I was sitting on my front porch when a larger than usual white butterfly caught my attention. It was a Phoebis sennae. I have seen hundreds of the normal colored but, this was a first. It landed on a rose bush 6 feet away from me and of course I didn't have a net. Feel free to share your experiences of the times you wished you had a net.
Too many to list but the ones that hurt the most were my first ever Colias crocea my first Papilio machaon, both, many years later still sting, I have now a good series of both but they were the first. The very worst though is when you DO have your net but some busybody appears just as you are about to strike, because of the way collecting is viewed here in the UK now it is not wise to let an ignorant member of the public see you using this "lethal device" so you have to watch your prize fly away, you could go all day without seeing another person but at that very moment up they pop, it is uncanny how many times it happens.
Last Edit: Aug 28, 2018 10:13:15 GMT -8 by Deleted
Around ten years ago I was very tired of walking in a part of the mountains that make the natural frontier between Spain and Francebefore to come to Hotel I decided to walk in a place with a big numbers of trees(of course with the net in the bag),then between the branches of a small Fraxinus I saw my first Apatura ilia,unfortunately when I tried to get my net from the bag the butterfly was gone.
Post by exoticimports on Aug 28, 2018 18:08:02 GMT -8
I was all suited up in queue in my race car helmet on and everything. I spotted a large cerambycid on the pit wall jumped out grabbed it and stuffed it in my pocket then back into the car. Who needs a net?
I’ve taken specimens with hats and sticks and somewhere here I wrote about using my shirt to knock a neuroptera off the front of the market.
Btw the large cans of lock deicer will shoot 20 feet and beat wasp spray for taking out specimens. Add a lighter and the stuff doubles as napalm.
I just experienced one of my greatest "fails" this past May out on Sapelo Island, Georgia. I was accompanying John Hyatt for a couple of days and he was giving me an introduction to the island by taking a drive around. We had only been on the island for a couple of hours at most, and I asked him to stop the truck so that I could beat some palm fronds. I took the beating sheet, leaving my net behind, beat some fronds, turned to return to the truck and came face-to-face with a big female Plinthocoelium suaveolens- one of the showiest cerambycids in the U.S., hovering right toward me! I tried to force it down to the ground with the sheet, but it road the sheet to the edge and shot upward. At last sight it was at 40 feet and climbing...
Spent three days there, and even tried hanging John's bait traps in the area, and not another one seen... but if I had had my net, that thing would be on a pin right now...
During a trip in Angola at Cassoço near a locality called "Inferno", around 5 pm I gone to take a bath in the river. After 200 m I realised I forgot my net and decided to not go back to take it … I was to tired and strangely that existed me to not have a net (all day walking under the sun with T° around 35 °-40 ° C that explain the name of the locality). I started to swim and saw a day flying sphingid on a crop flowers along the bridge of the river. I realised immediately it was something strange that I never saw before (I caught all kind of African day flying sphingid and I had quite experience in it). He stayed for a while foraging the flowers, letting me time to observe it properly, espacially the colored stripes on abdomen and general wing color. Impossible to catch without a net. I tried to beat it with cloth and my cap, without success. It was something completely new that I never saw again (despite going each days following at the place and hour … with a net). Probably something completely new to science (at genus level), not so surprising in a such country. Probably one day someone more lucky will come with one exemplar … An old experienced friend told me one day "Une bête non attrapée n'existe pas" (translated from french something like : "Something not caught doesn't exist"). I add … "and allow to dream" ... and allows to have something to tell.
s'il n'y pas de solution c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème ! akuna matata ....
There was an old Botanical Garden on Stock Island in the Florida Keys (The next island is Key West) Chlorostrymon maesites occured there. A tiny hairstreaks that is absolutely stunning. It flies up in the canopy. The first I was there I had a BioQuip extension net. When I screwed all six sections together, I had about twenty feet worth of reach. It twernt long enough. ( I will explain the word twernt shortly). After several hours of poking up in the trees, I managed to collect 4 specimens.
When of the Lepidopterist with us had these aluminum tubes, each tube was 8 foot long of three different sizes and then he added a twenty foot BioQuip Extension net. He managed to collect 9 specimens. I would return the following year with a 40+ foot of reach.
That next trip to Florida was one of my most successful collecting trips. By the time we arrived at Stock Island I had collected almost everything I ever wanted from Florida. John Hyatt, Charles Watson accompanied Denny Currutt and I. When we arrived at Stock Island, another Group of Lepidopterist were already there. However, nobody had the reach that I did. An new species had arrived in the Keys earlier in the year, Electrostrymon angelia.
We could see these tiny hairstreak flying about up in the canopy. Denny and I worked together to get my net up. When the time was right, I would make the swing and the lower the net via a long fall. There was a certain Lepidopterists who shall remain nameless, watched the net fall and was the first to look in the net. He stuck a killing jar into the net and when he removed it he exclaimed, "I got an Electrostrymon angelia". Then he turned and walk away. Denny had to grab me as this guy was about to get a broken arm.
After many more swings, Denny And I collected several dozen specimens of angelia is, plus an equal number of Electrostrymon maesites. I returned to Keys on several different occasions with that long net, but never used the entire length again. Even while a resident of South Florida I used pieces of the extension net, but never again in its entirety.
I still have the aluminum poles in the attic of our home.
I have used pieces of the net in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas for Hairstreaks and in North Carolina for Mituora hesseli, and again in central Florida for Hairstreaks.I have a photograph of the thing someplace. I bet John Hyatt remembers that net!
