Bhutanitis ludlowi Gabriel, 1942 - Mystical Bhutan Glory

Subspecies in India

No subspecies are listed under this species. It is also known as Ludlow's Bhutan Glory or Ludlow's Bhutan Swallowtail.

Conservation and Special status

This species is not legally protected in India under any schedules of WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Photo Gallery and Species Biology

Detailed life cycle has been recently reported and illustrated by Harada et al. (2012).

This species was believed to be endemic to the Trashiyangtse Valley, Trashi Yangtse, eastern Bhutan, until Sept. 2012 (Harada et al. 2012). The sighting near Dirang and Sange Villages, on way to Tawang from Dirang, West Kameng District, western Arunachal Pradesh, NE India, at an altitude of 2,600 m asl, on 6 Sept. 2012, published here (BOI media codes aq428 and aq429) on 3 Nov. 2012 based on the images taken by Pijush Kumar Dutta represents the first record outside Bhutan. It also represents an important addition to the Indian butterfly fauna. The species was seen again by Sujatha Padmanabhan near Lama Camp, Eaglenest WLS, West Kameng District, on 11 Sept. 2012 (BOI media code an936). Sanjay Sondhi photographed a dead specimen (BOI media code an937) at Ramaling on 10 Sept. 2011. The species is now known to be endemic to eastern Bhutan and the West Kameng area of western Arunachal Pradesh in NE India. The species is likely to be discovered in western Bhutan and further east in Arunachal Pradesh when these areas have been surveyed intensively for this species.

This species is very similar to Bhutanitis lidderdalii – Bhutan Glory, from which it may be easily distinguished by its less strongly toothed hindwing, grey or dirty yellow submarginal lunules on upperside of hindwing (bold and broadly yellow in lidderdalii), and broader forewing (Gabriel 1942; Harada et al. 2012).

This species is believed to be very rare, although it may be locally common. Little is known about its phenology, flight period and elevational range. It was known only from the species description (Gabriel 1942), and from the recent rediscovery in 2009 by Karma Wangdi and subsequent surveys in 2011 by a team of Bhutanese and Japanese lepidopterists (Harada et al. 2012). In Bhutan, B. ludlowi and B. lidderdalii have not yet been observed flying together. However, based on the recent records reported here from India, both B. ludlowi and B. lidderdalii are now known to fly at the same elevation in the same microhabitat and valley at the Lama Camp in the Eaglenest WLS. This sympatric occurrence is significant. Their flight periods also appear to overlap substantially.

The species occupies evergreen forests, tree-fall gaps and forest edges at the elevation of 2,000-2,800 m asl, frequenting mountain slopes and valleys. Adults usually fly high up in the forest canopy, occasionally descending to feed from flowers of shrubs and small trees.

The species is at least bivoltine (i.e., has two broods every year), flying from July to October.

StateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNo date
Andaman and Nicobar Islands UT
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh159
Dadra & Nagar Haveli UT
Daman & Diu UT
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir UT
Ladakh UT
Madhya Pradesh
Puducherry UT
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

Aristolochia griffithii (Aristolochiaceae) (Harada et al. 2012).

Gabriel, A. G. 1942. A new species of Bhutanitis (Lep. Papilionidae). The Entomologist, 75:189.

Harada, M., K. Wangdi, S. Wangdi, M. Yago, T. Aoki, Y. Igarashi, S. Yamaguchi, Y. Watanabe, Sherub, R. Wangdi, S. Drukpa, M. Saito, Y. Moriyama and T. Uchiyama. 2012. Rediscovery of Ludlow's Bhutan Glory, Bhutanitis ludlowi Gabriel (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae): morphology and biology. Butterflies (Teinopalpus), 60:4-15.

Page citation

Anonymous 2024. Bhutanitis ludlowi Gabriel, 1942 – Mystical Bhutan Glory. In Kunte, K., S. Sondhi, and P. Roy (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 4.12. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL:, accessed 2024/06/23.