What is a lepidopterist?

Anne Kilmer viceroy at gate.net
Tue Jan 29 19:26:57 EST 2002

Paul Cherubini wrote:

> Anne Kilmer wrote:
>>Why here we are, all working together to save the Miami Blue
> Yes and releases of captive reared Miami Blues are a part of your
> plan to save it.  How ironic that for years Neil, Glassberg, yourself, 
> etc. have voiced great opposition to releases of captive reared
> monarchs and painted ladies yet now you all stand united in
> favor of releases to save a butterfly from extinction. 

I fail to see the irony. Are you suggesting that the monarchs and 
painted ladies are needed by the environment, in some way?

I have, from the beginning, thought ...  and said ... that I wished 
breeders would raise and release rare butterflies, rather than adding to 
  the confusing clutter of common species.

> Are you all going to abide by the NABA requirement to paint 
> small color dots on these farm reared Miami Blues so 
> that butterfly watchers can distinguish them as farmed
> Blues and not wild butterflies?
> http://www.mindspring.com/~cherubini/naba.jpg
> Paul Cherubini

As Bob points out, these butterflies are sufficiently improbable to 
catch the eye. However, I wonder whether it might be possible for 
professional breeders to dye them in some way, so that spotters can tell 
them. With all the potential action, it would be nice to know where a 
particular colony came from. I understand that butterflies are dyed to 
match a bride's gown. Might the blues be dyed ... for instance, blue ... 
with coloring in the larval food, and would that affect their ability to 
attract a mate?
We plan to keep excellent records, which is the point of The 
International Lepidoptera Survey in the first place, and at least at 
first it will be easy to tell whether a group of butterflies were 
released or came out of the swamp. Once the children get interested and 
start watching for them, i'm betting we'll find other colonies of Miami 
Thank you for your interest,
Anne Kilmer
Steering Committee
Miami Blue Butterfly Recovery Project

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