Technician production: JCMDI Lepidoptera Videos Vol. II DVD
Release date: Sept, 9 2008 (JCMDI)
Number of videos: 24 [Total Playing time 53:04]



This is JCMDI's second DVD release of realtime and time-lapse videos with Technician music soundtracks. They are mostly short and non-narrated, and formatted with a quick text introduction at the beginning, and credits at the end - ideal for stand-alone play or narration by a live instructor/presentor. The videos feature many aspects of Butterfly and Moth life cycles, and are captured in full NTSC resolution realtime and time-lapse video. Low resolution "demo" versions of most of these videos have been released on for free public viewing/evaluation. The "view" icons below link to those "public" versions for your reference. The DVD contains the high quality versions, some of which have more content than the public demo versions.

This DVD is being manufactured on DVD+R LightScribe media to reduce pre-production time and keep end-user costs affordable. Please be sure your DVD player can use DVD+R recordable media before ordering. The disc will be packaged in a generic no frills blank plastic DVD case and shipped via USPS Mail. Details and FAQ are below. As demand increases, commercial replication may be employed, which will likely increase the cost of the final product. Online ordering is available in the JCMDI eStore! Please e-mail us prior to ordering if you are outside of the 48 contiguous US States.

As a special offer to educators, a discount on this product is available to qualified individuals/institutions, as well as enhanced licensing to allow the content to be shown to an audience in a classroom, auditorium or small theatre setting for non-fee, educational purposes. You must contact us BEFORE making your purchase to get instructions for qualifying and purchasing this DVD at a discount. Please see the Educator FAQ below.

DVD Content and play order:
(24 Videos, 53 Minutes)

Track 01:
Purple Hairstreak Life cycle

The Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly (Altides halesus) is widely distributed in the southern and western United States, but is considered a rare butterfly in most places, and is seldom seen by most people. The larvae feed on various species of Mistletoe. The adult butterflies rarely open their wings, except to take flight, and usually appear dark charcoal/black-colored when at rest with their wings over their backs. The only time to see the amazing spectacle of their irridescent top side is when they first emerge from the chrysalis and expand their wings. Just like the Morphos of South America, the irridescent scales appear to change color as the light refracts from them at different angles. The freshly emerged adults appear to be bright metallic green for the first few seconds, then change color to a more aqua-blue or purple as the scales change their angle during wing expansion. The sexes are dimorphic, with the smaller males being a deep metallic blue-green, while the slightly larger females are a less reflective powder blue color. The music is "Newton's Prizm" by Technician, MP3 released online at HTTP://

Track 02:
Pipevine Swallowtail Life Cycle

This video showcases the entire life cycle of the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, from mating to the emerging of the adult. Many time lapse sequences and extreme close-ups are included. Original music is "The End Of Summer" by Technician.

Track 03:
White-Streaked Silkmoth Life Cycle

This compilation of videos and stills chronicles the life cycle of the White-Streaked Silkmoth (Saturnia albofasciata) from mating through emerging. Time lapse sequences of never before seen events, such as pupation inside the cut-away cocoon, are covered in this amazing video! Music "Oasis" is by Technician.

Track 04:
Euryalus Silkmoth Life Cycle

A collection of still and video images showing the complete life cycle of the Euryalus Silkmoth (Hyalophora euryalus) from mating to emerging. Included are all 5 phases (instars) of the very colorful larva, time lapse and live action sequences of adults emerging, expanding/flexing their wings, and egg-laying video. The music is "Ocean View" by Technician.

Track 05:
Electra Buckmoth Expanding, Mating, and Ovipositing

Many time lapse and realtime video sequences show rarely documented behaviors of the Electra Buckmoth (silk moth) [Hemileuca electra]. Time lapse footage includes wing expanding, scenting, mating and egg-laying (ovipositing). The music is "Blue Sky" by TECHNICIAN.

Track 06:
White-Streaked Silkmoth Mating and Hand Pairing

This short documentary shows how the rare and difficult to rear White-Streaked Silkmoths (Saturnia albofasciata) can be mated in captivity, both hand-paired and un-assisted. This footage was shot in Santa Clarita and Juniper Hills, CA during the 2007 season. The music is "Jolly People" from the Technician CD "Digital Dreaming".

Track 07:
White-Streaked Silkmoth Ovipositing

A short video showing the White-Streaked Silkmoth (Saturnia albofasciata) laying eggs. The music is "Midnight" by Technician.

Track 08:
Pale Swallowtail 2nd Instar Larva Cryptic Coloration

This little guy is taking a break after a mid-day snack. Unlike some caterpillars which hide under the leaf or lower inside the plant, these little larvae prefer to sit right on top of the leaf in full view, where they use cryptic color patterns to immitate a bird dropping. As they get older they change to a green color and tend to stay on the stems since they are too big and heavy to rest in the center of the leaf any more. The uncanny resemblance to an actual bird dropping is shown. Original Music by Technician.

