Posts Tagged: beer
But such was the case Monday, Jan. 21 for butterfly expert Art Shapiro, professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis.
See, Shapiro sponsors the annual "Beer for a Butterfly" contest to see who can collect the first white cabbage butterfly of the year in the three-county area of Yolo, Solano and Sacramento. A noted butterfly expert, he's been monitoring the butterflies of Central California for more than three decades and maintains a website, Art's Butterfly World.
Shapiro has sponsored the "Beer or a Butterfly" contest since 1972 to draw attention to the first flight of the butterfly. He awards the winner--usually himself!--a pitcher of beer or its equivalent.
This year he netted the first white cabbage butterfly (Pieris rapae) on President Barack Obama's Inauguration Day, Monday, Jan. 21. Perhaps coincidentally, he also caught the first white cabbage fly of 2009 on President Obama's first Inauguration Day--Jan. 20.
“The constitution mandates the swearing-in for Jan. 20, though it does not require Pieris rapae to emerge on that date,” Shapiro quipped.
“Thank you, Mr. President!”
For the record, Shapiro caught the 2013 winner near railroad tracks in West Sacramento, Yolo County, and the 2009 winner near railroad tracks in Davis, also in Yolo County. (Shapiro’s first catch of 2013 was actually on Jan. 1 at the same West Sacramento site, but “it was a slopover from the fall brood.” Thus, he declared the contest still under way.)
Now the contest is over and Shapiro says that since “Pieris rapae is out, I can ‘stand down.’ It’s now officially spring.”
He declared it spring, and so it is.
Now, the big question: Will Professor Shapiro share his beer with the President?
“I'd be delighted to buy Obama a beer," Shapiro said, "but I suspect he has better things to do with his time!”
This is the cabbage white butterfly that Art Shapiro collected on President Obama's Inauguration Day, Jan. 21. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Beer for a butterfly.
Now that's an interesting concept.
That’s what you’ll get—or the cash equivalent—if you collect the first cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) of 2012 in an area encompassing Yolo, Solano or Sacramento counties.
Professor Art Shapiro of the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology has issued the first call for his annual “Catch-a-Cabbage-White-Butterfly-Win-a-Pitcher-of-Beer” contest, which he launched in 1972.
The butterfly must be delivered live to the office of the Department of Evolution and Ecology, 2320 Storer Hall.
Since 1972 the first flight has varied from Jan.1 to Feb.22, averaging about Jan.20. The 2011 find was on Jan. 31.
Shapiro, a noted butterfly expert who maintains a website on butterflies, usually wins the contest. He caught the first cabbage white butterfly of 2011 at 1:21 p.m., Monday, Jan. 31 in Suisun City, Solano County.
1. The butterfly must be captured in one of three California counties: Yolo, Solano or Sacramento on or after Jan. 1, 2012
2. It must be an adult (no caterpillars or pupae) and be captured outdoors.
3. It must be brought in alive to the department office, 2320 Storer Hall, UC Davis, during work hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the full data (exact time, date and location of the capture) and your name, address, phone number and/or e-mail. The receptionist will certify that it is alive and refrigerate it. (If you collect it on a weekend or holiday, keep it in a refrigerator; do not freeze. A few days in the fridge will not harm it.
4. Other species are ineligible.
5. Professor Shapiro’s judgment is final. All butterflies submitted may be retained as vouchers.
The white butterfly, with black dots on the upperside (which may be faint or not visible in the early season), inhabits vacant lots, fields and gardens where its host plants, weedy mustards, grow. It is typically one of the first butterflies to emerge in late winter.
The male is white. The female is often slightly buffy; the "underside of the hindwing and apex of the forewing may be distinctly yellow and normally have a gray cast,” Shapiro says. “The black dots and apical spot on the upperside tend to be faint or even to disappear really early in the season.”
Shapiro sponsors the annual contest to draw attention to Pieris rapae and its first flight. "I am doing long-term studies of butterfly life cycles and climate. Such studies are especially important to help us understand biological responses to climate change. The cabbage white is now emerging a week or so earlier on average than it did 30 years ago here."
Shapiro, who is in the field more than 200 days a year, has been defeated only three times since 1972. And all were by his graduate students. Adam Porter defeated him in 1983; and Sherri Graves and Rick VanBuskirk each won in the late 1990s.
For more information, contact Art Shapiro at email@example.com, (530) 752-2176.
Cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) on catmint. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)