Jezebel & Mistletoe (2023)
The Imperial Jezebel butterfly (Delias harpalyce) and the Australian mistletoe (Amyema sp.) have a special relationship. The caterpillars of the Jezebel feed on parasitic plant species such as the drooping mistletoe. In a group, writhing caterpillar clumps form cocoons of white silken webs on their food plant. In the first warm days of spring, they hatch into beautifully coloured butterflies, returning to lay their eggs on a similar food plant leaf.
This artwork was inspired by the sighting of a Jezebel in my local nature reserve, in which a large number of mistletoe plants are hosted on eucalypt trees. The bright red and yellow colouring of its wing undersides immediately caught my attention in the leaf litter.
This is a limited edition (a series of 15) of original prints created on 300 gsm Hahnemühle paper, 27 x 39 cm, unframed. The print itself is 21 x 29.5 cm and is created from a layered solar etching and linocut, with additional hand colouring. The edition numbers you see here are not necessarily the artwork available.