Saturday, February 26, 2011


She's a maneater, make you work hard
make you spend hard
make you want all, of her love.
She's a maneater, make you buy cars
make you cut cards
wish you never ever met her at all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

An Intimate Affair

Hey guys!

Mating can be a very interesting and dangerous affair for many insects. Indeed, insect courtships are some of the most amazing courtship rituals in the animal kingdom. Some insects, like the praying mantis for instance, must pre-occupy his mate with gifts of live-insect prey lest she turn her head around 180 degrees and devour him while mating! Others, like the bedbug infect their females with their sperm by means of a long stinger like appendange. Should she survive the mating attempt, her eggs would then be fertillized. In that way one can usually tell how many times a female bedbug has had a succesful brood by counting the number of scars on her back. However arguably, some of the most amazing insect mating rituals are found in the species that fly!
Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera eupharion) in mating flight.
It is often said that Insects are amongst the most succesful colonisers of the land, but it is also true that insects are the very first pioneers of the air! Insects were probably the first creatures on our planet to evolve the capabilities for flight! From the rudimentary flight forms of the mayfly to the more complex flight patterns of dragonflies, flight for insects evolved as an integral part of their mating stage and reproduction. Wings, in that sense became not just tools of which insects may spread their linneage far and wide but also, in certain species, as colourful banners and markers of which they may use to distinguish and impress each other. In butterflies, for instance, mating takes place first as a form of an aerial courtship dance where males try to outdance, outdazzle and outdo each other.
Heliconia sp. mating dance
The mating ritual of butterflies is often spectacular and long-lasting. The males, trying to win over the affections of the female will flutter and sommersault in aerial patterns over her head, desperately trying to show off the best of his wings. In some cases, when the female is especially desired, there can be up to a string of 5 or even 10 males dancing in circles over her. Talk about the center of attention eh, now I don't know which girl will pass off that. In some cases, the female is so desirable that the males all congregate her chrysalis even before she hatches!!!
Zebra Longwings (Heliconius charitonius) swarming around female chrysalis as she is about to emerge.
Other male butterflies will present his intended with a perfume gift, exhuded from a brush like organ in his abdommen which, should the female accept will induce her to mate with him.
Rice paper butterfly (Idea Leuconoe) male presenting pheremones package to his intended.
But often times, female butterflies are very choosy. When there are more than one male around the female can take sometimes up to an hour to choose her mate. The following video, for example, features a Great Mormon (Papillio Memnon) female and her procession of three males. They circled around the flowers and plants for almost an hour before she finally broke off with a male from the procession to mate.

L, is for the way you look at me.

The Butterfly Hospital

Hey guys!

So I was on my way home the other day, rather walking to the carpark when I noticed a couple of birds (they were mynahs I think) chasing down this large black butterfly. One of the mynahs managed to clip the butterfly in the end and it went plummeting to the ground in a flurry of its own torn wings. Naturally, one might think that this was all part of nature (the circle of life) and truly I would usually do nothing more than stand by and watch. But something clicked in me this time round and I went to the poor insect's aid. The birds, of course, reacted to my presence and I was able to get to the butterfly before they could close in for the finishing blow. I surveyed the insect and noted that the damage was pretty bad. More than half its wings had been torn off by the birds and it didn't seem to be able to sustain itself in flight. 
Red Helen Swallowtail (Papillio Helenus)
Upon reaching home, I placed the butterfly in a tank and began searching for solutions online. Google, it turns out is most resourceful. I not only managed to identify the butterfly as a Red Helen Swallowtail (Papillio Helenus) but also several methods of "managing an injured butterfly." Alongside many articles recommeding me to put it out of its misery by sticking it into the freezer, I finally found one with a step-by-step guide on how to repair a butterfly's broken wings. All I needed was a fridge, some tweezers, waterproof glue and spare butterfly wings. Essentially I was to perform a WING TRANSPLANT! Already the theme song for ER played in my head, Cyren Wong, Butterfly Doctor. Briefly, the procedure involves sedating the insect by placing it in a cold environment for approximately five minutes, followed by clipping the damaged/crippled wing off and replacing it with a pair that is almost identical in size.

