Saturday, October 08, 2011

NHM Butterfly Exhibit

Mesosemia sp. According to Ben a cousin (subspecies perhaps?) of M. loruhama.........but which one?! DAMN IT! *^^*

Ladies and Gents..........

Zeh List:

1. ✩ Luna Moth (Actias luna) ✩ FINALLY!
2. ✩ Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) ✩ Yippee~*^^*
3. Buckeye (Junonia coenia) Saw one eclose.......I got pics!
4. Chocolate Pansy (Junonia iphita)
5. Birdwing (Ornithoptera priamus)
6. Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina)
7. Dido Longwing (Philaethria dido)
8. Isabella Tiger/Longwing (Eueides isabella) Held one for like 20 minutes
9. Morpho peleides
9a. Morpho melenaus
10. Brown Siproeta (Siproeta epaphus)
11. Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio aegus) Sexually dimorphic! Observed males & females
12. Clipper (Parthenos sylvia)
13. Sara Longwing (Heliconius sara) *See notes on the various Heliconiidae
14. Postman (Heliconius melpomene) Various forms
15. Malachites (Siproeta stelenes)? Or were they all Philaethria dido that I saw?
16. Various Charaxes sp.
16a. Pearl Charaxes (Charaxes varanes)
17. Sleepy Orange (Euremma nicippe)
18. Mystery Pieridae member
19. Owl (Caligo sp.)
20. Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
21. Queen (Danause gilippus)
21a. Danaus genutia? Very brief and was still in flight.....never landed.
22. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
23. Julia (Dryas iulia)
24. Tree Nymph (Idea leuconoe)
25. Sweet Oils (Mechanitis polymnia)
26. Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa)
27. Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
28. Polydamas Swallowtail (Battus polydamas)
29. Cattle Hearts (Parides sp.) These are TINY!!
30. Silver Studded Leafwing (Hypna clytemnestra) Previously known as Anaea clytemnestra
31. ✩ Mystery Butterfly #1 ✩ (Memphis sp.)? I'm pretty certain it's one of the Memphis species
32. ✩ Mystery Butterfly #2 ✩ (Mechanitis? Heliconius?)
33. Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonius)

In progress........=) The list is done though. *^^*


There were so many! Most of them being Heliconiids. Of the Heliconiids I observed I have successfully identified these (although they're all still up for speculation):


1. Heliconius erato (numerous forms too I bet)
1a. H. e. cyrbia
2. Heliconius cydno
2a. H. c. cydno
3. Heliconius hewitsoni
4. H. hecale
5. H. melpomene
6. H. sara (possibly)

The others I'm not too sure of. However upon my research of Heliconiidae I have come to 2 conclusions:

1. I freaking love them.
2. Someone needs to write a book.

I'm simply dying for the last one to happen. Reason being (which should be obvious to any butterfly enthusiast) they belong to the most bad ass mimicry ring in the insect world. It's simply mind bogglingly amazing on how many different forms, variations (according to location) and hybrids there are of these butterflies.

It's lead me to repeatedly ask the question a thousand and one times. WHY HASN'T SOMEONE WRITTEN A BOOK?! My god I mean there's so much on these butterflies it'll make your brains explode. I could dedicate an entire month to them alone with all the pictures and resources I've found on them and Ithomiinae (which is just as incredible and mind boggling).

My second mystery butterfly I'm more then certain (after further research) is a Mechanitis of some sort. The closest I have come to is Mechanitis menapis occasiva but that's still wrong. The patterns are off. *Shoot me* >_<

I really need to get the picture I took of it on here. It's a pretty decent one too. I took lots of pictures and also got a video too. Dying to post them here. Got some camera issues to work out first. Also saw a Buckeye eclose in their "purparium" where they had various chrysalids there.

That was a treat as I've never really seen the whole process up close even when raising Vanessa cardui (at least that I can remember). That was another God Send.......

Speaking of God sends. I finally laid eyes on Actias luna.......He/She was perched waaaaaaaaaaay up almost towards the ceiling just sitting there looking absolutely breathtaking. Managed to take 2 pictures. And down below in the bushes as a bonus was Attacus atlas. Smh......I'm in awe.

Thank you God. Now I'm dying to go back. *^^* Further ramblings shall be continued in other entries. This one is long enough. ^^;;;;


Cyren said...

Hey Brittanie!

Where are the butterflies? I wish to see them too.

Brittanie said...

Research!! I saw so many I've been doing weeks and weeks of research! Gonna post the list now. Said research has also lead to the discovery of even more species.

You know what happened next. =)

Archie said...

Hey there Brittanie, just thought you might like to have a look at my newly hatched out Attacus Atlas specimen. I feel over joyed... this one is from the batch of caterpillars I reared in august/september/october... and look how perfect it is!

Happy entomological adventures! And I hope your hermies turn out ok. I know it is so infuriating when websites send you something you werent expecting, this year my website sent me a few robin moth eggs, and i had ordered live larvae, anyway, they all died or didnt hatch... which i was very disapointed by... but at least the atlas ones worked.. they were the most important. here is a link to a post with photos of the caterpillars...

and here is on with photos of some other moth hatchlings..... your favourite Actias Selene.

Have fu and good luck!

Brittanie said...

*Happy Squee*

Holy hell it's GORGEOUS! Better yet my spazzing should be saved for your blog. Go check comments! ♥♥♥

Ottoman bed said...

Good work, buddy keep going , as i would be back soon, :)

Biltong said...

Very good work is done,

zahirdeshi said...

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Anonymous said...

Hi Brittanie,

you were looking for someone to write a book on Heliconius-butteflies.

Try these:

or this one:

You may also visit these two special web sites:

Very nice blog !

Brittanie said...


Oh my goodness!! Thank you so so so much!! I will look at these right now. Goodness I'm speechless.

Thank you!!