Saturday, March 10, 2012

NHM Butterfly Exhibit Visit #4 RANT!!

...But there's more to this moth then just fabulous cloth so I'll keep holding on to my dreams.....ɛïɜ

~ Lyrics, Star of the Show A Bugs Life Soundtrack


I don't need to tell you that this visit was epic. I took 100 + pictures and bunches of videos and towards the last 20 minutes was absolutely pissed that my camera battery died while taking pictures of the most gorgeous Attacus atlas.

I have to really work on those 2 pictures of my precious Attacus because they came out like crap really. Photoshop here I come. And I suppose this was sort of an accomplishment in a sense because during my last 3 visits the camera battery never died. XD

I was there for like ohhhh 5 hours? Minus time spent on line for tickets and the gift shop. Yes I know I'm "crazy". I don't care I ♥ my butterflies.

Observations (In general):

Actias Luna:

I had asked if they had any out anywhere after observing Actias & Samia cynthia cocoons in the "puparium" (my little nickname for the glass cases they keep their precious in) and Christine ( THANK YOU!) had pointed my beloved out to me after I had walked around trying to find it in the bushes myself. Impossible I tell you. I was ready to just call it a day until she had thankfully "intervened" .

When I finally laid eyes on it I had a very hard time trying NOT to get sentimental....♥ My eyes were burning with happy tears and I was a broken record "OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG Pretty, luna OMG" ^___________________^

When I left I went to go on the other side to get a better view of it (the underside obviously) and I have to make something very very clear. I. Will. NEVER. Forget. This. Encounter. EVER.

The reason being that the only thing separating me from that GORGEOUS moth (a male btw) was a piece of glass. I sat there on the floor staring at it for like 30 minutes every now and then trying to get my camera to get what would've been a really nice shot of it's gorgeous underside. But by this time the battery was dead and in need of charging. So I made it my mission to commit it to memory.

I hope to see more and get even better pictures/videos and hopefully hold one.

For now.....thank you Lord. ɛïɜ

Attacus atlas:

Was observed on the other side of said room (? Can't really call it a room Idk) in the the bushes. The only reason why I even spotted it was that the characteristic snake head forewing tips were sticking out reflecting the light and proceed to make me think "No way" walk over to confirm I wasn't hallucinating (it's HOT in there) and have a freaking happy fit and pointing it out to everyone.

Oh yes and everyone was positively gushing over it. "OMG it's huuuuuge". ♥ ɛïɜ


HELICONIID LOVE FEST!! The Heliconiids were just everywhere today. It was insanity. But aside from their numbers was the number of pairs mating/courting. One specific pair that was mating (the rest were horny and trying to get their "freak on") were 2 different species I believe since I don't know of any mimicking Heliconius cydno. Any way the supposed H. cydno was mating with Heliconius erato/melpomene!!

How the freaking hell......? Would explain all the hybrids that were flying about today too. ♥_♥ The staff had told me that that particular pair had been at it since the night before. Which leads to questions:

How long does it normally take Heliconius butterflies to mate assuming that the male wasn't "impatient" and couldn't wait until the female eclosed from her chrysalis...? ^^

And there were about 3-4 courting pairs which I have videos of and will be posting them soon. Within a day or two cause I'm tired and sore. ^^*

Heliconius cydno had landed on my fingers as I was taking pictures of it's friends as if to say "Hello I've missed you too". God I love them.

Observed 2 beautiful Greta oto and freaking died....♥♥♥♥ Don't ask of course I got pictures/videos. Eueides isabellae & Heliconius hecale loved being accessories to my hat today along with Idea leuconoe. ^^♥

In General:

Hypna clymenestra was in love with everyone today! Every person it landed it on it would walk all over them for like 20 minutes and it would not leave willingly. It had to be "transferred" to where ever (people who wanted to hold it).

As for me it could stay as long as it pleased (and it did). Walked all over my jacket, licked the sweat off my hand (I did say it was hot in there yes?), and tickled me and made me happy. *^^* During this epic moment in Lepidopteran history I can now say that I truly appreciate why they're called "Silver Spotted Leafwings". ♥ ɛïɜ

Your Majesty (Danaus gilippus) landed on my pants leg and I removed it avoid getting it "roughed up" (it got crowded very quickly today Idk why) and it proceeded to practically almost crawl up to my face. *^^* I love you too. I love you all.

Papilio palinurus!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!! ɛïɜ

Had an epic discussion trying to ID a Charaxes and learning of hybrids occurring within Charaxes spp. which for some reason never occurred to me at all. Said butterfly was Charaxes candiope.

Received butterfly kisses from Eueides isabellae or H. hecale ^____________^ ɛïɜ

Had people asking me if the butterflies that had landed on my hat were real. ♥ Also learned that in one point in time all the butterflies in the display cases (or at least almost all of them) were alive in the exhibit at one time. Holy. Shit.!

They had the Brazilian Blue Morpho which I unfortunately didn't get to see.

Learned in the case of ID'ing Heliconiids & Ithomiine butterflies, wing shape and the subtle differences in the patterns is very very important.

Had asked staff on where to find butterfly chrysalids in the wild since I've tried looking and haven't found a thing. They told me that in the summer in Central park the pupae of migratory species can be found....just have to know who to ask to help you find then (birders & the like)......

.....I think we all know where I'll be this summer yes? ɛïɜ


Cyren said...

Hi Brittanie!!!

First of all... YAY we're not friends of FACEBOOK!!! Second of all, perhaps I can be of some help to you with finding the chrysalids since it is something I do on a regular basis myself. What you need to do is find the butterflies' host plants first. When you do search around that area about a 2-3 meter radius. Caterpillars sometimes crawl away from their host plants to pupate but because they aren't generally very mobile and making a long journey across an open area could almost certainly mean it would fall prey to any number of other animals they usually don't travel too far from their host plants. Look under leaves and twigs. It's best if you know what species you want to find and then research on how their pupae look like so that you can spot them easier.

That being said, its probably a better idea to raise them from caterpillars yourself. Pupae are cryptic, and for good reason and even with all my experience I do not always have luck! Perhaps you might wish to plant milkweed in your garden, or the host plants of your beloved moon moth. Saturniid moths are the easiest to keep because (even in winter) as long as you have a steady supply for leaves, they can be induced to breed quite readily!!!

GOOD LUCK and do upload photos if you manage to find any!

Cyren said...

I meant "NOW" we're "NOW friends on Facebook"

Brittanie said...

Oh you're just adorable you know that? I KNOW what you meant. *^^*

I make typos all the time. As for the pupae I know I'd like to find Pieris rapae. They have a myriad of host plants that they like to use within the Cabbage family but I'll have to do research to find specific species and then go from there.

Goodness I'm excited *^^*