Saturday, April 27, 2013

I.F.B. Common's Moths of Australia

Plate from I.F.B. Common's Moths of Australia 04-25-13


I get to read this magnum opus. The NHM has a research library and they have........everything. It's magnificent and I was so content in there surrounded by dozens of books on my precious angels. But the most coveted one was I.F.B Common's Moths of Australia which I'll be ranting about.

First off this book is one of, if not THE most well written pieces of literature on our Heteroceran friends and it's something I've wanted for a very very long time. Sadly for reasons currently unknown (I'm trying to find out why) the book is out of print and thus insanely hard to get a hold of.

Sometime last year I found out the museum had a library and can guess what happened next. I went searching their archives to see if they had it during my hunt for a copy and lo and behold they did. And I finally got to read a nice big chunk of it (they don't let anyone check out books, not even the staff! Unless under special circumstances) and take a shitload of notes. My hand was cramping toward the end of the day.......ohhhh it was wonderful.

This magnum opus of a book has both color and black and white photos a very nice layout of all the moth families found in Australia and insanely wonderfully well written descriptions of their life cycles, behavior, species themselves, everything. In short Mr. Common is a genus and has my full and utter respect and idolization.

I can fully understand why people would flip their shit over this book (as I have done) it's everything I thought it would be and more.

It also has occurred to me that I think these might be the first photos of this book online.........holy shit. I haven't found any except for the cover while searching online to see where I could possibly purchase a copy.

Bring on the photos:

Utter perfection!

One of the main reasons this book was of particular interest to me besides the obvious was the extensive information on the Epipyropidae whose larvae are parasites on various species of Homopterans. Epipyropids are yet another rule breaker of the "typical rules of Lepidoptera".

For example Common states that:

1. Larvae of Epipyropidae have been recorded on lepidopterous larvae
2. Females of Agamopsyche threnodes (Epipyropidae) are *PARTHENOGENETIC*


Holy. Shit.

If I remember correctly a while back I think stated something on the possibility of parthenogenetic lepidoptera, if there were any or something along the lines and that how I didn't see how that could be possible blah blah blah.

And how course I was open to any possibility of there being any......and look what happens. Holy shit. There's so much to rant about involving this book. I want to go back there and try and see if I can read the entire thing cover to cover.

I think it's doable. We'll have to see. I'll post more photos in other entries (there's more books to rant about) since for some reason I'm having trouble uploading more pics.

God bless you I.F.B Common.


Mystery Swallowtail - Heraclides anchisiades

Heraclides anchisiades? 03-22-13

I'm more then certain that this is Heraclides anchisiades. For a while though I was researching various other similarly patterned swallowtails and giving myself rather "pleasant" headaches trying to figure out what this is.

My friend had thought it was Papilio rogeri pharneces and I was inclined to agree until my second visit where I looked in their book and saw Heraclides anchisiades listed in there and went home and did research. I found this that further told me that this is/was most likely H. anchisiades.

Of course this is all still open to speculation but I'm 99.9% sure this is H. anchisiades.......I'd like to know what subspecies if possible. I don't know if the pics/vids are clear enough to determine that but........^^;;

Another one.

Interesting huh?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

NHM Butterfly Exhibit #10

Papilio palinurus or Papilio daedalus 

Visit #10!! This was magnificent as always. Because it's towards the end of the season it was alot calmer and not so many people and not as many butterflies but still plentiful. Hmmm lets see....there were TONS of atlas moths. At least 4-5 of them hidden throughout the blessed place and I managed to get some extremely nice photos of my lovely angels.

I also had Heliconius cydno and Idea leucanoe adorn my hat for atleast an hour each. They simply wouldn't leave and in the case of Idea leucanoe I would've walked out the door with it had the staff not "intervened" (I was all for taking it home too :P).


Papilio palinurus

There were 2. First one was perched up in the vegetation second one was flying around and had brushed against me and landed on the floor. One of the staff had picked it up and it was off flying again. It had reached the heat lights and the feeders. And I guess the light from the light fixtures emphasized this but as it was flying around the green of it's wings changed from green to blue to green again in various shades streaked with gold and silver.......*.* Like glitter.

