Texas Grill Count

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Thu Sep 17 20:40:01 EDT 1998

	Roger Kendrick wrote:

> Mark Walker wrote: (snippets thereof)
> > And now for something completely different...
> >
> > What a great butterflying weekend .........
> > Individuals plastered on my grill:  18,720 (not counting the ones I
> swerved
> > out of the way for).
> > .......... Total number of daily butterfly fatalities:  1,474,200,000
> > Total two day count:  2,948,400,000 + my 46 collected.  This is one of
> the
> > reasons I have a problem with anti-collecting sentiment.
> This is the exact arrgument I use to make people aware of how little
> impact
> responsible collecting has upon populations of widespread or common
> species.
> Moth numbers killed by night must be even higher.
> For those who are really concerned at this hugh mortality, the simple
> answer is
> if you must drive, go a little slower. I have found that below 30mph
> (50kmh)
> almost all dayflying leps can get out of the way.
	Actually, I performed this experiment also.  Roger is absolutely
correct.  As I slowed my vehicle on these Texan highways to below 40 mph,
most of the Leps were able to either avoid the verticle surfaces of the car,
or appeared to emerge with normal flying ability after the vortex passed by.
At 70 mph, I didn't even have to hit them for them to hit the asphalt.

	By the way, it was a strange and ironic sight to see the center
divider and shoulders "painted" a beautiful yellow, white, and orange from
the HEAPS of dead individuals.  It was almost like snow.  I didn't have the
time, but one could formulate a pretty accurate species distribution just by
analyzing the heaps in a few key locations.  Is anybody doing that already?

	You know how it is when you see butterflies while driving - you're
sure you see individuals of species you've never seen before.  They're
probably there, piled underneath the common ones.

	Mark Walker.

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