Anyway, if you ever need to play butterfly doctor yourself, READ HERE for the FULL PROCEDURE!

Meanwhile it was getting dark and I wasn't about to attempt surgery with shaky hands and tired eyes. I fed the butterfly a bit of my home-made nectar and decided to proceed with surgery the following morning. Meanwhile he bunked in my indoor butterfly flight with the tawny coster with the missing antenna I adopted last week. Unfortunately though, the bird attack must have damaged it more than just physically because I came back in the morning to find the poor swallowtail quite dead.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust eh?
I preserved him, if only to make sure his death doesn't go to waste but also as a reminder to myself that sometimes you can't save them all. Meanwhile I'm sure there's a nest of hungry baby birds cursing me from the treetops somewhere.


Junior, go walk your leaf!!!

Hey guys!

Yeap, you heard it here, a leaf that walks!!! Although, to be honest I don't think I will be taking mine for any walks anytime soon...and if we're going to be technical it is really not a leaf but rather an insect that looks remarkably a lot like one! Walking leaf insects, like their close relatives the walking sticks come under the insect order of phasmotodea, more commonly known as "'phasmids". The term phasmid itself originates from the Greek word "phasma" meaning an apparition or phantom which is derived from the insect's uncanny resemblance to twigs, sticks, leaves and various plant matter which make them extremely difficult to spot in the wild. In captivity though, leaf insects can quite commonly be found in most butterfly houses and insectariums around the world, often showcased as exemplary specimens of insect camoflauge and mimicry.

Gray's Leaf Insect (Phyllium Bioculatum), can you spot it?
Another interesting trait of the leaf insect is their reproductive system. Like many members of the phasmotodea, leaf insects are capable of breeding via parthogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction whereby females lay eggs that develop without need for fertillization by a male. These unfertillized eggs often take a longer period to hatch (in comparison to fertillized eggs) and the resulting offspring will consist of female insects only making males of said species considerably rare.

Female leaf insect (P. Bioculatum).

Male leaf insect (P. Bioculatum).
As you can see the males look considerably different from the females. Indeed they are not only smaller in stature (measuring almost half her size) but live significantly shorter lives as well! Then again, I suppose in a society where females no longer have any need for males to reproduce, its only a matter of time before they are rendered completely obsolete. A scary thought there but one that has, nontheless been accomplished in the wild by several species of stick insects and even lizards! Males also posses a pair of hindwings which can be used for flight (a trait that is entirely absent in the females).

My very own walking leaf
The leaf insect that I had originally asked for was a nymph of the genus Phyllium Bioculatum which are native to the tropical rainforests of Malaysia, but, as you can see here the specimen I recieved is quite obviously an adult male of the species as opposed to a nymph and you can tell because it has already fully functionable wings (nymphs do not posses wings up till their fourth or fifth instars). Ideally it is the females which make perfect pets as they not only live longer but can also replenish one's pet supply with her parthenogenically produced offspring but I guess this IS my first attempt at raising such a species and I can consider his short life under my care a sort of "preview" into what it would be like raising a female (and her young) long term.

 Meanwhile I honestly wonder why not more people have come to raise leaf-insects and other phasmids as pets. I mean, they have, comparatively, as many the interesting and intriguing physical attributes as other more commonly kept invertabrates (say scorpions or tarantulas) and yet, none of the menacing venom and/or poison.
What's more, isn't this just a face you can't resist?

My little green monster and me, we go everywhere together~

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pins and Needles 8: Butterflies that were Raised by Ants.

Hey guys!

