Plumbers for Nature Research

Slide Shows and Lectures
Nature walks and Tours
Workshops on Nature
Nature Clubs
Travelling exhibition of insects that hold entries in the Limca Book of Records
General Knowledge Galleries
Pronunciation of Scientific Names

Slide Shows and Lectures

For schools, colleges and professional bodies, we present slide shows, question and answer sessions (where we answer the questions asked by the audience) and lectures on natural history. General topics include butterflies, moths, flowers, curious insects, adaptation, zoo-geography, etc. Specific topics can be worked out concerning recent developments in particular fields or comments on recent events.

Nature walks and Tours

Groups or individuals are taken on foot through forests or other natural areas. Birds, insects and plants are identified and discussed. On the spot question and answer sessions provide an unforgettable learning experience for children as well as adults. Such walks can last from a few hours to a few days, depending on the requirement of the audience.

Workshops on Nature

Combining nature walks, slide shows and question and answer sessions provides material for workshops, where the audience is initiated into the art of observing nature rather than merely watching it, over a period of several days. Understanding insect-plant interactions, climatic influences, ecology, etc. gives an in-depth understanding and appreciation of nature which is applicable in any natural environment.

Nature Clubs

Nature clubs are organised in schools, colleges and other organisations. The aim is to familiarise participants with nature and, especially, the scientific way of looking at nature. In local field trips, they are introduced to practical botany, entomology, bird watching and ecology. They are then encouraged to make their own observations. These are discussed and put in perspective. Some lucky students in the age group of 14 years have made discoveries that are being published in a reputed, peer-reviewed scientific journal. Such enthusiasm naturally exposes the participants to the ways of modern Science and changes the way participants look at Science and nature.

Travelling exhibition of insects that hold entries in the Limca Book of Records

Lists of scientific or common names of creatures convey no idea of their true form to a lay person. Therefore, an exhibition of several “record holding” insects, including several non-record holding curious insects, can be hired by the day for exhibition to specific audiences. The displays include the largest and smallest Indian butterflies, leaf butterflies, the most beautiful Indian butterfly, two headed butterflies, poisonous butterflies and moths, stick insects, the largest Indian beetle, the largest Indian bug, the largest insect in the world, wild silk moths, stalk-eyed flies, praying mantises, cicadas, etc.

General Knowledge Galleries

These are especially useful teaching tools for schools and colleges. They can be permanent or temporary. In glass topped wooden cases, displays of gems, minerals, ores, woods, leaves, insects, fossils, curious life forms such as horse shoe crabs, each with detailed explanations intended to show the continuity of nature, as well as displays of other pursuits such as coin collecting, stamp and matchbox label collecting, information on varied topics of interest to students such as submarines, space, geography, cartography, particular topics of history, etc, are displayed. Students are encouraged to participate by including their contributions in the displays. The gallery can either be one time (temporary) or else permanent. In the latter, the display is changed at fixed intervals, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.

Exhibition of unusual insects
General knowledge gallery
Exhibition of unusual insects
General knowledge gallery

Pronunciation of Scientific Names

All Indian butterflies have common names, such as Common Peacock, Blue Pansy or Painted Sawtooth. They also have scientific names, such as Papilio polyctor, Junonia orithya and Prioneris sita. These names are usually based on Latin or classical Greek. Although these are supposed to be universal names, there is no single way of pronouncing them. The British way differs in some respects from northern Europe and naturally southern Europe, Japan and China have distinct styles. Going by the rule that the earliest name for a creature is the valid name for it, it follows that the way the author of the name wanted it pronounced is the way it should be pronounced by the rest of us.

Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist, originated the system of naming things which we follow today. In the following list, we have attempted to give the northern European pronunciation of names of Indian Swallowtails. Other families will follow if the response to this section is adequate.

In the following list, ch is meant to represent the guttural kh, as in the Urdu and Persian word “khwaja”.

