Love butterflies? Here's how you can engage yourself

  • PTI, Kolkata
  • Updated: Dec 26, 2014 19:04 IST

You can now create your own personal collection of butterflies without killing the beautiful insects.

Fusing the traditional art of origami (folding of paper) with the study of butterflies, a new activity book equips butterfly enthusiasts of all ages especially children and young adults to create their own collection.

Compiled and designed by eminent lepidopterist Peter Smetacek, 'Indian Butterflies Origami' has rich illustrations on 12 popular species of butterflies.

It also comes with origami sheets from which one can create the paper butterflies by following simple instructions.

Taking nature lovers into the fascinating world of butterflies, the real patterns and colours of the wonderful insects have come out vividly on paper.

Smetacek, who runs a butterfly research centre in Uttarakhand's Bhimtal, said collecting real butterflies is not easy and also involves killing of the insect to preserve it for future.

Paper butterflies, on the other hand, are fun to make, easy to maintain and can look as attractive as a collection of real butterflies.

"You can display it in collection boxes. It can be arranged scientifically (according to families) or for decorative purposes by arranging it according to its aesthetic value," Smetacek, considered an authority on Indian butterflies and moths," said.

"Once you have folded and created a paper butterfly you will recognise the species whenever you see it," he said.

Smetacek has described a dozen species new to science and has also written the book "Butterflies on the roof of the world".

All the 12 species chosen in his new book are widespread, common and visually appealing. Some of them include blue pansy, plain tiger, common rose, spot swordtail and lime butterfly.

He said the book was meant for children and young adults, but even older people would enjoy the activity of origami.

Smetacek is also engaging schools and research institutions where he goes with a powerpoint presentation on butterflies followed by a few hours folding the origami butterflies.

The idea of the book came from French publisher Philippe Rault who walked into the butterfly research center one day and asked him to do this.

Smetacek drew and painted the butterfly designs and created the origami sheets with the help of a computer graphics expert.

They are now planning a series of such books to engage nature lovers.

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