My question for Delias fanciers is a general one. Are Delias generally pinned upside down as they appear in most collections? Or are they prepared verso side up like most Lepidoptera and than they are pushed off the pin and re-pinned upside down? I would think that pushing them off their pins would mean they might require some glue on the pin the second time around or you could have a "spinner" in your collection. Not to mention that most legs would probably be lost as well. On the other hand, if they are prepared upside down (unlike most leps) than is there not a good chance of rubbing or "marring" the colors / scales on the opposite side due to the spreading board surface. I myself have all of one Delias in my collection. I traded it with another collector. So I didn't pin it. Just idle curiosity.
Most of mine are displayed upside down (I usually do one of each subspecies recto-up, if I have at least 2 or 3 specimens of it), and I pin them that way from the start. It's not difficult at all; I always do so if I know that I want to show a specimen's verso. There's no reason that this will rub the recto any more than pinning recto-up will rub the verso.
I suppose everyone gets the occasional "spinner" of any family; my answer is to pull out the old pin and replace it with one that's a size or two larger.
Guys, a wonderful array of the Clathrata group. My favourite New Guinea Delias. So many rarities. The D. hemianops are special and I the only time I have seen the nominate D. catocausta outside of a museum, a super specimen. Congratulations on forming a amazing series of specimens.
Two males of Delias prouti added to my collection from Buru. I really like this species because of the beautiful and very unusual combination of colour in the verso. The underside of this butterfly is quite a contrast in colour to the plain white uppers. A strange phenomenon in many Delias. D. prouti was I believe, once frequent on dealers lists but now rarely seen for sale.
A very nice male recto specimen of Delias eximia from the Schleinitz Mountains of New Ireland ( 1100 meters). Again this species has one of the most unusual versos of any Delias ( see my earlier post in this thread) and the underside is quite unlike any other species.
Delias totila recto female from New Britain. The nominate race of this species flying in New Britain, is quite unlike those that occur in New Ireland. Why the taxonomists have never given the New Ireland race subspecies status, is in my opinion one of the great mysteries of Delias . This perfectly captured specimen, shows a little bit of anal staining, sadly papered Delias are prone to abdomen leakage sometimes when they expire. This species is one of the few Delias that show a much more impressive upperside.
Post by deliasfanatic on Jan 17, 2015 17:38:00 GMT
You can remove the "leakage" safely with acetone - I've done it and it leaves no trace.
D. prouti is one of the most spectacular species IMO, yet it's seldom mentioned as such. I remember drooling over photo in D'Abrera in the early 1980s, when it was impossible to obtain. What a thrill it was when the first specimens starting coming out a few years later!
Post by deliasfanatic on Jan 17, 2015 18:39:00 GMT
I leave them immersed for 12-24 hours; they dry immediately after removal. Occasionally more grease will emerge, necessitating a second acetone bath.
Yes, they must be fully wet; I usually treat pinned specimens, which I place upside-down on their pins into the container. Therefore, you'll need acetone about 15-20mm deep, or whatever will cover the specimens. I use a soft plastic container (food storage, etc); acetone may dissolve hard plastic. It will dissolve styrofoam instantly, so you can't use that as a pinning base. It's extremely flammable, so use necessary care!
No need to reset, as acetone won't relax the specimens in any way. They're therefore very fragile during treatment (i.e. still stiff and not softened), so you need to be careful not to let specimens get damaged by bumping the container sides. Use the acetone only once, as the dissolved oils will turn it yellow. I often treat 2-3 small specimens at one time. This same treatment also makes birdwing abdomens beautiful again if they've become greased; detach the abdomen and treat it alone, then glue it back onto the body.