Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pins and Needles 18 - The Problem With Ants

Hey ya'll

so It was just recently during one of my trips into the forest that I managed to catch myself a pair of beautiful birdwing butterflies. Though I was hoping they'd mate and I could add them to my breeding list, this wasn't to be and the male expired first, followed by the female some hours later. I wonder if I do not only manage to catch these butterflies because they are at the end of their lives... anyway, seeing as to how I want to do a papillionidae collection soon and I do not have the species yet, I turned their bodies over to science, spreading them in my usual manner.

The Common Birdwing (troides helena) female (top) and male (bottom)
Female of the Common Birdwing (troides helena)
Also managed to bag a couple other species. From left to right, the Magpie Crow (Euploea Radamanthus) and the Common Nawab (Polyura Athamas)
Was feeling quite self-satisfied when I spread them last night and left them to dry.

Today, sometime around 9.00pm. HORROR!!! It seems the seal on my Troides Helena case was not airtight and an entire parade of ants had gotten in!!! Oh sad, sad day... they had done some extensive damage, mostly to the female and they had already eaten half of her abdomen before I arrived to save them. Such a pity and I'm hoping the wings and thorax would still be intact and sturdy enough for display... it is really quite a bummer when such things happen. I wonder if anybody might share preservation techniques... fortunately enough though I have managed to procure some of the vines on which they feed and will hopefully be growing them around here sometime soon. Maybe we'll be seeing majestic birdwings flying around if we're lucky. Whilst I was at it, I also took the opportunity to spruce up on some already existing specimens of mine, collected many years ago when I was but a boy.

Clockwise from left. Paris Peacock (papilio paris), Yellow Pansy (junonia hierta), Little Mapwing (cyrestis lutea), Plain Tiger (danaus chrysippus), Chinese Peacock (papilio bianor), Tawny Rajah (charaxes bernardus)

No comments: