Attracting California Sisters?

Chris J. Durden drdn at
Tue Jun 1 23:55:11 EDT 1999

At 08:41  2/06/99 PDT, you wrote:
>Looks like both the sisters are boys.  It still isn't all that abvious to 
>me.  Unlike the swallowtails which have very, very obvious claspers... I 
>can't distinguich any on the sisters.  Yet they certainly don't have the 
>same plump look of females of other species such as buckeye and red admiral 
>have.  Should it be very obvious to me?  The sisters are good size 
>butterflies but I can't seem to tell.  I'd like to decide for certain 
>because I'd hate to "lose" two nice girls but I don't need to keep the boys 
>all by their lonesome.
>I'll take a look at the lorquins in detail tonight.  I figure at least a few 
>ought to be girls as they were intermittantly caught throughout the day and 
>I was seeing them out there starting at least two weeks ago.  Wish me luck 
>on breedign these at least!
>Thanks for all the advice Chris!  BTW-How on earth did you ever come up with 
>the idea for the attracting recipe?
>Best Wishes...  Laurel

  With the butterfly in hand, GENTLY squeeze the abdomen. It should open
the valves if it has them. 
  In 1960 while camped on the shore of MacDowell Lake (200 + miles N of
Minnesota) in Northern Ontario I had good collecting of several species of
*Polygonia*, *Nymphalis* et al. which were attracted en mass to dead
whitefish (waste from an Ojibwa fishing venture) on a sandy beach. After
that experience I often used single dead fish as bait. For years I had read
of the use of fish bait in tropical collecting, in East Africa and in
Mexico using suspended baited net traps. I tried this in Austin and found
it works well here too. In 1989 on a trip to Rondonia I got to see a lot of
traps working with fish emulsion, and also the use of fish emulsion poured
on the ground at the same spot daily.
  When I wrangled the butterflies (that's what the credit says) for the
Paramount Picture "Leap of Faith" with Debra Winger, Liam Neesom and Steve
Martin my crew used a lot of net traps from BioQuip to obtain some of the
butterflies used in the film. We used fish emulsion in some traps and
chicken parts in Guiness in other traps. Note that the beer must be an old
fashioned brew. Almost all American beer and most Mexican beer has
bromelain added. Bromelain is a pineapple derivative that is a natural
fungicide which inhibits the growth of mold. Don't want that in a bait!
...........Chris Durden  


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