#331 Sloane's Urania

Extinct

These were a day-flying moth, endemic to Jamaica. I could not find anything saying how big these were, but they seem to have been pretty big. The colourful sections did not have pigment making the colour. Instead it is a scale of sorts that looks almost like itty bitty roof tiles, and they refract the light causing the iridescent colours. Think of it as a ton of very small prisms. Those colours let predators know they were toxic. They were extinct by 1908, but it is not exactly known why. There is still plenty of the forests they needed and lots of food for the adults. It is possible that the larval food they needed became scarce either from clearing for agricultural reasons, or other reasons. The thought is that maybe not enough of the baby moths survived the lack of food to support the species after a population crash.

I liked the look of the moth without the black. It is so bright and cheerful looking. I feel very weird about it though. All the pictures of this are in this position. Because they are moths they do not rest with their wings folded. Because they went extinct so long ago, there are no pictures of live ones. I wanted to paint the top of the wings because that is where the orange shows up. Though I still did not copy any picture I saw, it is similar enough to every single preserved specimen to make me feel uncomfortable. I would never copy any picture, and did not with this one, but it is closer to photos than ideally I would like to get.


I chose not to get my eyes dilated and pay extra to do the photographic viewing of my optic nerves because I was not completely done with the painting before I went to the eye doctor. I couldn't handle the thought of skipping a day or doing two tomorrow, especially when I'm so close to the end of the year and haven't missed a single day yet! The eye doctor wants me back in 4 months. There are 2 worrisome things going on with my eyes. I don't have glaucoma, but have something going on that could cause it. I also don't have macular degeneration but I have something that could cause it, or could cause "non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy" which results in a sudden loss of vision in the eye that has it. Now it isn't a given that this would cause either, and could be totally fine. I might just have something to keep eye doctors interested in my eyes. The sudden loss of vision would only be in one eye so even if it were to happen tonight (typically someone wakes up to the loss of vision), I would be able to finish the series. I'd probably switch to doing pottery versions of animals and pick a few glazes, then hope I was able to continue with it even if I had a total loss of vision in both eyes. So, there we go, hopefully in 4 months we will find out that everything is fine and





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