B- fly rearing, was b-fly releases at events

Mark Berman bugman at bugs.org
Thu Sep 23 15:17:43 EDT 1999

BRAVO, Anne!

Anne Kilmer <viceroy at gate.net> wrote in message
news:37EA68BF.CAFE0062 at gate.net...
> I think the best thing for the butterflies ... and the rest of us ... is
> to preserve and restore habitat wherever possible.
> If you're gardening anyway, planting nectar and larval host plants is
> highly desirable. Planting host plants for uncommon butterflies, in
> areas where they might come hunting for them, is also desirable.
> If, however, you take all eggs and larvae into your house, lab or
> whatever, feed the larvae, and then release them in your garden, you may
> be disabling the mechanism that selects bright, careful caterpillars.
> We are talking, here, not of one person doing this, but many thousands.
> You are also removing a major source of food for predators which you
> need in your garden.
> If your neighbors are using insecticides, herbicides etc., the bugs you
> release won't go far, will they.
> What I'm doing, in my neck of the woods, is persuading the schools,
> hospitals, churches, parks etc. to grow butterfly plants, quit spraying,
> all that sort of stuff. We have kid-gardeners in the state parks.
> It hasn't solved the problem of overdevelopment. It hasn't solved the
> asphaltization of Florida. But a few condominiums are planting to
> attract wildlife, and I was recently asked to help a developer design an
> acre of butterfly garden (Don't touch it till I have a look at it, I
> said, for there may be good stuff there already).
> We find that, when you plant the right things, the butterflies come find
> you.
> We're planting green corridors of larval hosts connecting small
> populations of endangered critters, so that they can spread naturally.
> School children can see the miracle of metamorphosis in their own
> gardens,  from the moment that  the butterfly lays her eggs to the
> moment that the next generation flies.
> Amd they're outside, where they belong.
> My granddaughter's second grade class released their Painted Ladies in
> November, in Maryland ... ecologically sound, but perhaps a bit
> hard-hearted?
> The reason that there are strict laws about transporting and releasing
> butterflies in the U.S. is that we demanded them, planned them with the
> USDA and discussed their application. Paul Cherubini will recall, for
> instance, the summer when he provided The Butterfly Guy with wild-caught
> Texas butterflies to release ... was it in Washington State on July 4?
> That move, objected to by many subscribers to this list, triggered a
> revision of the federal laws.
> Too many people are free to despoil the country I love. I don't want the
> government to do it, and I don't want you, my friends, to do it. We can
> freely express our love of wildlife, teach children, excite the public
> without risking further ecological disaster.
> starlight1005 at webtv.net wrote:
> >
> > Where I live in Wisconsin there were once acres of habitat for the
> > butterflies but,that is quickly being replaced by housing developments.
> > So wouldn't the raise & release of butterflies be benefitial? There is
> > less and less milkweed around here for the Monarchs to lay eggs on
> > so,isn't raising them helping them? What happens as the food for the
> > caterpillars diminishes?
> >
> > Teresa
> A short answer: plant larval host plants and let nature take it from
> there. Not just milkweed, but plants for all the butterflies that might
> come your way. Your ag agent has a list. If not, take care of that.
>  Cheers
> Anne Kilmer
> South Florida

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