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My Butterfly Collection - Part 2

Updated: May 8

This was the photo that started me thinking about my time collecting butterflies. It came up on a feed I follow by David Attenborough. The common name for this particular butterfly is Glass Wing. In Chiapas, Mexico, they came in a myriad of different color combinations. Many had gold and silver edging their transparent wings. I caught a lot of these.

As time went by, I began collecting moths. I found that moths were much more difficult to kill. This next part is rather morbid...

Because they did not die quickly, the moths would "wake up" and try to get away. I hated that after working so hard to catch them, and spending so much time getting their wings pinned down to show off the beautiful colors, they would wake up and decide they were going to escape, and their wings would get ruined. Not to mention that a person thought they were dead and they were not. It seemed rather cruel, even if it was just an insect.

Someone suggested that I inject the moths with formaldehyde to knock them out. I acquired a needle and syringes and a bottle of formaldehyde from the clinic and worked on that technique. And got pretty good at it. My collection grew...

One night, after the evening church service, a group of excited young male students came to our house and urged Daddy and I to come back to the church to see the huge moth that had been attracted to the lights. They insisted that it was a foot across in size. Of course, we thought they were exaggerating, but ran with them back to the church anyway.

Indeed, they were not exaggerating at all. In fact, the moth in point was every bit of twelve inches across, and perhaps even more. It took a lot of discussion to decide how best to catch it from up high on the wall, near the light, and still not ruin the wings.

These huge moths were referred to as the "White Witch", by the local natives. Once we had caught this huge moth, and gotten it sedated and pinned, everyone in the compound wanted to see it up close. It was certainly the Attraction of the Year! Students began telling us that this time of year, when these moths were known to emerge from their cocoons, the Indian tribes that lived in the mountains would build huge bonfires to attract them...then catch them, roast them and eat them...true story...I mean true story that this was the tale we heard!

It took weeks for this White Witch moth to die, and many syringes of formaldehyde, a bigger board that I had, and a bigger box to put it in when it finally was dead...and very preserved!!

I was so proud of my extensive and growing collection! Stay tuned for the end of the story...

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1 komentář

(17. 4.)

Wow! I had not heard this part before! Fascinating!

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