Anthony Cynor acynor at
Fri Sep 24 09:32:27 EDT 1999

One thing to note regarding releases is the amount of sterile
Mediterranean fruit flies that need to be released to overwhelm and
eliminate a rather small population. Then the idea of mass release
becomes relevant.


Jacob Groth wrote:

> Anne Kilmer wrote:
> "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."
> I don't believe this would be the case, but even if it is, the mere
> result would be that these caterpillars would not have successful
> offspring.  This would have no effect on the wild population
> whatsoever.  The gene that "disabled any mechanism" would be
> eliminated from the gene pool.
> Do you realize that the Monarch Watch send off thousands of monarch
> caterpillars to schools for educational purposes that are released
> into the wild?  And that many of these butterflies have been tagged
> and recovered in Mexico (see 1998 season summary totals at
>  Even if there is the slightest risk to the
> butterfly, isn't the education and sheer delight that is brought to
> these school children worth the risk?
> Jacob
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