Mark Walker MWalker at
Sun Aug 16 23:40:39 EDT 1998

Anne wrote:

	Second best would be to see whether trimming off the damaged
part, and
	cutting the opposite wing to match, will leave it enough wings
to fly.

	I've been enamored by insects for over 30 years (although I am
certainly no expert), and I've never heard this before.  I understand
the logic behind it, and I understand that the goal here is to allow the
bug to motor around long enough to find a mate, but is this
aerodynamically symmetrical approach actually a proven technique?  Many
butterflies manage to get around fairly well with great damage to a
single wing (although they are an easier catch with a net).  I wonder if
they would have a greater chance of survival with a symmetrical

	Anne gives good advice regarding nature taking its course.
Interestingly, in the case where the wing damage resulted from a
near-miss by a would-be predator, you might argue that the genetic
predisposition for survival is actually greater.

	As an additional anecdote, it really is a bit funny how often I
embarrass myself through self-admiration of my net-swinging prowess
(following a successful catch), only to find a very ragged individual,
clearly on it's last leg and missing half a wing.  And don't I feel
environmentally sound when I compassionately release the sickly thing
(making sure that I don't make the mistake of netting it again),
ignoring the reality that it is soon to be ant food, and then going
after the healthy (and perty) ones... How human of me, huh?

	Mark Walker
	in Boulder CO, heading back to California, missing Vermont

More information about the Leps-l mailing list