Sunday, September 18, 2011

PIns and Needles 20 ~ Butterflies and Sleepovers

Hey ya'll

It is said, by the Ancient Greeks that a butterfly present by the bedside of a loved one was the person's soul, preparing to take flight from the body during the moments of dream time, but in our household, butterflies by the bed usually point to countless hours of specimens sorting, cataloging and labeling and consequently, late nights for Ray and I. Although specimens sorting and cataloging have always been - up to this point - a pretty personal affair, it was by some rare moment of generosity (for I guard my specimens jealously!) that I allowed Ray to participate in the effort yesterday night. He was, among other things, to help me with the labeling, Wikipedia at the ready, to spell-check and re-confirm the identities of many of the butterflies I've prepped for mounting (mostly the Birdwings and Swallowtails I've blogged about these past few days. The idea, you see, was to create a papillionidae display (they truly are, some of the largest and most beautiful of the butterfly families in my opinion) and it is only by some lack of foresight that I already boxed my lovely demoleuses, two  birdwings and a pair of rather tattered (but still prized) Great Mormon swallowtails into the previous display (it would really be too much of a hassle to dismantle and re-assemble the whole thing... ). Consequently, there were gaps in the display (not enough swallowtails to fill up the spaces) but not much considering how most of the butterflies in this display were quite large, and I did manage to fill in the remaining gaps with what nymphalidae and pierridae butterflies I had left.

Papilionidae (and other miscellaneous butterfly) display. From top to bottom
1st Row
pachliopta aristolochiae, graphium doson eurypylus, polyura delphis, euploea radamanthus, hypolimna bolinas, danaus chryssipus, cyrestis lutea.
2nd Row
pachliopta aristolochiae, graphium sarpedon, paranticopsis delessertii, polyura athamas, junonia hierta, ideopsis vulgaris, charaxes bernardus
3rd Row
troides helena, trogonoptera brookiana
4th Row
papilio helenus, papilio bianor, papilio paris, papilio polytes, appias nero.
5th Row
papilio demoleus, prioneris clemanthe
Another pic without the special-effect thing

Eitherways, I took all precautions this time, dousing my specimens with a layer of insecticides (although I think I must've accidentally breathed in some of the vile stuff because I felt sick afterwards... or maybe it was just lack of sleep) to prevent ants, mites and/or dermestid beetles... and to make sure things stay nice and dry in there I used not one, but FOUR sachettes of silica gel. They're still drying up from the insecticide treatment, currently but when they're done I will upload the pictures of all the display together. They really look more impressive this way (I know my own meager 50+ species display is NOTHING compared to some couple hundred species display some people have...but I'm really quite satisfied). And to think, all this was done under 2 hours. All thanks to the help of my trusty assistant!!! I should really have Ray help me out more often (although... there was the heart-stopping moment where, in his bid to reach for my phone, Ray nearly crushed all of my birdwings with his foot. "OMG RAY!!! DON'T PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN!!!")

Here comes the SUN, du~ du~ du~ du~

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