Tuesday, September 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Catch a butterfly, win a beer

cabbagewhitebutterflyW

The cabbage white butterfly inhabits vacant lots, fields and gardens where its host plants, weedy mustards, grow. UC Davis professor Art Shapiro is offering a pitcher of beer to the person who finds the first butterfly of the season. Kathy Keatley Garvey/Courtesy photo 

By
From page A9 | December 29, 2013 |

A butterfly for a beer, or a beer for a butterfly.

Collect the first cabbage white butterfly of 2014 in the three-county area of Yolo, Solano or Sacramento and collect a pitcher of beer (your brand) or its cash-prize equivalent from professor Art Shapiro of the UC Davis department of evolution and ecology.

Shapiro launched the annual contest in 1972 to draw attention to pieris rapae and its first flight.

“It is typically one of the first butterflies to emerge in late winter,” he said. “Since 1972, the first flight has varied from Jan. 1 to Feb. 22, averaging about Jan. 20.”

Shapiro, who usually wins his own contest, snagged the first cabbage white butterflies of 2013 on Jan. 20 and 21.

The cabbage white butterfly inhabits vacant lots, fields and gardens where its host plants, weedy mustards, grow. The male has white wings; the female may be slightly buffy. The underside of the hindwing and of the tip of the forewing is distinctly yellow and the hindwing is more or less overscaled with gray below. The black markings on the upperside, except the black at the bases of the wings near the body, tend to be faint or even to disappear early in the season.

The butterfly must be collected outdoors in Yolo, Solano or Sacramento counties and must be delivered live to the office of the department of evolution and ecology in 2320 Storer Hall, during work hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. All entries must list the exact time, date and location of the capture and the collector’s name, address, phone number and email.

“The receptionist will certify that it is alive and refrigerate it,” Shapiro said. “If you collect it on a weekend or holiday, hold it your refrigerator but do not freeze it. A few days in the fridge will not harm it.”

Shapiro, who is in the field more than 200 days a year, has been defeated only three times since 1972. Those winners were all his graduate students, whom he calls “my fiercest competitors.” Adam Porter won the beer in 1983, and Sherri Graves and Rick VanBuskirk each won in the late 1990s.

When Shapiro wins, he shares the reward with his graduate students and their significant others.

All in all, the cabbage white butterfly contest “helps us understand biological responses to climate change,” Shapiro said. “The cabbage white is now emerging a week or so earlier on average than it did 30 years ago here.”

Shapiro maintains a website on butterflies at http://butterfly.ucdavis.edu, where he records the population trends he monitors in Central California. He has surveyed fixed routes at 10 sites since as early as 1972. They range from the Sacramento River Delta, through the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains, to the high desert of the western Great Basin. The sites, he said, represent the great biological, geological and climatological diversity of Central California.

Shapiro and biologist/writer/photographer Tim Manolis co-authored “A Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions,” published in 2007 by the University of California Press.

Shapiro is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Entomological Society and the California Academy of Sciences.

For more information on the beer-for-a-butterfly contest, contact him at amshapiro@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-2176.

Comments

comments

Kathy Keatley Garvey

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Davis school nurses are stretched thin

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Wright resigns his seat in California Senate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Dempsey: If campaign fails, ground troops possible

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Scotland took long road to independence vote

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Sierra Club gathers for morning walks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    DPNS has afternoon openings

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Paws for Thought: Socialize your new pup at UCD’s Yappy Hour

    By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    DHS parents go back to school

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New DHS Hall-of-Famers

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

    Exploration of dementia lecture set for Sept. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sick-pay benefits expanded to millions

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

     
    Bad roads cost Californians billions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Farmers market continues at Sutter Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County’s looking for a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Search the Internet at Connections Café

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Garage, bake sales benefit outdoor education trip

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Sutter qigong classes start Sept. 22

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Hundreds flee wildfires; homes burn

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Harmony Award nominations sought

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Da Vinci seniors take on Constitution essay

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Sounds like a swell party

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Maybe not the best rebound guy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Nate Beeler cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Many reasons to back Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    I support Madhavi Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A leader with heart and vision

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Carbon fee and dividend plan is the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Open Cup final has local flavor

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1

     
    Devil volleyball victories keep piling up

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS needs just 10 boys to top Elk Grove

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Finding the good in a tough DHS football loss

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

    More pressure on QB would be nice for Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Raber: glad to join in bringing readers golf column

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1

    Highlights galore in Junior Blue Devil weekend

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big Monday for Masiel as DHS golfers win league opener

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Jane Eyre’ to screen at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Anais Mitchell to play Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    ‘Shrek, The Musical’ shines at DMTC

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Irish fiddlers come to Davis house show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Jenny Lynn and Her Real Gone Daddies play at Picnic in the Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7