Attracting California Sisters?

Laurel Godley godley at
Tue Jun 1 14:14:24 EDT 1999

Chris et al,

thanks for the advise.  I'll give it a try next time I go fishing.  Couldn't 
be any worse that some of the Thai Food I've tried cooking.  This soup kept 
calling for fish sauce, which I assumed was like anchovie paste... boy was I 
wrong!  But I still love the soup.

I think it must be hitting the peak of sister season here in CA.  Two of 
them, if you can beleive it, flew into my net over the weekend (in SAn 
Jose.)  Ok, really I was going for lorquins admiral... but apparently they 
were chasing each other and I ended up with two sisters after all.  Now if I 
could just figure out how to sex these guys.  Any hints?

Reports from the parent in Redding, CA also indicate that they are commonly 
sited in the neighborhood thee as well.  Must be the irrigation ditch with 
all the blackberries growning alongside, just on the other side of their 

I read one other place that they can be attracted to frementing grapes 
around wineries.  Hey, good thing they are some nice local wineries in the 
Santa Cruz Mnts.  Don't have to ask me twice... I'm headed over as soon as I 
can get lose.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.  We'll see how it turns out...

Laurel (back at work again)

>From: "Chris J. Durden" <drdn at>
>Reply-To: drdn at
>To: leps-l at
>Subject: Re: Attracting California Sisters?
>Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 09:44:44 -0500
>   The best attractant for these large nymphaloids is fish emulsion. Soak
>fish parts in a jug or bucket of water, in the sun for a week or two. Then
>carefully ladle or pour into a bait cup or onto a sponge or onto bare
>ground. Also good bait is chicken parts, floating in beer. Most of the
>individuals attracted will be males, but if enough come you should get a
>few females.
>   In the butterfly garden, I find it useful to present pollard trees as
>foodplant. Take a robust sapling, in this case an oak, and prune back to
>about 4 foot height. Repeat this at intervals to ensure a lush growth of
>suckers, with large soft leaves preferred for oviposition and feeding by
>the young larvae. You may have to use a net over the foodplant to keep out
>wrens, which will otherwise take your caterpillars.
>   Check out the old paper (1940's) by Carpenter & Hobby in the 
>of the Royal Entomological Society, that investigates the structure and
>taxonomy of this species. The authors show that it is not structurally an
>*Adelpha* but falls in *Limenitis* closer to the type species *L. populi*
>than do our American *Basilarchia* admirals. Carpenter & Hobby also
>illustrate genitalic characters of several subspecies. To my eye *L.
>californica* is the most distinctive of the lot. Taken together with wing
>shape, ventral spot distribution on the hindwing, more northern
>distributional tolerance, the genitalic difference suggests to me that *L.
>californica* (CALIFORNIA SISTERS) is a distinct species from *L. bredowii
>eulalia* (ORANGETIP ADMIRAL). There appears to be a large part of the
>southern Great Basin from which niether has been reported.
>................Chris Durden
>At 03:47  28/05/99 PDT, you wrote:
> >Any suggestions for a sure fire California Sister attractant?  I saw 
> >in Redding, CA this last weekend while visiting Dad.  There was even one 
> >the oak tree across the street (right in their neighborhood!)
> >
> >I'd like to plant some sure fire attractants in my step mom's back yard.
> >Yeah... ok, I'd like to rear the lil critters but they never seem to want 
> >fly into my net.  I was hoping to find the one thing they couldn't resist
> >and give it to them.  I figure it's a reasonable bargain; they get
> >something, I get something.
> >
> >BTW-My only and favorite net is a 18" white collapsable from bioquip.  It
> >has three 2' aluminum extension poles.  Travels well, not too cumbersome.
> >
> >Best wishes...  Laurel
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________________________
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