Friday, February 18, 2011

Pins and Needles 6: Little Boy Blue

Hey guys!

Oh my goodness it's definitely been awhile since I last stuck a pin into anything but I think for now I'll still consider that as a good sign (wouldn't do to develop a lust for killing butterflies now would it?). Anyway, this particular specimen was one I found in Penang actually, rather it was one the girls found when they were going about sweeping and cleaning the house for our pressumptive return. Also no, we weren't being selfish and/or sexist! Caryn and I were just out looking for apartments because the power wouldn't work at the house. Anyway, whilst sweeping, one of the girls found this lovely thing dead on the windowsill. Of course they knew I would be interested in it so rather than toss it out into the trash they left it be for me to examine.
Pale Grass BLue (pseudozizeeria maha)
Turns out it was a rather common butterfly of the lycaenid family. Lycaenidea are very interesting in the fact that 70% of their larvae require ants to grow up, that is to say the caterpillars are raised, protected and tended to by the ants in their very nests until the adult butterfly matures and is ready to emerge from the chrysalis stage. In return, the caterpillars produce a sweet substance called honeydew, which the ants feed on. The butterfly was actually found in a pretty bad condition. Rigor mortis had set in so spreading could only be done back in KL. Anyway, I did manage to pry its wings open so I guess my humidifying chamber worked after all! Also, most sites online will tell you to leave the humidifying chamber in the fridge for3 days but really, 1 is enough. Anyway I just got styrofoam so I can set multiple specimens at once now! (on the off-chance it ever happens again)

D'ya like my specs?
Meanwhile, are you loving my new blog banner or what??? I designed it to look like the shelf in my room where I keep my bottles and jars of odds and ends. Which, by the way reminds of the "shopping" spree I did to obtain them though... in retrospect I probably shouldn't share here in case word gets around. Anyway, till the next time, ADIOS AMIGOS!

It's the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live.

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