I know this has been long overdue in that I've been saying I'll do a post on my lycaenids for over more than a week now but well, I guess other interesting things kept coming up and I kept attending to them first! It just goes to show that you should never put off tomorrow what you can do today! I mean whose to say something better won't come along tomorrow right? Anyway I'm not going to put it off anymore, even though the most exciting thing happened today (I finally got my leaf insect lodging with me!!!! but more on that later). Anyway, I'm just going to combine like two lycaenid posts into one to make up for lost time. So first up is this latest addition to my collection. Chilades Pandava or the Plains Cupid. This is actually a pretty remarkable butterfly in terms of colour although most people often overlook them because of their small size and dull-upper coloring.  Unlike other lycaenids though, this one has tiny antenna-like tails at the end of this hindwings, near the false eyespots, possibly to deter predators from attacking the real head of the butterfly.

Brown underside of Plains Cupid (Chilades Pandava)
 It should be of note though, that dull coloured wings are often a common trait with lycaenids in that (being so small as it is) the browns and grays often  allow the butterfly to hide better in the undergrowth where it lives. It is, however, when these marvelous insects take flight that their true beauty is shown. Lycaenid butterflies are commonly known as "blues" and if you look at the following pictures, perhaps you can see why.

Brilliant blue upperside, Plains Cupid (Chilades Pandava)

Size and colour comparison of Plains Cupid (Chilades Pandava) and Pale Grass Blue (Pseudozizeeria Maha)

Note how much more brilliant and iridescent the blue is in the Plains Cupid when compared to the smaller Grass Blues which is unsurprising considering that lycaenid butterflies under the genus Chilades are also known as "Jewel Blues". And what's more, these butterflies are as common as they get, often even outnumbering the more plainly seen gray albatross and lime swallowtail butterflies. Just goes to show that there is beauty in every nook and cranny of nature, even where we're not accustomed to looking. Truly an amazing species, the lycaenids are probably one of the only butterflies to have a symbiotic relationship with ants, being raised, tended to and cared for in the heart of ant colonies up to the point where they emerge as fully grown butterflies! Now that's day-care for you!!!
Pale Grass Blue species variants

"Obsession?! I prefer to call it, devotion." Insectiva.

Living Jewels

Hey guys!

I'm so excited cuz tomorrow I'll be getting my leaf insect! Oh boy am I nervous about its upkeeping and what not... hopefully things will go smoothly and I will be able to observe the growth/life cycle of a leaf insect in time! And it only took me a formal letter to get it! Such a hassle! On the other hand check out some of the amazing bugs I found today.
Unidentified red damselfly
This, my friends is a damselfly. They are closely related to dragonflies only much less ferocious looking. Damselflies, like dragonflies are normally found near bodies of water as they lay their eggs in aquatic vegetation. The nymphs that hatch from these eggs are carnivorous and they often subsist on small fish, tadpoles, insects and even each other! Adults too are carnivorous and feed mainly on small flies and mosquitoes! Unlike dragonflies which hold their wings spread above their backs, Damselflies keep them folded most of the time and tend to have a slower, gentler sort of flight (which probably explains why I prefer them to their more joltier cousins). Some damselflies have iridescent pigmentation on their wings (which they use in their courtship flights) but almost all have brilliantly coloured bodies. Take a closer look.
Isn't it a beaut? Red abdomen, orange thorax and emerald green eyes!
I also managed to catch a few other insects today, including a Great Helen swallowtail (which had been attacked by a small bird) and yet another praying mantis nymph (this one of a different genus). But I would say definitely that this red damselfly was the prize of the day for me! All specimens, of course were released unharmed with exception of the mantis which now lives in a plastic cup (similar to Ninja's) on my desk. What can I say I'm a sucker for these bugs!

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we seek to deceive.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cherry Blossom Lovers

Hey guys!

Just a quickie before I turn in. Consider it a late Valentine's Day art piece or what have you!
Cherry Blossom Sprite (Fae Serrulata)
A pair of cuddling cherry blossom sprites! Now isn't that just quaint? Cherry blossom sprites are highly communal, and they often nest in the thousands open a single tree. You know when you see a sakura tree in full bloom one day and the flowers miraculously dissappear the next? It's cuz the entire swarm of sprites had flown off to another tree in the middle of the night! Anyway it's getting late so I shall soon turn in. Some people might ask me why I draw faeries all the time. Well, just a pinch of interest I guess, add a cup of fancy and a tablespoon of whimsy and finally a whole bucketfull of this amazing drug called ESCAPISM!!! Yeah, I draw fanciful things to escape my real life problems. So sue me.
I'm not a bug, I'm a fairy!

