Insect Dealers Indicted

Paul Cherubini cherubini at
Tue Jun 6 22:27:02 EDT 2000

Neil Jones wrote:

> The indictment is on the web on the news pages of
> Just go to the site and follow the links.

I didn't find the story about the indictment, but I did come across the
following questionable statement about the Quino Checkerspot at the website:

"The Quino Checkerspot is a very very rare butterfly. It occurs in very
 very few places in Southern California. It is very much threatened by 
development and by global warming which is disrupting its life cycle."

The reason I say questionable is because in early spring 1995 lepidopterist Tomas
Mustelin, Ph.D. and two other lep enthusiasts found what they described
as "thousands, maybe millions of Quino checkerspots (Occidryas editha)
everywhere" 20 miles south of the California/Baja California border.
They further wrote (Monarch Newsletter, April 1995):

"It was by far the most common species of butterfly in the surveyed area
which covered about a square mile of gently rolling grass-covered mesa.
The density of checkerspots was high throughout the area and we suspect that
the abundant flight may have continued for miles in all directions. Two to five
checkerspots were constantly seen at a time, mostly chasing each other lazily
over the abundant Plantago erecta plants. We also saw many Quino checkerspots
several miles away at our only other stop next to a roadside creek"

Ironic that after so much discussion a few weeks ago about "mass
destruction" of butterfly habitat in Mexico that a huge population of a 
supposidly  "very very rare butterfly" exists just 20 miles south of the
California border. 

Also makes one wonder about the credibility of the other butterfly
information posted at 

Paul Cherubini

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