Moths vs butterflies

Fri Sep 5 19:08:04 EDT 1997

> > I have found that peoples' reactions are different if I say I am studying
> > butterflies or moths, moths being OK.
> 	I have noticed the same thing--even in the Leps-L postings from

Here in Tucson our "charismatic household fauna" includes American
cockroaches (Periplaneta), Mediterranean house geckos, scorpions,
Scolopendra centipedes, amblypygids and solpugids.

A woman here in town who belongs to several conservation organizations and
has her rear car window proudly plastered with the stickers of these
organizations found herself on an expedition with me one time.  I was
collecting insects and she had a real problem with me doing this.  She did
not have any trouble telling me so, either.  After the trip, she had
forgotten several camping items in my truck.  I drove to her home to
return the items, but upon approaching her home it was immediately
apparent that she wasn't there.  In fact her home was covered with a large
multicolored "circus" tent--the house was being fumigated for vermin.  Her
neighbor explained to me "that the geckos yelping all night were driving
her nuts!". 

The anti-collecting debate is chock-full of hypocrites.

I won't budge from my opinion that attacking collectors is an easy route
to flexing one's conservationist muscles: it seems oh so very right to the
uneducated and it does not entail personal sacrifice from most people. 
One need not feel that they must drive their car less, consume less
energy, live more simply, etc, etc.  While we argue about who has the
right or permits to kill poor butterflies, the sound of bulldozers is
deafening.  Just what the big developers and other rapists desire:
dissonance in the ranks.

Push too hard, pull too long... and it will tear us asunder.  I think
that collecting and conservation are not mutually exclusive activities.

Oh, and you should all know that this debate has been ongoing on many
other "natural history" oriented list servers such as cacti and orchid
hobbyist lists, and everyone sounds about the same.  In fact there is one
Mr. Michael Chamberlain on one server who makes a very adequate Neil


More information about the Leps-l mailing list