More Faeries that Look like Bugs!!!

Hey guys!!!

I'm beginning to enjoy drawing these faeries which look like bugs! You know in my little piece of World, if Faeries were going to exist, they'd all look like this! I mean, I think the idea seems a lot more plausible than dimunitive humans with insect-like wings... I mean is it a bug or is it not a bug?!?! Then again, look at me here, arguing the existence of faeries... Anyway, this is a predatorial rose sprite! Like many other faeries which resemble insects and/or vegetation it can be classified under the flower fairy category! Like its namesake, it hunts for butterflies and insects amongst the foliage, snaring and then paralysing the insects with their venomous claws and barbs as they get attracted to the sprite's floral scents. They learn to mimic roses expertly to avoid detection by humans and predators but can, and will, attack with a poisonous sting if they have to.
Predatorial Rose Sprite (Fae Rosa Thireftis)
Hahaha listen to me, talking about faeries as if they really existed! Then again, I'll have you know that I grew up most of my life believing in things like spirits and faeiries, not necessarily magical creatures from out of this world, but beings living on separate spiritual wavelengths than us which reminds me of a blog post I did on my other blog which I may or may not re-post here. Anyway, all in the name of fun eh?

I do believe in faeries! I do! I do!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The World Through My Eyes

Hey guys!

So let's just take a break from all the taxidermy! It's just so typical, I wish for more butterfly-things to post here and when it finally comes, there's just soo much I have to write on and not enough time even to process my specimens and take their pictures! On the other hand I did take a day off today to go out with a pretty amazing friend! Lots of fun! And when I came back I was just so inspired that I had to come up with this piece here! You know how I love looking at the magical side of the everyday-life? Well, looking at some of the strange insects at the Penang Butterfly Farm, I couldn't help but draw comparisons, between the physiology of these insects and the faeries and nature spirits of folklore and mythology! Seeing as to how my Honour's research is going to be about mythical creatures, I take this as a really good sign. Looking at some grasshoppers and phasmids today I managed to come up with this piece here.

Fae Phasma (Phantom Bramble Sprite)

And that's how Cyren, "C"s it.

Permanent Lodger

Hey guys!!!

Remember the Tawny Coster I brought back from uni a few days ago? Well it seems quite persistant to hang around so I thought, rather than let it live outside, why not give it free roam of my room. There are a whole lot less predators in here and I can always bring it flowers to feed on! Of course, feeding it was a chore (for some reason most butterflies don't know how to feed in captivity, but I managed to coax this one to do it today, by unfurling his proboscis with a needle and guiding it into the right flowers! Phew! What a chore! Anyway here's a video of him eating. Isn't it amazing???

Pretty nifty eh? The video was taken from my iPhone so it was quite shaky at times! On the other hand, though I do wish I managed to capture the "unfurling with a needle" on film cuz that would've been quite interesting I think. Oh well, maybe with the next butterfly, when I have the time to set up the tripod! Coming soon, butterfly breeding project pt 2? But for now, Cheers!

Fruit Loops are just GAY Cheerios.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pins and Needles 7: Giant Moths and Non-Violent Silk

Hey guys!!!

This just in, we've got another large moth to set and preserve. As you know, Saturniid moths are one of my favourite to work with, not only because their bodies are so big there's like little or no danger of me accidentally damaging one unduly (as has been known to happen with smaller butterflies... the heads keep popping off) but also because these giant silkmoths are living testaments against people who will insist that all moths are drably colored and unnatractive. Some Saturniid moths I've worked with before include the Indian Moon Moth and Antherea Celebensis. This time round it was this wonderful beauty.

