Idea idea – the Paper Kite
This butterfly is a relatively common species in south-east Asia, occurring in coastal mangrove forest and dense lowland rainforest at altitudes between sea level and about 400m. Its flight is graceful and undulating interspersed with heavy flapping due to its large wing-size to body-size ratio.
Idea idea belongs to the Danaini tribe (for another example, see the Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus), and deters predators with a chemical substance known as "danaidone," which makes them unpalatable. Male butterflies accumulate the danaidone while collecting nectar from plants and pass it along to the female during mating to protect the eggs. It is very similar in appearance to Idea leuconoe gordita, but lacks the yellow near the thorax. Both species are commonly known as the Paper Kite.
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.