July 19, 2004

Dumont no. 5 Stainless Steel Forceps

Let us begin the week with a specimen of the Ornithoptera Priamus Aureus, or the Jaded Merryboil, principally found in Alpine regions and certain suburbs of Swindon.
I am yours,/You valiant offspring of great Priamus
I must say I was impressed by how neatly this little blighter was pinned to its board. The butterfly had clearly been stuck by someone who knew their pinning inside out, and I was inspired to say a few words on this subset of skills to lepidoptery, before elaborating on a more alarming association with today’s specimen, namely the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, cause of folliculitis, boils, scalded skin syndrome, impetigo, toxic shock syndrome, cellulitis, and other unpleasantries.
If you’re serious about taking up lepidoptery, and I’m sure some of you are, you will need to furnish yourself with the following basic entomology spreading equipment:
A set of stainless steel insect pins – to make sure the little buggers don’t fly away.
A pack of identification labels – for making up fanciful names for your specimens in order to impress your friends who will very quickly know less about the subject than you.
Glue boards – a white bristol board for mounting small specimens.
Spreading boards – for setting out the wings of your butterflies until they are dry at a comfortable 5 degree inclination (Ha! – try and fly away now!)
Various needles, forceps, scalpels, scissors and syringes. – these should also be mounted alongside the butterflies, as they look rather impressive. My favorite is the Dumont number 5 stainless steel forceps.
For catching them all you need is a net and a can of Raid. There is no specific variety of Raid for killing butterflies, but the Moth blend is sure to work well enough, and failing that, if the cockroach poison works on those little bastards, then I’m quite certain your Imperial Azure won’t last long after a blast or two.
That’s it – you’re now fully equipped with your lepidoptery essentials, but you might also want to bring a hip flask.
But back to today’s specimen. If you’re out catching butterflies, please make sure that you avoid this one at all costs. There is no proven connection between the Ornithoptera Priamus Aureus and the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, but I wouldn’t want to take any chances.
Doesn’t she look nice though? Doesn’t she?

Doctor Pockless

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