Ailanthus Silkmoth (Samia Cynthia male)
This enormous wonder is non other than Samia Cynthia or the Ailanthus Silkmoth, so named for the type of food plants its caterpillars feed on Ailanthus Alitissima or The Tree of Heaven. Agriculturally, the moths are cultivated on the leaves of castor beans and are used in the production of Eri Silk which, unlike traditional silk cannot be spun from the coocoons but must be unravelled and then woven meaning that the adult moths are allowed to emerge before silk is harvested giving this silk its popular nick-name "Non-Violent Silk". Eri silk is extremely durable and is often spun much like cotton or wool.
Just look at those lovely clean cut lines!
Anyway so that makes it about 3 Saturniid moths that I have done so far including the Indian Moon Moth and the Celebensis. Coming up next, 2 lycaenid butterflies wihch have yet to be set plus, an amazing and welcome sight, two caterpillars of the lime swallowtail in the Garden which, at long last, marks the return of the butterfly species. I have taken them in to protect them from the harsh weather and will scour the citrus trees for more tomorrow. For now, thanks for visiting and if anybody knows where I can find naturally occuring passiflora suberosa I'd really like to know.

I see trees of green, red roses too.
I see them bloom for me and you.
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gone Butterfly-catching

Hey guys!

Okay I'll admit, it's been like a really long while since I've had anything butterfly-related to blog about (the stuff about the other bugs are considered mostly filler) cause like I mean, this blog IS called Confessions of a Lepidopterist, NOT Confessions of an Entomologist, which means naturally that I should be focussing on insects of the butterfly species. Unfortunately though, I don't control Mother Nature and if She seeks to deprive me of my winged darlings for such a long period of time then I guess there's nothing a lowly human being like me can do about it... or is there! Today I went butterfly-catching! Okay now before some of you jump to heinous conclusions here about me catching butterflies to crush, kill and pin up on my little wall of fame, allow me to explain myself. Today I went butterfly-catching, that is to say I went out with a small-ish net and a plastic cup to DOCUMENT and PHOTOGRAPH the butterflies I find in an area.

Okay~ who do i remind you off....
Pokemon HG's bug catcher sprite. YEAH???? A bug catcher in every reality.

Anyway I wasn't very lucky today either. It seems even when I go out looking for them, butterflies still allude me. Oh sure, there were plenty of those common white ones and the tiny lycaenid butterflies, but I knew specifically what I was looking for and there seemed to be none of those today. Granted I was searching in university but then I thought, I was already meeting Jasmine and the rest for lunch there plus, I've seen one or two of said butterfly before so why not try my luck right? Anyway it wasn't until I was leaving that the tide finally changed. I saw one fluttering haphazardly near the carpark. Hohoho~ look whose luck finally sweetened up!
Tawny Coster (Acraea Terpsicore)
I've been looking for these butterflies for such a long time already, mainly with hopes of finding a female and collecting her eggs for breeding purposes (they feed on wild passiflora which are easy to raise) and although I did manage to find a specimen earlier today, it was, unfortunately, a male. Poor thing was missing an antenna too! 
Poor baby was distraught from the car -ride...But it's nothing a bit of sugar syrup won't cure I bet.

Anyway since he's a male and not the female I was hoping for, I guess I just took a few pictures and sketches of him and I will release him tomorrow! Quite a fighter he is too, to have survived this long without an antenna (I reckon it must be like having an inner ear problem in one ear!) On the other hand, most predators leave helicone butterflies alone anyway due to their poisonous blood! A beauty and a deadly one too! That's my boy!
some artistic shots for good measure.

Cause baby your're a firework!

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.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day with the Butterflies

Hey guys!!! I know this is like a little...okay like a LOT belated, but HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

Truly, Valentine's Day has always been a day for lovers and hopeless romantics. True, it is on one hand a giant gimmick concocted by the World's Association of FLorists and Candy Makers to scam young couples out of their money...but on the other hand I like to believe that Valentine's Day is an exceptionally special day, one that commemorates Love and the acts that people have done in its name. This year, on Valentine's Day, I joined in that celebration at the Penang Butterfly Farm. 

