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Grading specimens as [ A1- ] ----- for 90% to 95% of Top Dollar

1.  Only the most tiny of imperfections allowed such as very minor flight wear.  Nearly no evidence of flight wear.

2.  Tiny (1-2mm) tears, splits, rubs allowed if they do not really detract from appearance. 

3.  Loose tails, small (attached) chips, allowed.  Tiny piece of one antenna broken off is OK.

4.  Wing edges are indeed clean and only have an extremely small amount of flight fraying wear.

5.  It is like as though it had flown for only a couple of days, if that.

6.  (if mounted), only minuten-sized, or smaller, holes allowed in wings.  Also, no vein crimpage allowed or broken veins. 


Note 1:  This grade determination is for that super-nice specimen that is not quite perfect, but is in very fine condition with barely noticable imperfections.  Many A1 listings are wrongly listed as A1 when, in fact, such specimens are A1-.


[ A1- ] O. croesus

Nearly perfect, but has a few minor wing imperfections(right FW edges and in black, and small smudge in black of left FW, and the tip of the left antenna is broken off.  Also, notice the left FW base has a stain present.

[ A1- ] Agrias aedon narcissus

This specimen has only slight venation wear on the tips of the FWs.  It is clean, fresh, and perfect in every other way.  The slight wear knocks it down from A1 because the minor wear does show up.  Many people have listed this type specimen as "A1", but it is closer to A1- which is still a very nice specimen.

[ A1- ] Papilio palamedes

This butterfly is very nice, but has a small smudge on the right FW and a hanging chip at the bottom of the right HW.  It is (with these two imperfections) clearly no longer A1, but is still a high quality bug.

[ A1- ] Morpho anaxibia --female

Here is a nearly A1 morpho, but she has small smudges near the costa of the left FW, a smudge at the far outer edge of the right FW, and a small 2-3mm split near the abdomen on the right HW which is hard to see, but is there.  She is about as close to A1 as a bug can get without actually being A1.  The sad truth here is that I was the one who made the left FW smudges when I slipped with my special curved wing-positioning forceps:(

[ A1- ] Prepona pseudomphale

This specimen is nearly perfect (which is A1), but has a few small smudges on the FWs, an imperfection near the mid lateral vein on the left FW, and the far outer areas of the FW edges do have that fine wear from flight.  The smudge near the thorax on the right FW does show up more than the photo indicates.  There is also a small stain spot in the blue on the right HW.  I am proud to have this butterfly, but I can not call it perfect A1---instead a near perfect A1-.  This grade of A1- is a high quality grade and should command decent prices. 

[ A1- ]  Panacea prola

Nice nymphalid here.  It has rubbings at the outer forward areas of the FWs and some scratching in the green area of the left FW.  While these are indeed small, they effectively prevent this butterfly from being A1.  It has to be graded as a nice A1-.  The difference between A1 and A1- is small, but there.

[ A1- ] Catocala cara

This moth is fine in every way except a small 2mm nick/chip in the right HW.  It is a great specimen that is better than A-, but not as good as A1.

[ A1- ] Charaxes cynthia cynthia

This specimen is nearly an A-, but has nothing substantially wrong except some venation wear which shows up pretty well in the photograph lighting.  The edges are fine, color good, no presence of chips, nicks, tears, or missing/broken parts, and without bright lights on it, it actually looks better under normal circumstances.  I just had to light it up so one could see features better.  I would say that if it had had a couple more spots of wear, I'd feel inclined to bump it to a nice A-.

[A1-] Cymothoe oemilius

This specimen is A1 in every way except that there is a split in the left HW.  This only imperfection keeps it from being A1, but darn close.

[A1-] Stichophthalma camdeva---female

Many would judge this as A1, but the split in the outer edge of the right FW prevents it.  This is a specimen I'd label as A1/A1- because the split (while very small) is keeping it from being A1.  By labeling it as A1/A1-, one is saying this is a fine specimen very near to perfect, but not quite so. She is in the very top ranking of A1- as I see it.