Jan 142014
 

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 8, 2014 –

The hunt is on:

UC Davis professor Art Shapiro is offering a pitcher of beer, or its cash equivalent, to the person who catches the first cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) of 2014.  The wee beasties typically make their first appearance of the season sometime around Jan. 20, give or take.

The catch is that Shapiro, who according to UC Davis usually spends 200 days per year in the field, usually wins his own contest. Last year, he found his first specimen of the season in West Sacramento, sharing the beer with his grad students.

The cabbage white butterfly. Look also for several dark spots on the top of the wings (photo from Wikipedia  Commons, license granted)

The cabbage white butterfly. Look also for several dark spots on the top of the wings
(photo from Wikipedia Commons, license granted)

To win, be the first to catch an adult outdoors (look in vacant lots, fields and gardens, especially among weedy mustards) and take the live specimen to the Department of Evolution and Ecology, 2320 Storer Hall at UC Davis. It should keep alive in the fridge for a few days if necessary.

Provide your exact date, time and location of capture, along with your name and contact information (email preferred).

The contest is open to catches made in the counties of Yolo, Sacramento and Solano.

Good luck.

  EDITOR’S NOTE: The UC Davis website says that Shapiro caught a butterfly specimen at 1:18 p.m. on New Year’s Day.  But he has declared the contest still open, because he believes his specimen was from the “fall brood,” which slipped into January.  He is still looking for a specimen hatched from the new brood.

   The website says he caught the New Year’s Day butterfly in West Sacramento, on the south (sunny) side of a railroad embankment.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Steve Marschke

Steve Marschke