Species definitions!

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Wed Sep 5 15:14:32 EDT 2001

Alex wrote:

> I guess what bothers me the most is that such very deep 
> mysteries have been
> replaced by endless reports of "I saw 23 Orange Sulphurs and 15 Common
> Sulphurs and 223 Juvenals Duskywings and ...." And anyway, 
> since when has it
> become so important to actually count Cabbage Butterflies????

Ahhh, yes, but I guess it IS more important to encourage field work of any
sort - even if the notion of counting does seem a bit less interesting (not
to mention accurate) than sampling.  I, for one, would like to know when
someone sees hordes of Juvenal's Duskywings.  In fact, I'm sorry I don't
provide more information on frequency in my field posts - I've mostly
stopped putting comments like 'common' or 'numerous' in them.  A lot of this
information is just as, if not more, important than the fact that the
species was sighted at all (which I guess is Alex's point anyway - we don't
talk about it like Klots did - at least not much, anymore).  For example, on
my most recent trip (while in Grant, Co. OR), I found lots of Fritillaries.
One of them was Speyeria hydaspe.  All the other species of Speyeria were
fresh.  Absolutely none of the S. hydaspe were fresh, and in fact there were
few with whole wings at all.  This would tell me that S. hydaspe flies quite
a bit earlier than the other Speyeria (along with S. cybele leto), a simple
enough conclusion - but one of significant interest nonetheless.

Incidentally, I'm looking over the races of Speyeria according to Howe.
Awesome.  I don't care what you call them specifically, there's little more
fascinating then a drawer showcasing ecologically induced Speyeria

Mark Walker
Oceanside, CA


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