When placing large moths in envelopes, standard procedure is to fold the wings up over the thorax to prevent damage or scale loss. However, this often results in a pinched abdomen. While this is a minor issue in comparison to wing damage, I have been experimenting with placing the moth in the envelope with wings parallel to the abdomen but not spread (same as a sphinx moth at rest). I then store the moth with the dorsal side facing up, so that gravity presses on the abdomen from the top. The result is a more natural-looking, non-pinched abdomen. The wings are also easier to spread from this position. So far, there has been no noticeable scale loss. My question is this: Would you accept a specimen in a sale or trade that was stored in this manner?
The storage/transit and shipping of moth is an interesting topic which usually keeps my mind busy during winter time. You can ask my friends that I have really been getting on their nerves this season's winter again because I wanted to discuss the thing over and over again
Macro moth can be divided into three kinds, flat type (Geometridae, Drepaninae ...) that you easily store folded in envelopes, small thick body moths (Noctuidae sensu stricto) and larger thick body moths (Notodontidae, Arctiidae to Sphingidae and Saturniidae)
Now for your method when I understood correctly I would agree to Jack that they probably might get damaged during transit. Putting a moth flat with wings in natural resting position is something not uncommon, the thing is that in that case you usually store it in between cotton or the like as this secures the moth from any side. A simple envelope just sounds too loose for me.
The second point is that I think that you won't be able to use space as much as possible during shipping as the envelope steals away a lot of space and you can again only poorly secure the specimen from surrounding sides as the envelope is blocking free space.
I for myself will keep on with the envelope and folded up wings. When packing something you have to do compromises in order to get a good result from several view points. Yes that method can give flat bodies but I have never worried too much about it as I can live with a flat body moth when I know that it is shipped safely, I can pack as much as possible moth into one container and that the packaging is simple, cheap and fast. An alternative would maybe be to use the beetle kind of packing where you put them in between plastic and cardboard and secure it with paper towels etc, but that method is work intensive and uses a lot of resources and in the end your trading partner most likely just unwraps it and tosses the packaging as it has stains of fat which can't be removed and pulling staples from the cardboard is annoying too.
Maybe you can try to use larger envelopes and store them upwards in the container and pack less dense when keeping them at home to try and remove as much force from the sides. The flat body only happens because specimen often get stored in a lying position and because the envelopes strongly press them together from both sides.
The other moth like Noctuidae I simply field pin as this keeps them in their natural resting position and gives best results.
I hope this was of help and I did not annoy you like my friends , Rgds Claude
Post by papilio28570 on Mar 2, 2012 17:22:06 GMT -8
I hate getting Saturnidae with flatten abdomens and I will not sell any that I reared in such a state. What I do is place the moth in a triangle envelope , as normally done, then I crimp the bottom of the envelope nearest the abdomen. This causes the envelope to balloon out and allows the abdomen to retain its natural shape. I stand the envelopes in a cigar box or other suitable container with the crimped side of the envelope at the bottom and wings vertical and allow the moths to dry this way for a few weeks. The result is a dried moth with a beautiful round abdomen as nature intended.
I have sent and received moths and butterflies of most sizes with wings spread to the side . If packaged properly no damage occurs in shipping. I put them on a hard backing that is then covered by three layers of Kleenex that then has a little cotton on top to be under the thorax and antenna. Then stapled on top is the clear plastic assitate over the insect. The assitate is just tight a nuff to keep insect still so it dos not slide around during shipping. To tight and scales on thorax will be lost.