Papilionidae: Pup-ee-leo-nee-day
Troides : Traw-ee-des
Minos: mee-nos
Cerberus: ser-ber-oos
Aeacus: ay-a-coos
Ferrari: ferrar-ee
Pachliopta: pach-lee-op-ta
Aidoneus: ay-doe-nay-yoos
Varuna: (the Indian god Varun) var-oo-na
Astorion: ass-tor-ee-yon
Coon: koon
Cacharensis: cachar-en-zis
Sambilanga: sam-bee-lan-gaa
Rhodifer: rhode-ee-fer
Pandiyana: pand-ee-yana
Hector: heck-tur
Aristolochiae: aristo-loch-ee-yae
Diphilus: die-phil-ous
Goniopeltis: gonio-pel-tis
Sawi: saa-wee
Kondulana: kon-dul-aana
Latreillei: laat-rai-lay-ee (the “t” is soft)
Kabrua: kaab-roo-aa
Polla: poll-aa
Nevilli: nevill-ee
Polyeuctes: poly-youc-tes
Dasarada: daa-saa-raa-daa
Ravana: ruv-aa-na
Barata: ba-ra-taa
Crassipes: crass-ee-pes
Plutonius: Pluto-nee-yoos
Paplio: pup-ee-lee-o
Agestor: aages-tor
Govindra: govin-dra
Epycides: epee-si-des
Slateri: slater-ee
Paradoxa: paa-raa-dox-aa
Danisepa: daan-ee-sep-aa
Clytia: klee-tee-aa
Lankeswara: lunk-ay-swar-aa
Dissimila: dis-simil-aa
Dissimilis: dis-simil-iss
Commixtus: co-mix-tous
Onpape: own-paa-pay
Janus: jan-ous
Papone: paap-own-(ay)
Flavolimbatus: flaavo-limb-aa-tous
Polymnestor: polim-nest-aur
Memnon: mem-non
Agenor: aagen-or
Mayo: may-o
Bootes: boo-tes
Janaka: (Sita’s father, Janak): jun-aa-kaa
Mixta: mix-taa
Alcmenor: aalk-men-aur
Leococelis: leo-co-selis
Protenor: prot-en-or
Euprotenor: ay-o-prot-en-or
Elphenor: el-phen-or
Polyctor: pol-ik-tor
Ganesa: (the Indian god, Ganesh): gun-ay-saa
Paris: paris
Tamilana: tamil-aa-naa
Arcturus: arc-tur-ous
Krishna: Krishnaa
Crino: kree-no
Buddha: buddhaa
Dravidarum: draa-vi-daa-roum
Castor: castor
Polias: pole-ee-aas
Helenus: Helen-oos
Daksha: daksh-aa
Nephelus: ne-fay-lous
Fuscus: fuss-cous
Andamanicus: Andaman-ee-cous
Polytes: pol-ee-tes
Romulus: rom-you-lous
Cyrus: se-rous
Stichius: stich-ee-ous
Stichioides: stich-ee-o-ee-des
Nikobarus: niko-bar-ous
Liomedon: lee-o-med-on
Demoleus: demo-lay-ous
Machaon: mach-aa-own
Verityi: verity-ee
Sikkimensis: Sikkim-en-zis
Graphium: graaf-ee-oum
Cashmirensis: kaash-mee-ren-zis
Eurous: ay-yo-rous
Sikkimica: Sikkim-ee-ka
Glycerion: gliser-ee-yon
Agetes: aag-ay-tes
Nomius: nome-ee-ous
Swinhoei: swin-hoe-ee
Aristeus: arist-ay-ous
Anticrates: anti-craa-tes
Antiphates: anti-fay-tes
Naira: nair-aa
Pompilius: pom-pil-ee-ous
Epaminondas: epaa-min-on-das
Cloanthus: Klo-aan-thous
Sarpedon: saar-pay-don
Teredon: ter-ay-don
Eurypylus: Ay-o-ree-pee-lous
Arycles: ar-ee-kles
Chironides: Chiron-ee-des
Doson: doe-sone
Eleius: el-ay-ee-ous
Axion: ax-ee-on
Evemon: eve-e-mon
Agamemnon: aa-gaa-mem-non
Menides: men-ee-des
Decoratus: deco-raa-tous
Paranticopsis: par-aant-ee-cop-sis
Macareus: maa-caa-ray-ous
Indicus: ind-ee-cous
Lioneli: lionel-ee
Xenocles: zen-oc-less
Phrontis: fron-tis
Megarus: mega-rous
Meandrusa: may-aan-drusa
Sciron: ski-ron
Payeni: payen-ee
Tienopalpus: tee-en-o-palp-ous
Imperialis: im-peri-aal-iss
Lamproptera: lam-prop-tera
Curius: curious
Meges: may-guess
Indistincta: in-distinct-aa
Bhutanitis: Bhutani-tis
Lidderdalii: lidder-daal-ee
Hypermnestra: hip-erm-nes-tra
Helios: hay-lee-oss
Parnassius: paar-naas-ee-ous
Jacquemontii: yack-ay-mont-ee
Epaphus: aypa-foos
Hardwickei: hard-wick-ee
Delphius: dell-fee-ous
Stoliczkanus: stol-itch-kaa-nous
Acdestis: ak-des-tis
Actius: act-ee-ous
Simo: see-mo
Acco: acco
Hunnyngtoni: hunnington-ee
Charltonius: charl-tone-ee-ous

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Peter Smetacek, Himagni.