug me

Just build me up

Call me fascinating

I’m a pollinator and a decomposer”

Puttenahalli Lake abounds with a variety of bugs and insects; all crucial to its ecosystem. Know about them through the alluring pictures and descriptions that Satishchandra Karanth has brought out.

1. Assassin Bugs: 

The strong beak found in assassin bugs is used repeatedly and violently to stab its prey to death hence the name assassin! This insect can also inflict terribly painful bites on careless humans and may be best left observed and not handled!

2. Violet Carpenter Bee:

Xylocopa violacea, the violet carpenter bee, is the common European species of carpenter bee, and one of the largest bees in Europe. It is also native to Asia. Like most members of the genus Xylocopa, it makes its nests in dead wood. It is not particularly aggressive, and will attack only if forced to.  

3. Damselfly:

Damselflies are insects of the suborder Zygoptera in the order Odonata. They are similar to dragonflies, which constitute the other odonatan suborder, Anisoptera, but are smaller, have slimmer bodies, and most species fold the wings along the body when at rest, unlike dragonflies which hold the wings flat and away from the body. An ancient group, damselflies have existed since at least the Lower Permian, and are found on every continent except Antarctica.

4. Picture Wing Dragonfly:

It is a medium-sized dark bodied dragonfly with colourful wings tinted with pale yellow. There are a few black spots on the apices and nodes of the fore-wings. There is a large patch in the base of the hind-wings, marked with black and golden yellow. In females, the apical half of the fore-wings are transparent; the basal half tinted with golden-yellow with black marks. The apical ends of the hind-wings are transparent; the rest of wings are marked with golden-yellow and black.

It breeds in marshes, ponds and paddy fields. They appear to have weak flight and can easily be mistaken for butterflies.

PHOTO CREDITS: SATISHCHANDRA KARANTH

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