What is a lepidopterist?
viceroy at gate.net
Tue Jan 29 15:13:22 EST 2002
Ron Gatrelle wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark Walker" <MWalker at gensym.com>
> Subject: RE: What is a lepidopterist?
>>Not to be controversial, but I don't entirely agree with Ron. I wouldn't
>>call everyone who has an interest in animals a "zoologist". Likewise,
>>term "lepidopterist" is better reserved for those with a strong link to
>>scientific activities - regardless of any professional affiliation.
>>Similarly, I do agree that formal education is NOT a requirement - nor,
>>I've mentioned, is net swinging. The bottom line: if you think you're a
>>lepidopterist, then you are.
> Sorry, but I don't see this as just a simple matter of which terminology
> one wants to use in defining themselves. As I said in my initial post,
> there is an underlying problem here -- and it did not exist at all 15-20
> years ago. Bigotry _has_ moved into lepidoptery and it needs to go.
> Ron Gatrelle
I'm bewildered ... I don't see any of this among the people I know.
Why here we are, all working together to save the Miami Blue, working
just as hard and carefully as we can, all under Bob Parcelle's gentle
guidance, needing the net-swingers and the people that rear butterflies,
and taking our direction from the scientists, gathering data,
disseminating it where it is useful ... watchers, collectors, whatever
you want to call us, about to post to Neil Jones' list as soon as it's
up, gathering data as John Calhoun and Marc Minno bring more experts
into the mix, looking for ant people and people who work with the other
blue butterflies and legumes ...
Without the people who have butterfly houses, and the people who rear
butterflies, how could we keep little colonies of our butterfly safe,
experiment with back-crosses to the Cyclargus on the islands, see
whether gene drift is a factor in their decline ... without polluting
the main colony in the Keys?
Without the collectors, and their well-curated collections, how would we
know precisely which butterfly had been seen in each alleged
bethunebakeri sighting? C. ammon does a fine job of imitating C.
thomasi, if you don't know what you're doing?
Come to that, without the collectors, as well as the butterfly
gardeners, how would we teach those thousands of children ... school
groups, scouts, service organizations ... what they're looking for, when
the arborists doing "spring cleaning" have saved us all the Balloon Vine
seedpods? We're looking at truckloads of vines, currently going to be
composted, complete with their carpenter ants and their butterfly larvae.
This is going to be a huge job, and it needs to be done (or at least
begun) while the Keys is a nicer place to be than practically anyplace
else. That's February, March, April ... and those that love heat will
continue to volunteer, but the kids may well wimp out. If we find no
Miami Blues they will pretty certainly wimp out when they notice that
they are wrestling with nickerbeans among mosquitoes and biting ants in
the hot sun.
So ... our scientists are figuring out what we're looking for, what data
we're gathering, what host plants we need and so forth.
Meanwhile, the enthusiastic volunteers may amuse themselves by sorting
through millions of Balloon Vines and hunting for larvae; rearing native
vines, and awaiting the official word on which Cardiospermum might be
the native, and whether in fact C. corindum is the vine that the Miami
Blue uses, or not.
Bob Parcelles will tell us when we may start in. Meanwhile, by all means
give him your name and what you want to do, and he'll put to work.
You've seen that comercial, "I am an American"? Well, seems to me, we're
I admit I deplore his eagerness to abandon a word because the wrong
folks are using it and it starts to smell bad ... I say clean it up and
take it back. But my first collection was words. I'm a bug collector, as
well, even if most of my bugs happen to be alive and free. That's the
deal I have with the universe.
Different people have different deals.
Besides, it's such pretty weather now ... shouldn't we all be planning
our trip to the Keys? All the mosquitoes you can eat ... but so much
fun, it won't matter.
Task Force Director
Miami Blue Butterfly Recovery Team
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