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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Friday, April 26, 2013

CARL MARSHALL: New Giant Glasswing at Stratford Butterfly Farm.

The species Methona confusa, commonly known as the giant glasswing, was named in 1873 by the famous English entomologist Arthur Gardiner Butler in his concise work, Tropical Butterflies and Moths. Until recently M. confusa existed in the public domain only as preserved specimens highly prized by collectors; Although not particularly rare in the wild, captive bred specimens were non existent in the UK until recently, when our farm was fortunate to be in a position to acquire pupae, of which many healthy butterflies emerged this spring. M. confusa is an almost transparent species from the Nymphalidae family that is found in lowland rainforests in Brazil, Panama, Ecuador and Peru. They have a wingspan of about 90mm - 100mm (3.7 in approx) making them relatively large when compared to the true glasswing - Greta otoM. confusa have transparent wings with black margins and black cross-bars on the forewings and hindwings. The Margins of the hindwings display a series of small spots. The abdomen has a series of double parallel white spots and the
 antennae are black with bright yellow tips.

M. comfusa are unpalatable to birds so many other butterfly species mimic them. They are primarily found in wet rainforests at altitudes of about 200 - 700 m above sea level.

Sub species:
[1] Methona confusa confusa - (Brazil)
[2] M. confusa psamathe - (Ecuador & Peru)
[3] M. confusa ssp. - (Panama)

The Stratford Butterfly Farm is a pioneering establishment, hence the acquisition of many rare (in captivity) or unusual species. For enthusiasts in this field, to see free flying M. confusa in captivity is a unique and inspiring opportunity which I highly recommend.   

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