Starevich began as a naturalist - he had been made director of the Museum of Natural History in Kovno, Lithuania and his first films were live action documentary shorts about insect life. After directing a few films for the museum, he wished to feature insect behavior that was impossible to film, as the creatures were nocturnal and wouldn't behave normally under the lights. After seeing a short film by Emile Cohl, he decided to try stop action animation using insect carcasses. He soon branched into narrative shorts and moved to Moscow, where he created a series of animated shorts using dead animals which were acclaimed all over the world. Some people apparently couldn't believe they were animated and assumed the animals had been trained somehow - which sounds ridiculous to us, but imagine how magical his work must have seemed at the dawn of moviemaking.
You can see another of his charming insect films, The Dragonfly and The Ant, below:After the September Revolution he joined the Russian expat community in Paris and worked there for the remainder of his life. He continued to make strange and creative animated movies until his death in 1965. Terry Gilliam has said he is a huge influence on his work.