I must stress to you how breathtaking this was. This verse never rang truer:

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


 I was standing there with my mouth open. Literally. It then settled on the vegetation and I proceeded to get pics (see above). And if you look hard enough you can see said iridescence and the fact that the green is darker here then lets say this one:

This one was perched high up and away from nearby light sources. Species wise friends and I were speculating between P. palinurus & P. daedalus. But I'm 99% sure is palinurus. I'll rant on this later in another entry. They had these here before on 2 other occasions but this is my first interaction with them.

All the other times they were just perched somewhere out of the way and then they'd vanish and not be seen again. XD So this was beyond lovely. And they're my new fave after today.

Danaus plexippus

They had more of them today then I ever remember them having within the 9 other times I've been here. I've observed something today that I never knew about my precious lovelies. They too are iridescent. The black wing tips of monarchs have a blue iridescence to them under light.

It was GORGEOUS!! *.*

New Additions:

1. Heliconius cydno galanthus f. exornata (?)
2. Hamadryas (Ageronia) amphione 
3. Papilio polytes f. romulus (Female)
4. Possible Anaea andria
And 2 nymphalids that may or may not be "new". I think one of them was a Chocolate Pansy (Junonia iphita) which I've already listed and the other is one of the leafwings but I don't recognize it.

Any ideas as to what this lovely angel might be? Only thing I can think of based on wing shape is Anaea andria, and if that's the case then another new lovely angel has to be officially added to the ever growing list. ^_^

Inputs and suggestions always appreciated.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Moth List (A List of Moths Identified in my Area)

Microcrambus biguttellus 06-25-12

Another late nighter for me so I compiled a list of sorts of all the moths I have seen last year & throughout the years (for some) that I have successfully, or somewhat successfully identified.

I hope to add to this of course as the years go on.

My House/Park:

Sycamore Tussock (Halysidota harrisii)
The White-Speck (Mythimna unipuncta)
Underwing (Catocala innubens)
Bent-Line Carpet (Costaconvexa centrostrigaria)
Gold-Stripe Grass-Veneer (Microcrambus biguttellus)
Sober Renia (Renia sobrialis)
Common Looper (Autographa precationis)?
Pugs (Eupethecia spp.)
Yellow-Striped Armyworm (Spodoptera ornithogalli)
Lucerne Moth (Nomophila nearctica)
Maple Span Worm (Ennomos subsignaria)
European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis)
Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)
Green Cloverworm (Hypena scabra)
Ailanthus Webworm (Atteva aurea)
Unidentified White Micromoth


Isabella Tigermoth (Pyrrharctia isabellae)
Lichen Moth (Crambidia pallida)
Dubious Tiger Moth (Spilosoma dubia)?

Supposed Spilosoma dubia

However looking at it again, comparing images in the Peterson's Fieldguide to Moths of North Easter North America I don't think it's Spilosoma idea. I'll have to research more.

Pretty though. Was found in the window of a closed down store last year (I think it might still be there 0_0). Pitty I couldn't get to it for better observation/ID's but at least the pic is decent. ^^

Will edit as necessary. ^_^

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mystery Spider (Salticidae?)

1 of 5

Found this in my room this morning..........they just continue to outdo themselves. I'm thinking it's a Salticid but other then that I have no idea. Will be submitting video stills to Bugguide for possible ID's.......if I'm lucky I could get atleast to genera. XD

Another (better quality/viewing):

Facebook takes away the quality of videos. -_- This was/is much clearer elsewhere. But at least you can have an idea of what he (I believe it's a male since the pedipalps are visible and longish) looks like.

First of many creepy crawlies to come out. The others were wasps (Polistes dominula & 1 HUGE unidentified one). But for the most part it's been "quiet". Lots of flowers though. The weather is absolutely off it's rocker. Not normal Spring weather at all.