A Date with Butterfly Lovers
A Date with Butterfly Lovers was organized by the Penang Butterfly Farm to commemorate this beautiful day. Upon arriving at the farm, its misty walkways decorated with flowers and paper hearts we were given each a plastic cup containing within it, a single butterfly. "Release it anywhere in the park" I was told. Native American legends say that if you make a wish upon a butterfly and whisper into its little ears, it will carry your wish to the heavens and into God's ears.

Butterfly in the cup, waiting to be released
As usual, the park was an extremely delightful experience! Everyone was so friendly! Special thanks is in order I believe, to Michael for fetching us there and for the guided tour! May this Valentine's Day mark the beginning of a beautiful and long-lasting relationship with the woman you love. Meanwhile, journeying through the Park, I had to opportunity to revisit with some of its lovely inhabitants. My favourite was this awesome looking stick-insect!

OMG! It may look like a twig but it feels NOTHING like one.

As cryptic and unimposing as it may look the stick insect truly has one particularly impressive feature that was not visible in the photographs. When tossed lightly into the air, they extend small orange butterfly-like wings to parachute their way to safety!

A gentle giant
Of course the stick-insect, as gentle a giant as it was, could not detract me from appreciating the beauty of the true inhabitants of Penang Butterfly Park, my "babies" the butterflies.

A glassy blue tiger sipping nectar on the mist-drenched flowers
Daddy's little girls

Indeed it seems that I attracted more than one "hitch-hiker" which were more than happy to cling onto various portions of my clothes throughout my duration at the park. They must've been attracted to my smell!

Or more likely, to the butterfly I was yet to release! Whoah there boy! Calm your antennae!
 Indeed truly it seemed that the butterflies were getting into the spirit of Valentines Day. Love was in the air even in the insect kingdom and as they rioted amongst the colorful blossoms and flirted in between the leaves, butterflies mostly of the lacewing species took the opportunity to dance for their partners and, upon succession, to retreat to the various nooks and crannies of the park to go about their business.
A pair of butterfly lovers
A butterfly mother, missing a wing, but still carefully placing her young upon a vine
Butterfly eggs
Eventually, the time came to release our butterflies. The little butterfly I had in my cup had already dried up her wings and was beginning to flutter them, testing them for flight. Meanwhile, butterflies of her same (and sometimes different) species began flocking around me, responding perhaps to some ancient call embedded in their insect systems to dance and flutter, to impress her, their potential mate.
Butterfly fly away~
Me and the girls with our butterflies
I opened the cup and coaxed her onto my hand. She tested it, tentatively with her feet but then eventually crawled on. She tested her wings a few times and I expected her to take off in a blink, but still she sat there. Realising there was something yet I had to do, I raised her gently to my lips and whispered into her butterfly ears, my wish. And then just like that, she was gone.

As I watched her fly away I realised something;

love is a lot like a butterfly. It is beautiful and wonderful and people spend a lot of time chasing it, and trying to catch it. But the truth is, once you've caught it and put it into a jar, or say a plastic cup, you realise that truly some of that beauty is lost and suddenly it doesn't seem at all as enticing as it had. But if you had let it go, let it fly away with the wind and should it sometime return to alight upon your finger, then that joy is unbridled and unrivaled by no any other. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

"P" is for Penang!!! And Poke'mon

Hey guys!!!

Another trip to Penang which will make it like my second in just a few months, prompting a friend of mine to say "WOW, you guys really love Penang don't you?" And to be honest.... yes, yes I do. Penang will always be a very special place for me, partly because it was where I spent my first independant vacation with friends as a college student but also because of that unfortunate, and rather comical slip I made up in the plane on that trip that had everybody rolling around with laughter. Really, I'm not that stupid, I just seem a little bit himbotic sometimes. But I digress. Packing for a vacation is always soo difficult, so little luggage space and so many things to bring! I tihnk the problem with me is that I'm a random dresser. That is to say I rarely plan my outfits the night before. There's really no point when I put it on, take a look at myself in the mirror, decide "nah!" and change my entire ensemble anyway. I mean, I can go through like three or four sets of clothing alone in one sitting! It's not that I'm vain or anything... but I do believe presentation is a very important part of a person and well, I'd like my outward presentation to reflect my inner environment as well... and I can't predict how I'm gonna feel the next day so you see my problem.
And this is just me packing for a four-day trip within my OWN COUNTRY

