Ornithoptera aesacus

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livingplanet3
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Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by livingplanet3 »

If anyone has any specimens of Ornithoptera aesacus, it would be great to see photos of them. I've heard that years ago, this was considered to be the rarest Ornithoptera species, but that it has now become more available thanks to captive breeding. It's on the list of species that I'd eventually like to have in my collection, but still haven't yet had an opportunity to acquire.
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by daveuk »

The only photo I have of one of my males. I got a couple of pairs from Ken Thorne in Canada a while back.
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by hewi »

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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by hewi »

the blue one had been exposed to UV-light
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

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A few more aesacus, also one of my favourites.
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by Trehopr1 »

Wow, you guys sure have some nice examples there.

This one has always been an objective of mine but, it has always been considerably more in price (when offered by dealers) then all other assorted Priamus (type) birdwings.

Of course, aberration specimens like hewi's one (with all the extra gold spots) really streak into the stratosphere of pricing !

I've even found it difficult to obtain from old collections because again the asking price is usually stiff and I have found the species prone to water staining which really shows on these.

I'm bound to find a nice one sometime but, until then I very much enjoy seeing the fine examples that others have acquired.
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by Chuck »

Trehopr1 wrote: Thu Sep 01, 2022 1:04 am Wow, you guys sure have some nice examples there.

This one has always been an objective of mine but, it has always been considerably more in price (when offered by dealers) then all other assorted Priamus (type) birdwings.

Of course, aberration specimens like hewi's one (with all the extra gold spots) really streak into the stratosphere of pricing !

I've even found it difficult to obtain from old collections because again the asking price is usually stiff and I have found the species prone to water staining which really shows on these.

I'm bound to find a nice one sometime but, until then I very much enjoy seeing the fine examples that others have acquired.

The generic priamus ssp are, and have been, commercially available for a long time. There are very active programs for many of the ssp to bring them to market. And in most cases, the logistics are fairly simple, most just going through Port Moresby.

Aesacus on the other hand is only from Obi, which is very remote. I don't know that there is an airstrip there, so probably have to go through Ternate or Halmahera. And, export approvals I understand now have to go through Jakarta, pure politics.

Exports of aesacus were suspended in the late 1990s by the locals. Apparently there was some row with the dealer network, so the locals got very hostile toward anyone butterfly-related. A third party got involved and invested cash, and re-opened the supply for a few years, but that fell apart. Of interest, during those intervening years the third party guy sold some males that were grey rather than the blueish.

They really weren't available until the mid 1990s, and as indicated from the above, were marketed in far fewer numbers (1:5000?) than the common priamus ssp. So there simply aren't very many in pre-1995 collections, and there simply aren't that many in any collections, particularly in USA. I'm somewhat surprised that the asking prices in USA aren't $1000.

I'm not informed of the current situation, but there is one on Etsy for US$385, though the seller appears to be overseas. Mine just sits in a drawer, useless. I like caelestis better.
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by livingplanet3 »

Many thanks to all for the photos of those wonderful specimens of aesacus. Perhaps someday, I will be able to add this species to my collection. If I had to choose between purchasing an A1 Ornithoptera aesacus and an equally fine Charaxes fournierae though, it would be a rather difficult decision. I'd probably end up getting the fournierae, as Charaxinae have long been a great favorite of mine!
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by Panacanthus »

A few more aesacus, including a female with blue scaling (lower left). None of these have been exposed to UV light - natural or artificial.
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“Seems to me the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” -David Attenborough
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by Trehopr1 »

Absolutely fantastic drawer !! 😎👏👏🎉

As always, your presentation is outstanding, your photography is excellent, and your specimens are impeccable....

You certainly show a level of artistic merit in your presentations that is on "another level"; well above what most of us are typically capable of.

This species has ALWAYS being one of the best to ever acquire and to see an entire drawer dedicated to it just made my jaw drop while my socks rolled up and down. ☺️

Any chance you might have a drawer of crosus/lydias or urvilleanus done in the same fashion ?
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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by Chuck »

Ha, turns out I have a pair, I thought I only had a male. Got these in trade decades ago.

Photo through the glass, so there are artifacts; the dark spots on the FW appear to be a defect or something.

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Re: Ornithoptera aesacus

Post by mothman55 »

Panacanthus, love the arrangement, makes me want to go back and make a few changes in my birding drawers. And I have lots of ornithoptera females in paper that could be utilized in just such an arrangement. Thanks for posting.
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