Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pins and Needles 17 - Specimens Display

Hey ya'll

So I know it's about around now that we are normally scheduled for a Ray Says column but I think Ray's internet must be down (again! It usually is...) because I can see the draft of the post here, in all it's incomplete glory, and it still has not been published. I suppose I will just leave him to it then but as a little preview of a hint for the rest of you; it's about X-Men! At any rate I will perhaps now talk about something else that I'm more familiar with. Insects, for instance, more specifically butterflies. Even more specific, butterflies and moths of my collection. As you all may know by now if you have been frequenting Confessions of a Lepidopterist, I have been on a constant hunt for a nice shadow box. A display case of sorts large enough to house a significant portion of my specimens. The problem is, you see, that I have taken to - for a lack of a better method of storage - keeping them in sealed microwavable plastic containers. The downside to this, mainly, is that the plastic containers are not exactly transparent which gives me some trouble looking at the precise patterns and colors of their wings (indeed, why taxidermise if I cannot even make proper references to my specimens?!). That, and of course the fact that I have way too many plastic containers of butterflies and moths stacked up to the brim of my room... My problems were solved yesterday when a trip to IKEA (a.k.a the affordable Swedish-made Furniture Emporium) unearthed this treasure; a reasonably large display case, glass fronted, white framed that I knew at a glance would have been perfect for my specimens! Oh sure, it did cause me quite a steep price of RM55... and there was some issues regarding frame depth, but after some minor adjustments on my part, these were of little consequence.

Lepidoptera of Malaysia, some of the specimens I've collected over the years of extensive observation and research in captivity and in the wild. They are arranged taxonomically, from top left (Papillionidae), bottom left (Pierridae), center top (Saturniidae), center bottom, (Geometridae), left column (Nymphalidae)
Pretty neat isn't it? And I really do love the way they all look together! There was some dispute, however between me and Ray as to how they would be positioned. Ever trying his hand at creativity, he suggested placing flowers inside the display case in a sort of diorama of the lepidoptera flying around in their 'natural' surroundings whereas I was quite adamant that I wanted these to be displayed quite 'scientifically'... also to enable easier reference for myself and for viewers in the future. In the end, of course, the decision lay with me (them being my specimens and all) and I did go for the more naturalist look for this. I do think it looks rather lovely in my room on my shelf.

Cyren's shelf of entomology!!!
As you can see there are more plastic containers of insects on the right hand side of the shelf... but that's another story, for another post, at another time after I manage to find another RM55 to spare, for another display box.

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