I guess another reason why packing has always been a hassle for me is that I keep getting distracted or side-tracked. Sometimes its like I find something in my closet that I haven't seen in YEARS and its all like WOW.... I never knew this was there, so I try it on to see if it still fits but then when I do I realise its got that funny closet smell so I contemplate washing it and bringing it or not bothering at all since I got tons of nice-smelling clothes as it is... and other times it like when I'm deciding what electronics to pack. My Nintendo DS, for example, which I noticed still had my Poke'mon Heartgold game card in it so I decided to play and before I knew it... it was afternoon and I had finished the game. Btw, check this out; my current pokemon team which basically consist of bug-type poke'mon.
A bug-catcher in every reality eh? Meanwhile, if you don't remember the names, the poke'mon are (from left) Yanmega, Venomoth, Drapion, Butterfree, Scyther and Scizor.
Meanwhile a lot of people tell me with a bug-team I will get my butt kicked at every private battle I do against flying, electric, ice, fire, rock and dragon type trainer I come against (and that's the PG version of what was really said) but I sure proved them ALL wrong when I won a battle against a higher levelled Dragon/Fire trainer last year and got myself a limited edition Celebi and Shaymin which, btw are two really rare poke'mon just in case you didn't know. Yeah I know, I'm such a geek for playing this game but really it provides me some degree of escapism and I like it and also I guess its none of your business what I do during my free time but.... of course I'm telling it to you here so, I guess it would be your business after all? I kid, I kid, you guys are awesome! Anyway I'm really sorry for the lack of insect-related posts lately but what can I do...I don't tell butterflies when to breed. Hopefully it will let up. On another note though, psst, don't tell anyone. I'm smuggling Ninja onboard the Air Asia flight! Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Queenbee Pinup

Hey guys!!!

OFF TO PENANG IN LESS THAN 2 DAYS! And the good news is that I've already recieved my offer letter from Monash University to do my Honours starting February 28, 2011. I have also been offered a scholarship of 45% that will be deducted from the overall fees and what's more, I hear Honours students get their own room although since this year boasts about 12 students in total...well who knows how that will turn out? Anyway, its not like I've not been keeping buzy these holidays and I have been upkeeping on certain art projects, the main one being coming up with a pair of butterfly-fairy wings for a tattoo which, to be honest, makes me feel very fairy-godfather like because now I can tell people I've honestly "given someone a pair of wings!" In the meantime though I've not neglected on my personal art projects. Here's another piece in the style of pinup.

Rose as the Queenbee pinup
 The original idea was to have a Queenbee, sweet as honey, but then I remmbered that even Queenbees have stings and so I turned her into a dominatrix instead. There's still some elements of that cuteness in there though (which is usually the case when I try to make my characters badass) but oh well there it is. Anyway I've never felt better in such a long time and goodness we can only hope it will last for the rest of the year.

To new beginnings!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is how Ninjas Do It

Hey guys!

I decided to name my little mantis nymph Ninja!!! If you see the way he hops from place to place and the stealthiness with which he hunts his prey you will know what I mean! Meanwhile Ninja just went through his second molt! Second molt already and he's starting to look a lot bigger than he was! COOL! Pretty soon I'll have a full grown mantis in no time!
Mantis molt!
Meanwhile, what an appetite!!! Check out the following video! It's really quite amusing watching them hunt although, one might feel sorry for the small insects currently being devoured! Ah well, circle of life and all that. Ps. if you can, click the "rectangle" button on the bottom right of the video to watch it full screen. I used a HD camera so you can really get in on all the details!