Zygaena Lonicerae

For this month’s project I have chosen a moth that I found during my explorations on Flickr. I tend to wander through nature photos looking at landscapes, plants and flowers and of course, all sorts of creatures. I am surprised not only by the subjects but I also admire the skills of the photographers, who are able to capture nature in such a fantastic way.

While I was roaming in one of the many butterfly groups I came across a small moth named zygaena lonicerae, commonly named Narrow-Bordered Five-Spot Burnet. They are active during daytime and feed on blue violet flowers such as the thistle. I was drawn by their simplicity and vibrant spots and thought they would be the perfect subject for my monthly project [include link].

I started by preparing the colour for the wings. With the reflection of light their black wings seem to acquire a silver blue tone which I tried to replicate by using a very thin layer of translucent blue over the wings. The next stage was shaping the wings and adding the spots. Although the spots are red, I thought that neon pink would make the spots pop out from the darker clay and I think it worked quite well. I had my first zygaena almost finished but something was still missing… the antennae. I made them using wire covered in black clay, and there she was, ready for curing. I also made matching earrings which were really amusing to make.

Para o projecto deste mês escolhi uma traça que descobri durante as minhas explorações no Flickr. Tenho alguma tendência para deambular por entre fotografias da natureza e olhar para paisagens, plantas, flores e claro, para todo o tipo de animais. Fico surpreendida não só pelas fotos em si, mas pela habilidade dos fotógrafos em capturar a natureza de forma tão fantástica.

Numa dos muitos grupos de borboletas encontrei uma pequena traça chamada zygaena lonicerae. São insectos activos durante o dia e alimentam-se de flores azuis e violeta como os cardos. Atraíu-me a sua simplicidade e as manchas de cor intensa e achei que seriam perfeitas para o meu projecto mensal.

Começei por preparar a cor das asas. Com o reflexo da luz as asas negras adquirem um tom entre o azul e o prateado que tentei replicar usando uma camada muito fina de azul translúcido sobre as asas. A fase seguinte foi moldar as asas e colocar as manchas. Apesar de no original serem vermelhas, achei que um rosa fluorescente iria fazer sobressair o contraste com as asas escuras e acho que funcionou muito bem. Tinha a minha primeira peça praticamente acabada mas senti que ainda faltava alguma coisa… as antenas. Fi-las usando arame forrado com massa polimérica preta, e ali estava a Zygaena, pronta para ser cozida. Também fiz uns brincos a condizer que foram bastante divertidos de fazer.

Zygaena Lonicerae by Sanchez Andreas on Flickr

Zygaena Lonicerae, image credits by Sanchez Andreas (on Flickr)

Work in progress: the components for the moth earrings

Work in progress: the components for the moth earrings

Zygaena Lonicerae brooches and beads for earrings

Zygaena Lonicerae brooches and beads for earrings

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