Over the last few weeks I have been busily working away on my final project for my scientific illustration class (which is finishing shortly*sadface*)- hence my lack of posts over the last week! For my project, I decided to do an illustrated life cycle of the native puriri moth (Aenetus virescens) or Pepetuna. The puriri moth is the largest flying insect in NZ (females up to 150mm wingspan) and is beautifully coloured in varying shades of green (from yellow through blue). It is also long-lived (est. 5-7 years) but most people only encounter them in their adult form, when they live for only a couple of days!
check out this video footage of the puriri moth emerging from its pupa- the first time its been captured on film!
I wanted to do an illustrated life cycle to raise more awareness about their life history- which is not commonly known (they are nocturnal wood borers). Part of this process was finding specimens of the various life stages to illustrate from- and I can tell you this was no easy task! For the last few weeks any spare moment has been spent rooting around on forest floors and peering into tree trunk holes to try and find the larval forms of the moth- with varying levels of success. I have also had a lot of help from the Auckland Museum and other moth experts.
So, here are some photos and sketches of what I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks:
Back to sketching at home…
The final illustration is going to be done in coloured pencil on strathmore windpower smooth paper (new coloured pencil fave!), and is compiled digitally in photoshop- I’ll share the final illustrations in my next post!