Agrias butterflies

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daveuk
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by daveuk »

My technique for relaxing involves specimens left in papers & placed in a plastic box lined with kitchen paper soaked in boiling water over which is placed a piece of riker. Specimens go on top of this layer of riker to prevent them getting soaking wet. The plastic box then goes into a warm airing cupboard overnight. Any specimens which are still unpliable after that process when it comes to the actual setting/spreading I inject the thorax with boiling water. I have had some accidents with staining using this method but they are thankfully very few & far between.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

Try to soak the kitchen paper with vodka, it works better than boiling water and avoid moisture. With vodka, you can then leave big specimens like Agrias for 2 or 3 days if needed and don't have to inject them.
Now, I only use this method, that I learnt last year from an entomological friend.

With vodka, 12 hours is enough for a Delias. Very convenient : you prepare the relaxing box in the evening and spread the specimen in the morning.
For Agrias, between 24 and 48 hours, depending of the specimen.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by bobw »

wollastoni wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:04 am Try to soak the kitchen paper with vodka, it works better than boiling water and avoid moisture. With vodka, you can then leave big specimens like Agrias for 2 or 3 days if needed and don't have to inject them.
Now, I only use this method, that I learnt last year from an entomological friend.
Olivier

A year or so ago, I started using the method you described using the fridge, it was the first method that's ever really worked for me. Now you're saying to use vodka instead of water, do you still keep them in the fridge? Mind you, it sounds as though it could get rather expensive!
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

With the vodka method, you don't even need to put them in the fridge.
Here is a dedicated post with pictures and explanations : viewtopic.php?p=3996#p3996
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

I think this is the rarest Agrias in my collection : Agrias phalcidon phalcidon form floqueti.

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Known from very few specimens.
This local form has been found in a small biotope around Rio Urupadi (Brazil).
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by kevinkk »

bobw wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:08 am
wollastoni wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:04 am Try to soak the kitchen paper with vodka, it works better than boiling water and avoid moisture. With vodka, you can then leave big specimens like Agrias for 2 or 3 days if needed and don't have to inject them.
Now, I only use this method, that I learnt last year from an entomological friend.
Olivier

A year or so ago, I started using the method you described using the fridge, it was the first method that's ever really worked for me. Now you're saying to use vodka instead of water, do you still keep them in the fridge? Mind you, it sounds as though it could get rather expensive!
I will join in with Bobw, I thought this relaxing issue had been solved with the cold method, which worked very well for my Ornithptera. Personally,
I have some "health" issues and cringe at the thought of alcohol in the house. You guys can give your specimens all the gin, vodka, and grain alcohol
you like, but I will be using the cold process the next time I get around to making a case of leaf mimics. BTW, that's a nice Agrias.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

kevinkk wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 5:47 pm I will join in with Bobw, I thought this relaxing issue had been solved with the cold method, which worked very well for my Ornithptera. Personally,
I have some "health" issues and cringe at the thought of alcohol in the house. You guys can give your specimens all the gin, vodka, and grain alcohol
you like, but I will be using the cold process the next time I get around to making a case of leaf mimics.
I may have asked about this before, but how long did it take to fully relax your Ornithoptera in the refrigerator? Did they become as pliable as when fresh? Also - you used water only; no additive that would act as mold preventative? I too, would prefer not to use alcohol, if possible.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by kevinkk »

It took a long time to fully relax those big butterflies, water only, with the insect layed on a moist paper towel. Water only. Some of the
larger females took 7 days, much longer than the purported 24 hours, but that was for much smaller specimens. It did work though, and a
good thing, I was injecting specimens with water, I tried a relaxant I had for beetles, that isn't even sold anymore I'd had it so long.
I had no mold problems, the cold seems to prevent that, I used a tight fitted plastic box, and would periodically check to see how things were
going, when they finally seemed ready to spread, they spread like a dream compared to the mess I made out of earlier, and less expensive
specimens, the legs never seemed to soften, but the rest of the butterfly was pliable. About the mold preventative, I'm not 100% sure, I have
a disinfectant I use for larva sometimes, it's called Oxine, and I may have put in a few drops of that, just because I have it, and everyone else
uses something, but I think simply the cold prevents mold. It was a new experience for me, I had been reading posts in the forum about
Ornithoptera, and I had an empty case hanging in a dark corner- so 500 bucks later we have 10 butterflies. The last turning out best, goliath
procus, I never knew a butterfly could be so big. This new thread about using gin or vodka threw me for a loop, I thought the cold method
had solved this issue. Personally, I think it's just an excuse to go to the liquor store...honey, I need some entomology supplies, be back later-
I am sure the cold process is still up in the blog section along with the other articles.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by daveuk »

