Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais)
- The southern state of Tamil Nadu has declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) as its state butterfly to symbolise its rich natural and cultural heritage, in a move aimed at boosting the conservation efforts of the attractive insects.
- Locally known as Tamil Maravan meaning ‘Tamilian Warrior’, the canopy butterfly, usually sized between 60 and 75mm, belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid. This is the latest addition to Tamil Nadu’s existing symbols from the natural world – palmyra as the state tree, gloriosa lily as the state flower, emerald dove as the state bird, jackfruit as the state fruit and Nilgiri tahr as the state animal.
- Tamil Yeoman is endemic to the Western Ghats.
- Butterflies are great bio-indicators of an ecosystem as they are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, sunlight, humidity and rainfall patterns. Their presence, patterns and migration assist in mapping the climatic health of a region and they are perhaps the most studied insect group across the world.
- With this, Tamil Nadu became the fifth Indian state to declare its state butterfly. Maharashtra was 1st state to officially declare Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor) as its state butterfly, way back in 2015 followed by Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern bird wings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock).