Hypolimnas bolina - the Blue Moon butterfly
15x15x6cm frame (red)
This butterfly is found in Madagascar in the west, through to South and Southeast Asia, the South Pacific islands (French Polynesia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa and Vanuatu), and occurs in parts of Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. This specimen comes from the Philippines.
It is hard to show in the photos how the outer ring of the white spots on the hind wings suddenly shows an iridescent blue, but it is beautiful to see in reality.
It is a fairly common butterfly found in lightly wooded country, deciduous forests, thick and moist scrub, and the greener parts of human habitats.
H. bolina is known for maternal care, with the females guarding leaves where eggs have been laid. Males are also very territorial and site fidelity increases with age. Territories that enhance the detection of females are preferred. The female hovers over a plant to check for ants which will eat her eggs. After selecting a plant which has no ants on it, she lays at least one but often two to five eggs on the undersides of the leaves.
This butterfly has been prepared in the UK to museum standards and is displayed in a deep handmade shadowbox frame, mounted on white conservation-grade foam. The back of the frame is covered in really special Italian decorative paper, with a brass hook for hanging it on the wall (but it also stands perfectly on a mantlepiece or a table). It is completely sealed inside the frame and will last for generations.