A couple more of my Agrias with data
Female A claudina croesus from Kempton Show London.
Male A sardanapalus lugina form godmani from Chuck Ianni.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

kevinkk wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:23 pm It took a long time to fully relax those big butterflies, water only, with the insect layed on a moist paper towel. Water only. Some of the
larger females took 7 days, much longer than the purported 24 hours, but that was for much smaller specimens. It did work though, and a
good thing, I was injecting specimens with water, I tried a relaxant I had for beetles, that isn't even sold anymore I'd had it so long.
I had no mold problems, the cold seems to prevent that, I used a tight fitted plastic box, and would periodically check to see how things were
going, when they finally seemed ready to spread, they spread like a dream compared to the mess I made out of earlier, and less expensive
specimens, the legs never seemed to soften, but the rest of the butterfly was pliable. About the mold preventative, I'm not 100% sure, I have
a disinfectant I use for larva sometimes, it's called Oxine, and I may have put in a few drops of that, just because I have it, and everyone else
uses something, but I think simply the cold prevents mold. It was a new experience for me, I had been reading posts in the forum about
Ornithoptera, and I had an empty case hanging in a dark corner- so 500 bucks later we have 10 butterflies. The last turning out best, goliath
procus, I never knew a butterfly could be so big. This new thread about using gin or vodka threw me for a loop, I thought the cold method
had solved this issue. Personally, I think it's just an excuse to go to the liquor store...honey, I need some entomology supplies, be back later-
I am sure the cold process is still up in the blog section along with the other articles.
Many thanks for your input. Based on the experiences of multiple forum members, it does seem that similar results can be achieved using a number of variations in the methods used to relax specimens. Based on the comments of those who have used an alcohol / water mixture as a component of their technique, it appears that alcohol might somehow help with the absorption of moisture, reducing the amount of time needed for complete rehydration? But undoubtedly, there are other factors involved as well, such as the volume of the container, how airtight it is, and the temperature at which it is kept. Any method that works very well for one collector however, should work just the same for any other, so long as all of the conditions are the same. My own preference would be to use a method that doesn't involve alcohol, injection, or refrigeration, such as that described by wollastoni (viewtopic.php?p=3996#p3996). I'd be ok with using an alcohol / water mixture, so long as the amount required is small.

On the old forum, the following seems to be the main thread in which relaxation methods were discussed (2021) -

https://archive.insectnet.com/thread/95 ... ies?page=1
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by kevinkk »

The use of liquids that can also cause dessication, I probably butchered that word- is interesting, many of us use dispatching liquids that have a drying
effect, livingplant3, absolutely correct, what works for one person may not work so well for someone else, that's why there are so many
"sure fire" methods, it's just like gardening, or fishing. It was weird going to the pharmacy and asking for hypodermic needles, and explaining
what I was up to, I expected you needed a scrip, but not these days.
I do apologize for anyone that might have been slighted by my comment about buying alcohol, it was still early and the coffee drug hadn't
kicked in yet. The one thing though, once you find that method that works- the bug world is all out there. I try to freeze specimens, but that
is not always possible, and even at home can be a little difficult, somehow most leps just don't want to slide into an envelope and go into the freezer.
I had good success dispatching the A. atropos though, those things would just crawl onto a napkin and hope everything was ok.:)
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

daveuk wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:33 pm A couple more of my Agrias with data
Female A claudina croesus from Kempton Show London.
Male A sardanapalus lugina form godmani from Chuck Ianni.
Dave, the correct ID of your second Agrias is a Agrias claudina lugina form orleansi.
Please note that "sardanapalus" is a ssp of claudina (from Iquitos, Venezualian Amazonas, Brazilian Amazonas & Rondonia)
Please note that "godmani" is a ssp of claudina too (from Mato Grosso).

As Agrias is a very complex group (with a lot of hybridization and forms), there are a lot of errors in books and collections.

If I had to recommend one book to start studying them, Manfred Späth's monography about Agrias is the best one and it is not expensive at all.
Then to better understand forms, Floquet's volumes are a must (but hard to find).
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by daveuk »

Thank You Olivier. Although Chuck was a lovely guy sometimes his descriptions of forms & species or subspecies were questionable. Good that you cleared that up for me.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

Does anyone here have the following form of claudina? -

Image

Image

I'm not certain of what this form is currently called, but Smart (1984) lists it as claudina Godt. f. sahlkei Hon. (Guy.).

I've been looking for a specimen of this particular form for quite some time, but have never seen one for sale.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by daveuk »

livingplanet3 wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 12:31 am Does anyone here have the following form of claudina? -



I'm not certain of what this form is currently called, but Smart (1984) lists it as claudina Godt. f. sahlkei Hon. (Guy.).

I've been looking for a specimen of this particular form for quite some time, but have never seen one for sale.
I have seen similar males offered on ebay from time to time. I don't sadly have one myself though
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by hewi »

it is the typical Agrias sahlkei sahlkei of French Guiana and the Obidos region in Brazil.
A. sahlkei sahlkei Guyane franc. - Kopie.JPG
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by daveuk »

hewi wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 10:17 am it is the typical Agrias sahlkei sahlkei of French Guiana and the Obidos region in Brazil.

What a truly stunning specimen that is. Beautiful!!
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by jhyatt »

livingplanet3 wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 12:31 am Does anyone here have the following form of claudina? -
I'm not certain of what this form is currently called, but Smart (1984) lists it as claudina Godt. f. sahlkei Hon. (Guy.).

I've been looking for a specimen of this particular form for quite some time, but have never seen one for sale.
I have one of that form. Ex coll. LeMoult with original label, Fr. Guiana data, no date. I think I got it from Paul Smart, way back in the day... Not nearly so nice and fresh is your illustrated specimen; but mine has probably the most expert repairs to the fw apices I've ever seen on a butterfly.

Cheers,
jh
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

hewi wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 10:17 am it is the typical Agrias sahlkei sahlkei of French Guiana and the Obidos region in Brazil...
That's a truly outstanding specimen! Many thanks for clarifying the name. So, is sahlkei now considered to be a separate species from claudina?
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

Yes, it is.
See Manfred’s monography
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