Welcome to our Blog

Insect Designs has been on the Internet since 2003. We are currently the largest supplier of quality insect specimens in Australia, and we ship worldwide. This blog features the latest news from our store as well as the occasional interesting news we have uncovered about the wonderful world of bugs.
If you would like to view the range of insect specimens we have available, please visit our store.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Papilio nobilis chrippsianus and Papilio ophidicephalus now available

Hello Everyone

Insect Designs has just received some really nice Papilio nobilis chrippsianus from Uganda and Papilio ophidicephalus from Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. They are available for sale right now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Any Interest in Butterfly Crosses?

Hello Everyone

I am about to place an order for more butterflies from Indonesia. One of my suppliers there has offered me some interesting crosses. These are pictured below. If you have any interest in purchasing any of these, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can make sure I order in enough. Thanks.

1. Ornithoptera priamus x Troides helena  US$120 each (males only).

2. Papilio memnon x Papilio oenomaus US$60 (males only).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to Relax Butterflies

Relaxing butterflies has nothing to do with putting on some nice music and putting a nice pot of flowers on the table. However, it has everything to do with preparing dried specimens ready for spreading.

So you've bought some butterfly specimens. Now what? Before you can play around with them you need to relax them, making everything supple again so nothing breaks off when you try to set the specimen into the desired position.

There are lots of ways of relaxing specimens, and everybody tends to stick to whatever works best for them. Below is the method that I use. It's quick, easy and works.

Step 1
Fill a dish with boiling water. Dip the antennae into the hot water for a few seconds. Be careful not to wet the wings.

Step 2
Using a small syringe, inject the thorax with hot water. I usually keep injecting until water has dribbled out for a few seconds. Be careful not to inject water into the space between the wings.
Place the specimen on a paper towel while you do any other specimens you have.

Have a shallow plastic container already prepared for the specimens. Put a few layers of paper towels inside the container and spray each layer with water until damp (not soaking wet).

Place a dry piece of paper or towel on top of the damp paper towels.

Step 4
Place your specimens on top of the dry  paper or towel.
Put the lid on the container and let your specimens sit for about an hour. I put the container on top of the container of hot water.

Once your specimens have been relaxed, you'll need to pin them out in the position you want and then let them dry again. We'll cover that in another blog post soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grading of Butterfly Specimens

Customers often ask about the grading of butterflies being offered for sale. As butterflies are not a manufactured product, quality of specimens can vary greatly, especially if they have been flying around for a while.

Below is the grading system we use at Insect Designs. Most resellers use the same grading system.

A1 - This refers to perfect quality specimens with no damage, or as perfect as you can get from a wild caught specimen. Sometimes a grading of EP is used for farmed specimens harvested as soon as they have emerged. At Insect Designs we use A1 for both farmed and wild caught specimens.

A1- - This refers to specimens with very minor damage such as antenna damage, a tiny chip or a small scratch.

A- - This refers to specimens with minor damage such as antennas missing, small chips, minor scratching or some flight wear such as minor scale damage.

A2 - This refers to specimens with considerable damage such as large chips, small pieces missing from the wings, severely damaged abdomen, major scale damage, staining, small tears.

second grade - This refers to specimens with more severe damage than A2.

Friday, January 8, 2010

More Specimens from Cameroon

Hello Everyone

The African Singles page at Insect Designs has just been updated with lots of nice new specimens from Cameroon, including, amongst others, a variety of colorful Euphaedra and some Charaxes. The photos below gives you just a taste of what's available.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fresh Specimens from Cameroon

Hello Everyone

We have a reliable supplier in Cameroon who sends us packages on a regular basis. These packages contain mixed specimens, which makes it hard to list them on our regular pages, hence the African Singles page. On this page you will find a listing of just over 100 individual specimens with a photo of each one. This page is updated regularly with new items. Many of the specimens are unidentified and there is often a bargain to be had.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Butterflies in Interesting Art Pieces

Not all of our customers put the butterflies they purchase into collections. Several of our regular customers are artists. Fern Petrie incorporates butterflies into the most interesting art pieces, some of which are pictured below.

All of the pieces were inspired by a book she first read as a child - 'The Butterflies Ball' by Alan Aldridge and William Plomer. She wanted each sculpture to become a little icon, a poem in itself to be treasured and wondered over.

These pieces as well as butterflies she has decorated with pen and ink will be shown at Art Melbourne this coming April. If you would like more information, please contact Fern directly.

If you would like your butterfly art displayed on this blog, please contact me.