I'd like it go back to normal so I can enjoy it and look for my lovely angels please. ^^ Until next time. I'm off to try and ID this little fella

Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

NHM Butterfly Exhibit Visit #9

What I believe to be a Heliconius cydno x Heliconius melpomene/erato (?) hybrid 04-13-13

I had the most delightful and rewarding (I GOT TO HOLD AN ATLAS MOTH!) visit today at my paradise. I had been invited to tag along with a friends trip with her daughter and we went and saw all sorts of things. Wound up in the Hall of Biodiversity and laid eyes on utter epicness:

Just one of MANY displays in the Hall of Biodiversity 04-13-13

Among other wonderful things. I also found out where the library I'll be investigating that ASAP. I want my books ^^* They have I.F.B Common's Moths of Australia (I had checked their databases) and I want to read it. It's out of print unfortunately so I at least want to read it. I hope one day I'll be lucky enough to obtain a copy somehow to call my own but for now I'd like to just be able to read that magnum opus.

After running around various exhibits I finally got to go see my precious lepidopteran angels.......and as I've said was rewarded greatly as I got to hold an Atlas moth (Attacus atlas). *.*

We (me and a volunteer) had basically rescued the precious angel from being stuck in the window bar thingy. And the poor guy was having a shit fit over my handling it (we're not supposed to disturb the moths & and he was a volunteer and didn't want to get in trouble) which cut my time short holding said precious angel. I did manage to get a hasty video though of my having a happy fit while said volunteer was trying to get me to "hand it over". I'll post that later. Now it's on with the lovelyness"

New Additions:

1. Parthenos sylvia philippinica*
2. Parthenos sylvia lilacina*
3. Heliconius eleuchia *Or it could've been H. sapho or H. cydno?
4. Unidentified orange Charaxes sp.?
5. Heliconius hybrid *Found a pic of this particular one online and I need to find it again to know the ID. This is pending
6. Numerous unidentified Heliconius hybrids, subspecies, etc. *.*
6a. Heliconius melpomene plesseni hybrids ♥

 *Parthenos sylvia philippinica & P. s. lilacina they've both had before but I didn't know that they were subspecies. I thought they were different color forms of Parthenos sylvia. Thanks to my friends Payam & Dave for ID'ing lovely angels. ^^♥

I also saw a Tuffed Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) outside the museum too. So many many birds everywhere that I've never had the pleasure of seeing before. Wonderful!

They also had my mystery swallowtail again and I'm now more then certain (99%) sure that it's Heraclides anchisiades. I'll have a separate post for this as there's alot to rant about.

Happy happy.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

*Rant Alert* Neuroptera #1

Examples of 2 species of Nemopteridae (Neuroptera) Halter imperatrix & Chasmoptera sheppardi (which as of right now may or may not be synonyms).

It's 4:00 AM as I type this. XD For the past couple of days or so I've been researching them. Exactly what spurred this one (research binge) I haven't the slightest idea anymore but I've been re-falling in love with them due to said research. To sum it up, since it's late Neuroptera (Lacewings) have numerous families and of those families I absolutely adore the Nemopteridae, which I have just realized bear a resemblance to Himantopteridid moths (is this intentional or a coinicidence?) and Ascalaphidae......oh don't get me started on those.

I wish more then anything involving Neuroptera that we had Ascalaphids here. Never had the pleasure of personally observing them........only pictures (same goes with Nemopteridae). Speaking of which:

Nemoptera bipennis (Neuroptera: Nemopteridae) 

I kinda wanna briefly research even more on these wonderful insects but as I said it's late XD I MUST make time to do so later tomorrow. I did find some rather wonderful papers on them via. Wikipedia of all places (which has an insane amount of info, with references). I've been taking notes.

Only ones I've observed around here are Chrysopa/Chrysoperla spp. and the Brown Lacewings who's names I'm forgetting right now. Oh and then there's this:

Australian Ascalaphid........does anyone know what species? Will ask around. Any and all info/inputs are greatly welcomed and appreciated =)

Stay tuned for part 2 cause I must get some sleep and I can't think other then "OMG they're beautiful wheeeeeeee" :P

Nighty night!