Track 09:
Western Sheepmoth 5th Instar Larva

Some close-up video showing the mature larva of the Western Sheepmoth (Hemileuca eglanterina). These caterpillars must be handled carefully because their spines contain a toxin which can produce multiple painful stings, similar to Stinging Nettle plants. These larva have started their "wandering" phase where they scatter from the host plant and search for a secluded place to burrow into the earth to pupate. The music is "Shake Well" (last half) by Technician.

Track 10:
Pipevine Swallowtail 4th Instar Caterpillar Molt to 5th Instar

This 4th instar Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar (Battus philenor hirsuta) sheds its skin to begin its 5th and final instar before pupation. Note that its old head capsule (the black shiny thing on its face) gets stuck and it has to struggle to knock it loose. It comes off at about 38 seconds. The music is "Doom Level 5" from Technician's add-on episode 2 for ID's original DOOM video game.

Track 11:
Nevada Buckmoth Larvae Group Molt

Here, a group of Nevada buck Moth (Hemileuca nevadensis) larvae molt their skins as a group. Notice that the larvae are of different sizes (although not of different ages) and still molt together at roughly the same time. The exact synchronization mechanism is still a mystery. The music is "Shake Well" by Technician.

Track 12:
White-Streaked Silkmoth Failts Cocoon Building 101

A dumb-dumb White-Streaked Silkmoth (Saturnia albofasciata) tries but fails to spin its cocoon. It tried again in several other locations but never did get it right. In spite of not having a cocoon, it managed to pupate and emerge as an adult moth just fine. It must not have been paying attention when the teacher covered the finer points of making a cocoon! The music is "The Hunt" by Technician.

Track 13:
Pipevine Swallowtail Pupation Time Lapse

A Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor hirsuta) caterpillar performs its final molt as it pupates into a chrysalis in time lapse. Actual time was about 90 minutes.

Track 14:
Pipevine Swallowtail Spins Suspension Loop

This time lapse sequence shows a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly (Battus philenor hirsuta) caterpillar attaching itself to a twig. It does this by spinning a silk button to attach its tail-end to, and a silken loop to suspend its upper body. About two days after this procedure, the larva pupates into a chrysalis where it will begin the transformation (metamorphosis) into an adult Butterfly. The music is "We Fall" by Technician.

Track 15:
Indra Swallowtail Pupations Timelapse

A very close-up look at the pupation process of the Indra Swallowtail (subspecies phyllisae), accompanied by still images of the adult, larvae and a time lapse emerging sequence. The music is "Idnarepo Sodum" by Technician.

Track 16:
Velda Pinemoth Pupation, Contortion and Emerging

This could be from a Sci-Fi mutant insect invasion movie - but it's actually 100% nature! These are actual photos and video documenting the pupation process of the Velda Pine Moth (Coloradia velda), a member of the Saturniidae family of giant silk moths. This pupation process normally happens a few inches underground, in a small chamber constructed in the soft earth by the caterpillar. After spending the winter in this underground cocoon chamber, it develops, emerges from the pupal case and claws its way to he surface. Once there, it expands its wings and begins the short (2-7 days) adult phase of its life where the primary function is reproduction. The soundtrack is "Monster Music" from the Technician CD "Halloween 2001".

Track 17
White-Streaked Silkmoth Emerges and Expands Wings

A male Saturnia albofasciata moth emerges from its cocoon in time lapse. The cocoon has been partially cut away to observe development and movement and doesn't seem to bother the moth. After he emerges, he expands his wings by pumping a body fluid into them. The music is "The Voice" by Technician.

Track 18:
Velda Pinemoth Emerges and Expands Wings

Realtime + time lapse video of a Velda Pine Moth (Coloradia velda) emerging from its pupa, then expanding its wings in 30x time lapse. Original music by Technician.

Track 19:
Gabb's Checkerspot Emerges and Expands Wings

This video features realtime and time lapse footage of a Gabbs Checkerspot Butterfly (Chlosyne gabbii) emerging from its chrysalis and then expanding its wings. The music is by Technician.

Track 20:
5 Sonoran Blues Emerge and Expand Wings

5 Sonoran Blue butterflies (Philotes sonorensis) emerge from their chrysalis and expand their wings in 30x time lapse. The music is "Sonoran 3" by technician.

Track 21:
Pima Orange-Tips Emerge and Expand Wings

These beautiful desert Orange-tip butterflies (Anthocaris cethura pima) are found in the southwestern United States, in the deep, arid stretches of the Mojave and adjacent deserts. Three individuals are shown here in time lapse video while emerging from their chysalis and expanding their wings. The music is "Sundogs" by Technician.

Track 22:
Butterfly Feeding – Apache Fritillary

This female Apache Fritillary (Speyeria nokomis apacheana) is placed on a plastic cap filled with 10% sugar and 90% water solution, then nudged until she senses it with the "taste buds" on her feet and begins feeding. She uncoils her tongue and feeds for about 90 seconds. The music is "Cold Fusion" (improv/pre-release version) by technician.

