Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Bugs and suds make for a good time

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | January 02, 2014 | Leave Comment

“Catch a butterfly and win a beer,” said the headline in last Sunday’s paper.
Yeah, sure. I read about this contest every year, and every year it seems that the Professor of Insects with Floppy Wings who sponsors this contest ultimately declares himself the winner of the beer.
“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, ecology” and butterflies, the story points out.
How it will be determined that the butterfly in question is a native of Yolo, Solano or Sacramento counties is unclear, but if anyone can figure it out, it’s Shapiro.
I do know that the Yolo County cabbage white butterfly has a large “Go Ags” on the back of its wings, but I’m not sure about the ones from Sacramento or Solano counties. Or even the ones from Sutter County.
“Shapiro launched the annual contest in 1972 to draw attention to Pieris rapae and its first flight.”
Apparently, the butterfly has a fancy scientific name, so let’s just call it Pierre.
“It is typically one of the first butterflies to emerge in late winter,” Shapiro said, noting that “since 1972, the first flight has varied from January 1 to February 22, averaging about January 20.”
Which, if I have my calendar right, would be right at the end of the first month of winter.
“Shapiro, who usually wins his own contest, snagged the first cabbage white butterflies of 2013 on January 20 and 21.”
I realize this contest is generally designed for the good professor’s students, but having once been a UC Davis student myself — I was on the eight-year plan — I’m declaring myself eligible for the contest and its grand prize.
In fact, I actually took an entomology class dealing with flying insects during my undergraduate days, though it did not deal with cabbage white butterflies.
“The cabbage white butterfly inhabits vacant lots, fields and gardens,” and, presumably, Shapiro’s back yard.
“The male has white wings; the female may be slightly buffy.” So now we have Pierre and Buffy. Either will win you the pitcher of beer, but if you catch the male first, you’ll get an order of Buffalo wings with your suds.
“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.”
Apparently, this is a union butterfly with full benefits.
“All entries must list the exact time, date and location of the capture and the collector’s name, address, phone number, email,” and favorite brand of beer.
“If you collect it on a weekend or holiday, hold it in your refrigerator, but do not freeze it. A few days in the fridge will not harm it.”
I don’t know about you, but rumor has it the light goes out when the refrigerator door closes, plunging your delicate captive into utter darkness for hours at a time. Does PETA know about this?
Turns out Shapiro has lost the contest only three times in 41 years, but all-around good sport that he is, when he’s the winner he regularly shares the prize with his graduate students and their significant others.
I’ll tell you right now, when I win this year’s contest I’ll share my prize with Shapiro’s graduate students as well. It’s always fun to get together and swap bug stories.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Attorneys at odds over Woodland infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
4-H members prepare for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Food insecurity remains an issue for many county residents

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
 
 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6