Inside the Lives of Butterfly Traders | National Geographic

Step into the murky world of capturing and trading butterflies, where prices start at pennies and run into the thousands.
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This moving and complex documentary looks into the butterfly trade on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. Butterflies are an important means of subsistence for the people who live there, with each specimen earning its catcher a penny or two. The idea of a butterfly trade might sound ancient, but the internet has enabled a modern market. Indonesia’s rules around the butterfly trade are complicated at best, and legal sales are difficult to distinguish from the black market. The people shown here are the beginning of this trade—which ends with collectors and enthusiasts who sometimes pay thousands of dollars for butterflies that will be displayed under glass.

Read the entire story, “Inside the Murky world of Butterfly Catchers,” which is featured in the August 2018 issue of National Geographic.

Inside the Lives of Butterfly Traders | National Geographic

National Geographic


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