Friday, March 22, 2013

NHM Butterfly Exhibit Visit #8

Female Attacus atlas laying eggs 03-22-13

If I counted right......I think this is the 8th visit since this wonderful insanity started in 2011. I cannot wait to get to visit number 10 whenever that'll be. But this one is memorable.........because I met Hazel Davies program director and Author (I proudly have one of her books sitting on the table amongst many others in my house) and although my meeting with her was brief it was infested with information on my lovelies. Volunteering also came up yet again.......I seriously think I'm gonna do it at some point. First though personal things have to be permanently taken care of and then they're (butterflies) are mine.......

all mine.......

She was mentioning schedules and I was thinking Sundays since I virtually don't have anything to do on Sundays so.....we'll see. But I'm not going to count my Actias luna eggs before they hatch......I'll keep my fingers tightly crossed though.

And now......

New Additions:

1. Papilio nephelus sunatus
2. Forest Queen (Euxanthe wakefieldi)
3. Tirumala septentrionis *
4. Atrophaneura aristolochia
5. Adelpha epione? **
6. Unidentified Heliconius *Possibly H. melpomene according to Hazel Davies 
7. Unidentified Papilionid *Possibly in the genera Eurytides or even Parides according to Dave Rolfe
8. Papilio demodocus

* These were (or another similar looking species (remember similar species within different genera) here before plenty of times and today the ones I saw were confirmed as Tirumala septentrionis
** Had seen several and asked which species they were and was told "Barred Sister" (Latin name unknown to all at the time) so I'd briefly check around online and the only "Barred Sister" I came across was the White-Barred Sister (Adelpha epione). 

The Unidentified Swallowtail. Never seen anything like it. Any and all input is greatly appreciated ^^

Papilio nephelus sunatus

There were also what looked like Parides photinus flying around too only that the black in the wings seems more grey/silvery to me and the tails might've been longer........I managed to get on in a video (will post shortly) but Idk if it's enough to ID them definitely as there's also a Mimoides sp. that looks like it too (mimicry is crazy).

2 Attacus atlas females were also observed. One was up right over the entrance door (photo) and the other was in the bushes a little ways away from said door on the other side. She unfortunately was near the end of her life as the poor thing wouldn't stop trembling.

She was still magnificent to see nonetheless. Euxanthe wakefieldi which just popped out of nowhere and I managed to get a couple of fuzzy pictures. Oh and there's this in the subway exits:

Protographium (Eurytides) marcellus!! ^^♥ 

Stuff like this was all over the walls and on the ground to the last exit they were letting people through because all the other ones were closed (yes I stayed "late" again). Didn't even know they had this.......♥

Epic! Oh! And I finally got to see "Flight of The Butterflies". It's a magnificent film and it left me with an even greater appreciation and love for Danaus plexippus and Mr. Urquhart God bless you both.

I'll leave a proper review of that in another post. For now I have research and more posts to write.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring/Manduca sexta Emergence ɛïɜ

Manduca sexta 03-20-13 Freshly eclosed...........what a beauty.

"On the first day of Spring Mother Nature gave to me, a freshly emerged Manduca sextaaaaaa" :P

At around 8:00-8:30PM my lovely angel finally came into the world (again) as a beautiful adult Carolina Sphinx Moth (Manduca sexta). Totally unexpected and wonderful shock, and on top of that on the first day of Spring.

Talk about irony. Don't you just love it? ^^ I had heard quite a bit of rustling and I was thinking "WTF is that?" knowing that we get all sorts of critters in here (and I was hoping it wasn't a mouse XD) only to look and see the pupa moving and fall off the sponge I had it on. It then "burst open" with this lovely angel thrashing around to get out.

It immediately starting climbing everything to get to a higher spot to expand it's wings tried to help it out by letting it crawl on my finger hoping it would settle it had other ideas ^^;;;; It had wound up crawling onto my shoulder at which point I just put it back into the pavillion thingy (what do you call those netted butterfly enclosures anyway?) where it climbed to the top and eventually settled down to expand it's wings.

Took about an hour or so give or take. I sat there the whole time and watched it taking pics & vids at different intervals. Since it was already dark out some are a bit blurry but what can you do when the lighting atm sucks? :P Work with what you got that's what.

Manduca sexta 03-20-13 Climbing up the sides of the pavilion thingy. Old pupal shell I had gently removed after taking this photo.

Of the brief minute or two I got to hold it I can tell you 2 things.

1. They as adults also have quite a grip (the larvae did too, perhaps even more so being that they're nothing but muscles designed for munching, chomping, etc).
2. They have a scent after they emerge. Idk how to explain's not like anything I've ever smelt before. I know there's a "freshness" to it. Idk what it was that gave it that scent.....meconium?

And speaking of meconium the little sucker had dripped a nice splotch of it on the "floor" of the pavillion thingy......I do hope that'll come out easier later. XD

Manduca sexta 03-20-13 in the process of expanding and drying its wings. 

"Safe and warm I was born in a beige colored coat
Then I traded for wings built to dazzle and float........."

Perfection utter perfection!! *.* ♥ ɛïɜ

I cannot stress to you the utter joy I felt through out the entire miracle that was taking place in my house. And as I sit here thinking about it (in general) I'm utterly baffled and amazed on how these lovely and often misunderstood creatures come to be.

