There are two reasons for producing this book. First I want to update my checklist of Nepal's Butterflies. This was first published in Nepal History Museum Journal Vol. 2; 3 in 1978. Two amendments in '79 and '80 brought the original 567 species upto 592. As we now have over 640 species recorded a new edition clearly worth while.
The second purpose is to record in colour the collection of the Butterflies of the Annapurna Regional Museum, PN. Campus, POKHARA, where I have been working for many years.
Though this Museum now attracts many tourists, it was started nearly 30 years ago for the benefit of the local Nepalis to enhance their awareness of the natural beauty of this National heritage. Butterflies are marvellous and beautiful insects, but also very fragile. It seems a shame to kill them, except that by doing so we can with care preserve their beauty for generations to come. Some of the specimens still on display were collected a quarter of a century ago.
In this booklet I try to show every specimen that is in any way significantly different from its neighbour; thus including season forms or any unusual varieties. I also show male (m), and female (f) if different, and undersides (v) if helpful. In all more than 70% of specimen in the collection are given.
Identification of butterflies by some-one unfamiliar with them is generally easier from photographs of set specimens than from any number of descriptions and keys. The booklet therefore should be invaluable to visiting Naturalists as a pocket field guide. It is also important to the specialist collector, since apart from its profuse illustrations, it gives the most complete list of Nepal's Butterflies that has been published to date. Note to save space in the list, the Authors and Dates of the scientific names are given in the index.
Two questions I am often asked are" What is the best time of year to visit Nepal for butterflies?" and" Where-about in Nepal to look for them?" The second depends somewhat on the first, and both depend on which butterflies in particular you wish to find. If you are not so particular then even in the middle of winter you can find 50 different species of butterflies at lower altiudes (as I recently recorded in Chitwan National Park). Otherwise the next section may help you.
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