So while we're all waiting for the butterflies to relax sufficiently for spreading (I'm leaving them in the chamber for a week at least, just to be sure!) I thought of trying my hand again at hand-pairing some of the emerged butterflies in my flight (now turned Savage Garden) cage. True, I no longer have any butterflies of different species with which I may create hybrids with... but at the very least it will give me some experience with hand-pairing in the future. I enticed the male first, by placing him in a box under a bright light to increase his body temperature to about thirty degrees celcius (that got him bright and active) and then held him firmly by the wings in one hand, the female in the other, to start my first attempt at hand pairing. Now, many of the online websites will tell you how easy it is to get the male's claspers open by gently pressing his abdomen. Truth is... it's really not. Not for me, anyway. Getting the male to "open up" was so much tougher than it looked, and even though he was "excited" by the light, I could not get his clapsers to open up wide enough to accommodate the girth of the female's own behind. I eventually managed, though, with the help of a fine pin head and no sooner than I had put the female close to him that he seemed to take charge. A quick flick of the abdomen, and half a second later...