Track 23:
Field Trip – Hunting Ford's Swallowtail

A short documentary featuring a trip to the Mojave Desert's Granite Mountains in search of the Ford's Indra Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio indra fordi). These delicate creatures survive in an incredibly hostile environment of bare rock, scant plantlife and low rainfall. While the adult butterflies are rarely encountered, the eggs and caterpillars can sometimes be found by locating the host plants, Cymopterus panamintensis (Desert Parsley) at the right time of year. The music is "Brenda's Song", composed and performed by Technician.

Track 24:
Field Trip – Searching for Becker's White

This desert outing takes us to the Antelope Valley in the southwestern Mojave desert, near Palmdale, California. We're in search of Becker's White (Pontia beckeri) adults and early stages for rearing and life cycle documentary. After a tip from a colleague (thanks, Brian!) a large population was found and filming began. The butterfly was found in all stages of its life cycle, which made much of this video fairly easy to make. There was even a freshly emerged female (chrysalis still visible in the shots) found mating on one of the host plants! The rearing and detailed life cycle documentation is now being carried-out back in the "laboratory". That video will be released some time in the future. The soundtrack is another adlib experimental piece by Technician, called "G'echo" (Sounds like "Gecko").

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions (and answers)

Q: What is a LightScribe disc, and will it play on my TV-top DVD player?

A: LightScribe CDR and DVDR media is just like standard recordable media, except that the top surface of the disc is specially coated so that the label image can be "burned" directly onto the disc. A LightScribe capable drive is NOT required to play it. Most modern DVD players and computer DVD drives will play DVD+R media. However, some very old DVD players/drives can only play DVD-R or commercially manufactured DVDs, and will reject DVD+R media. Please be sure that your drive/player is +R recordable media cabable before ordering.

Q: Do I have to do anything special to care for this disc?

A: As with all commercially manufactured and recordable media, avoid exposure to heat and direct sunlight. Also, prolonged exposure to strong ultraviolet (UV) lighting, such as fluorescent, mercury vapor, etc. should also be avoided, to prevent fading of the label and deterioration of the recording surface.

Additionally, some types of CD/DVD "albums" with sleeves made of PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride - which has a strong "plastic" smell) may discolor the LightScribe label and should not be used to store LightScribe media. PVC sleeves have also even been known to stick to and remove commercial silk-screened CD/DVD labels when stored tightly in a warm environment for long periods, so best practice is to avoid PVC sleeves altogether.

Q: Why is some of the picture "cut-off" at the edges when displayed on my TV?

A: This DVD is formatted for standard NTSC video, however, most televisions do not display the entire 720x480 image, which results in a small strip of image at the edges of the screen being omitted. This is true of most NTSC media (even commercial VHS/DVD). Most TV viewers never even know they're not seeing the entire image unless some text (such as the "JCMDI.COM" logo) is present to make it apparent. If you view the DVD on an HD-capable television/monitor or computer, you should see the entire picture. However, this still depends on your equipment's capability. Adjusting the video/aspect ratio or display settings on your DVD player/TV to 16:9 or "letterbox" may allow you to see the entire image from this and other NTSC media.

Q: Can I play all the videos on this DVD automatically?

A: It depends entirely on your playback equipment. This DVD was tested in a number of different set-top players and computers, with varying results. In most cases, all the videos would play automatically, starting with the one that was initially selected and continuing through to the last video (chapter 24). To play all the videos one after the other, automatically, just select PLAY on the first video (Chapter 1), and the rest should follow. The DVD normally returns to the main menu when the last video (24) ends.

Q: Are these the same videos I saw on

A: For the most part, yes. Low-resolution versions of most selections are available free onYouTube. The major Difference is that the DVD contains the high-quality versions, with high-resolution video and CD-quality stereo sound. Additionally, some DVD versions have added content, lacking in the online versions.

Q: What is the "educator" discount and license, and how do I get them?

A: JCMDI wishes to help bring quality resources to students and educators alike, so a discount and special use license is available for qualified educators. To qualify, proof of employment in some form may be required. This may be as simple as providing a verifiable e-mail address at an educational institution where you work. Once verified, you will be provided with a special link to buy your copy(s) of the DVD for $3 less than the regular retail price. Any applicable tax on the actual sale price, and shipping charges still apply.

To qualify as an "educator", you must be employed or volunteered in a teaching or education position, and must NOT charge a fee of any kind to the students or "audience" for viewing the content of the DVD. Please contact us at the following email address: customerservice @ to request educator status.

Like most purchased (licensed) intellectual property, this DVD can be viewed in a private home setting by any user. As a qualified educator, you may also show the DVD to a small audience of students (typically less than 100) in a classroom, auditorium or small theatre for non-profit, educational purposes only. In any case, the content may NOT be copied, published, broadcast, distributed or sold in any form.

e-mail contact: customerservice @