I thougt we had a thread called like this one, but I couldn't find it.
I have a Charaxes viossati male from Anjouan on the board and as I'm a Papilionidae collector this is my first Charaxes I have relaxed (papered since 1999!). How long do you let Charaxes stay on the board? Large Papilios I have five to six weeks on the board, but Charaxes have stronger muscles, so do they need longer?
Post by wingedwishes on Oct 3, 2011 2:16:42 GMT -8
A month for old charaxes? That has not been my experience (but Dunc has more experience than I). Sure, a month if they are fresh.
Good vendors from whom I've had good experiences: Insect Collectors Shop Bill Oehlke Tropical Butterflies of America- Honor and praise to the late Mr. Serrano--- Insect-Sale Chuck Ianni Dr. Defreina Ken Thorne Insect Collector Shop Girardy's Chuck Limmer
I say a month because a couple of years ago inbetween house moves I stupidly stored around 200 charaxes specimens in an outdoor garage along with other stuff, the result, yes you've guest it they ALL lifted and I had to reset them, some if not most of them rehydrated so much the wings were almost fully closed, I respread the lot of them, left them on the boards for around 4-5 weeks and they are still perfectly flat 2 years later but if you have any doubts at all then by all means leave them on for longer.
Post by papilio28570 on Oct 8, 2011 19:22:41 GMT -8
Hmm...I allow 24 hours for rehydrated specimens and have not had a problem. But, I keep my collection in a controlled environment. I always assumed that a specimen would "lift" if exosed to a humid environment. Are you telling me that a specimen left on a board for a month will not lift after re-hydration? Seems to me that ambient humidity is the same regardless if the specimen is on a board for a month or in a cabinet for a month.
Post by papilio28570 on Oct 9, 2011 21:25:05 GMT -8
No. I live in a regular house with normal climate control. I air condition to 74 degrees F during warm months and heat to 74 degrees F during cool months and I live in very humid coastal North Carolina.
I relaxed a Cecropia Moth for thee days in a humidity chamber, spread the specimen yesterday with no problem and removed it this evening...about 24 hours. It is perfectly dry and I even dipped it in some acetone to degrease portions of the hind-wings. I mounted a female tonight and will take her off the board tomorrow evening.
Earlier this evening, around 5 PM, I mounted 3 butterflies which I placed in a humidity chamber yesterday evening. They are a Heliconius ismenius telchinia, an Asterope markii davisii, and a Haetera piera. All three specimens were taken off the boards about 6 hours later and all are perfectly dry.
I've been doing this for 54 years and have not had a specimen change position once it is mounted. I cannot comprehend some folks here leaving specimens on their boards for weeks and even a month.
I agree with papilio28570. I have the same experiences. Also,if it's winter and you put the board with the specimens onto a radiator,they become even more quickly fully dried (within a few hours).
Of course it's different when we have to do with freshly-cought specimens (I mean specimens which you spread few days,or hours,after the field-collecting). Then,weeks maybe are needed for large butterflies/moths with big bodies,or even months for freshly-cought large beetles.
It don't think that specimens can dry within some hours (probably very small ones on the radiator) and the wings will stay in their position if taking the specimens off the board then. Probably we have different views of a well mounted specimen. For me the forewings has to be in an exact angle of 90 degrees to the thorax, not a little bit fewer. And the wings have to be flat, not waved. And this is what happens to my specimens (regularly Papilios) if I take them off the board after some days.
Post by Ascalaphus on Oct 10, 2011 11:30:00 GMT -8
Maybe part of the confusion in this topic is caused by the following: some dried specimens on the market were mounted at first, and relaxed and papered months-years later. These specimens don't need to stay on the board for more than a couple of days, considerably shorter than the necessary 2-3 weeks for 'normal' papered specimens (Nymphalidae, Papilionidae).
lovely spreading job, I agree with Hannes, you cant leave a specimen on the boards for too long, better to let it dry properly than have to reset it later because it was taken off too soon, this happened to me with a lovely female agrias narcissus which I had to redo, for charaxes/prepona/agrias I would say a minimum of 4 weeks.
I tend to think along the lines of papilio28570. I dry mine on a convectional heat rack(I've posted pics before) in a humidity-controlled room. I can be assured of full dryness in a few days with this method. When mild heat is allowed to bring up dry air arouund the specimen from in the dry room around the specimen, the wait time is greatly shortened. Those are merely my thoughts----others will have opinions of their own which makes for an interesting read.
I will never use the radiator again, I had relaxed some specimen with great care and cold water to not get them greasy. Then I put them close to the radiator for drying but it was too close and it resulted in a greasy mess... A friend of mine told me about the fact that warm water already would make specimen greasy, the first moment I believed this to be wrong and nonsense, but after thinking he is totally right. Conventional butter does melt at about 25°C, the grease in the butterflies is similar to it.
So I wonder how you manage to use your radiators and not result in greasy specimen.
It seems that different things work for different people. I've always had problems getting specimens dry enough. It's usually quite humid here in Southern England, but nowhere near as much as many other places. I always leave specimens on boards for at least a month, but in at least 50% of cases the wings soon start to lift or drop back. I've tried leaving them above a radiator but immediately had to throw away all my setting boards and replace them as they became bowed. I always have problems getting specimens relaxed enough; things like Charaxes and Prepona are usually impossible to set even after a week in the relaxing box! I've tried everybody's suggestions - I tried gin but it didn't work for me.
Bob, have you tried putting the specimens in direct contact with the damp towels in the relaxing box (not for ornithoptera though), I have just set 1 prepona and 1 agrias and they were very supple after 3 days, hardly no resistance at all.