I once again have to thank the Lord for allowing me to enjoy his epic creations. I love every single one of them to pieces. And I hope that I get to enjoy more experiences with them in the future. Every year for the rest of my life.......♥

Manduca sexta idea they were so variable *.* ♥ɛïɜ

Found this while I was doing brief but thorough research on my lovely angels. I want to know what I have (male or female) as sexing Sphinx moths for me at least is not as easy as other moths (i.e. Saturniids) because their antennae aren't easily distinguishable.

But the general gist, females have thinner antennae & males have thicker antennae and after looking at photos of both males and females I think it's a male. ^^*

I'll have to wait until daylight to start getting better pictures/videos. Now I must go to bed. I have unfortunately picked up the habit of becoming nocturnal like my lovely heteroceran (moths for you non ento/lepto geeks) friends and that's no's already 4:40AM XD

Play time with the Sphinxy continues tomorrow. 

"I might leave very soon I might soar through the air
Weave a golden cocoon hung with silk fine and fair
I might leave this behind all this glitter and shine
And go far from the star of the show.........

....Oh there must be a reason for this time and season 
As empty and long as it seems but there's more to this moth
Then just fabulous cloth so I'll keep holding onto my dreams......."


Saturday, March 02, 2013

NHM Butterflies: Chilasa clytia

Chilasa clytia f. clytia 03-01-13

Was mistaken for a Euploea sp. Once again I'm amazed at mimicry and how utterly convincing it is even to us humans. First of Chilasa clytia is a swallowtail.........

.......secondly and perhaps most obviously they mimic the Danaid butterflies of the genus Euploea and had successfully fooled me into thinking it was a distasteful Euploea. Bravo on job well done. =) Thirdly according H. L. Lewis Chilasa clytia has 2 distinct color forms named dissimilis (light) and clytia (dark).

And also I need to revise my list as I believe that at the time I had listed this lovely angel as an unidentified Euploea sp. because I didn't recognize it. No wonder......

I cannot get enough of them......nope. Never ending treasure.......♥


Moth Gallery

Actias luna *.*

So I finally got to see this. Basically it's nothing but a large hallway with the walls covered entirely in high resolution pictures of various species of moths depicting their breathtaking beauty.

I just about died though when I saw that they had these too:

"Actias luuuuunnaaaaa" *.* :P

Felt nothing but utter joy. Completely light and happy. Best birthday ever. A nice little overview of what this place is like:

I can't stress to you the utter joy I felt. Epic

Friday, March 01, 2013

Lepidopteran Birthday Bash

Rothschildia lebeau 03-01-13


Best. Birthday. Ever.

To spend the entire day with the things and people you love most..........♥ Friends gave me money to go to the museum and epicness ensued. I hadn't been there in so long because life is busy (even more so now) so to have this "escape" was wonderful.

To make it even more epic Allison (one of the staff) gave me 2 extra voucher tickets to come back within the month. *.* I owe them everything.

Now onto the fun!


Besides the fact that they were everywhere and all over me? ^^* One of the first ones I saw when I went inside was the Rothschildia lebeau which was at first hiding/resting among the Pentas and looking absolutely gorgeous. A little worn but stunning nonetheless.

Before I went in I had spotted what I now believe to be a Graphium antheus through the window:

Can you see it? I know it's not very clear ^^;;;;;;

And had spotted it again 2 other times but was not able to get better pictures/videos of it. I'll edit this one and see if I can make it easier to see later.

New Additions:

1. Swordtail (Graphium antheus)
2. Euploea sp. *First time seeing one.....and it isn't one I recognize.
3. Mystery "Blue Tiger" butterfly
4. Small Owl (Opsiphanes tamarindi)
5. Clearwing (Epscada mira)
6. Hybrid Heliconiid #1 *Cross between H. cydno and H. melpomene or H. erato perhaps?
7. Hybrid Heliconiide #2
8. Adelpha spp.
9. Papilio ophidicephelus
10. Gray Pansy (Junonia atlites)
11. Parides sp.
12. Mystery leafwing (orange)
13. Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) *New to the exhibit not to me as we get these in HOARDS here :P

Got to see the gorgeous Rothschildia lebeau in flight........ *.* No words......none. Speechless....... Opsiphanes tamarindi's eyes are amazing......observed one sitting on a leaf imbibing water or something. Very laid back. Allowed me to poke my camera into it's lovely face....with those eyes that seem to follow you. ^^

More piccies:

Hybrid Heliconiid #1

I'll have to consult Mr. Jiggins on what this one might be exactly but.......^^;;;; This is the only angle of it I could get it at. I tried getting it where you could see the upperside but the little sucker was up too high and in such a position/angle that made it impossible to do so.

But I tried my best. I have one more shot of it from at a distance that I think show a part of the upperside but I'll have to see. If I'm lucky enough it might be enough to get at least an idea of what this lovely angel is.

Papilio ophidicephelus?

Staff had taken this picture for me as I wasn 't able to do so obviously ^^ Had landed on my bag. Am question the ID a bit. The patterns were different from the other P. ophidicephelus I had observed so Idk if they're sexually dimorphic in anyway or if this is an aberration or subspecies..........or a completely different species.

Beautiful swallowtails though. Was mistaken for Papilio demoleus at first in flight. There were several of these. As I mentioned before museum staff (Allison) had given me 2 extra tickets to come back within the month (you know damn well I'll be there) and I next plan to go see the movie they have out.......Flight of The Butterflies..........ɛïɜ

More to come! I had a beautiful day.......... I thank everyone responsible for making it so. God bless you all!