However, on a trip out west with Denny Currutt, we stopped along I-80 west of Ogallala, Nebraska just to stretch the legs. The were numerous Red Cedar trees of 40 foot plus in heighth and hairstreaks galore flying about on top. And, no extention net. I can only assume they were Mitoura gryneus/siva, but I will never know. I have returned a time or two with the extension net, all 40 feet of it, but no Hairstreaks.
As for the old botanical garden on Stock Island, the Key West Garden Club acquired it and it is now well tended. However, it is posted: "No Collecting of Butterflies".
The word twernt: the bit of skin between the fanny and the arse hole. If it twernt there, your guts would fall all.
If you don't believe me, Google the word "Twernt".
Hello all, there are nice stories here. So I will add one more.
First I must say I have always problems with customs. I am so happy that we since we have the European union, all the silly and time wasting controls at the borders are gone. All the time I went to the Netherlands from Germany, I was supposed to smuggle drugs. I even was almost arrested because I had a box with set butterflies.
So, because of the experience with customs, I always at all borders was "the stupid tourist". At US customs, they asked me whether I am a communist and I answered I don´t know what a communist is. ( I lived in West Germany 30 km from the border and I really know about that and I am not sure the customers know exactly where Europe is. They asked me whether Hitler is still alive.)
Anyway, I was on a trip ( it was in the 80´s, no cites !)to the US, Jamaica and dom.rep.
When we were in the dom Rep., we collected some larvae of a Papilio species. I think it must be pelaus. I cannot remember exactly.
( BTW we met Dr. Emmel in a hotel garden, we both with nets and talked a little about butterflies . I am just an amateur )
However, the larvae pupated and because our trip was from Santo Domingo to Miami and then to Jamaica, the question was how to bring the butterflies ( pupas) through customs or controls.
So we bought some tooth paste ( Folks it is a long time ago and no longer something to be prosecuted ) , made them empty and put in the pupas.
So we made our "stupid tourist" and went through us customs and finally arrived well in Jamaica.
Some days later, in a hotel, we decided to give the pupas some fresh air and placed them on a desk in the hotel room.
I watched many times European Papilio developing but I was surprised how fast they developed , at 30 Celsius, well, might be normal.
When I awoke in the morning, I saw 3 of them already emerged. I could get 2 but the third one was flying around. The net was in my suitcase, I tried to get it but meanwhile....
the butterfly escaped through the window.
If I remember right, it was a pelaus so there was at least one specimen in Jamaica wondering where all the others are.
So, I know James Bond has a pistol under the pillow, just place a net under your pillow or nearby if you have done what I have done.
So i only hope this speciemen had a good life in a far far away country.
Post by beetlehorn on Aug 29, 2018 13:28:08 GMT -8
I almost always carry a net in my car or truck. Whether I am visiting a friend, going to the store, or to work, I usually always have a net available. One morning several years ago I stopped at a local convenience store to get a cup of coffee. As I pulled up to park I saw a Black Witch moth on the side of the building, and this one time I had no net!!! I tried to catch it by hand, but it took off as I got close. A classic example of not having a net when you need it most. I know these moths are common in other places, especially south of my location, but here it is a rare moth, so that made it more painful.
That Stock Island trip was a hoot. I got a pair of maesites after hours of work (I'd brought a long net myself) -- the hairstreaks looked like flies up in the canopy, and usually flies & bees were what I caught.
Charlie Watson caught none at all, and decided to take a lunch break. He and I were sitting at the base of a tree munching sandwiches when (I swear to God that this is true!) a dead C. maesites fell out of the canopy and landed at Charlie's feet. He reached over with his forceps and picked it up, & papered it. I asked "What was that, Charlie?". He took a bit, mumbled "maesites", and went back to eating. So not having the net handy isn't always a disaster...
That remains the most amazing collecting incident I've ever seen.
That old botanical garden on Stock Island holds many great collecting memories.I collected many butterflies for the first time. Electrostrymon angelia, Phoebis philea, Appias drusilla, Aphrissa statria and Eurema nise.
Big Pine Key was another great collecting area. Hesperia meskei, Strymon acis bartrami, Strymon martialis and Anaea floridalis, just to name a few.
And John Hyatt, was that the trip where we ate all those Lobster Tail's at the Pier Nine Restaraunt and then a stop at the Executive Club. A stop that Charles Watson will never forget.
I think I had that Lime Green Chevy Luv Pick-up truck. What a journey!!!
Last Edit: Sept 4, 2018 17:15:31 GMT -8 by leptraps
Yep, I often think of that trip when I see those specimens in my collection. It was my first intro to bait-trapping, too. You filled up a trap with Eunicas on one of the keys. I was amazed.
I well recall following (in Watson's car) your green Luv truck all over Florida, even to Frog City where the collecting was great, and Tahitian Groves near Homestead where the Malachites & hairstreaks were abundant. You had a couple of 5-gallon gas cans in the back of the truck, which you were careful to keep filled. That was the year of a big gas shortage, and high gas prices (well over $1/gallon!).
We ordered breakfast at a Denny's and Charles Watson ordered eggs covered with baked beans. I mean a plate full, and he ate it all. You drove with the windows down all day.
The last collecting stop was near Brunswick, Georgia. We waded in a swamp for Skippers, Problema bulenta and Problema byssus. I even collected a Euphyes dukesi for a state record?? Who stepped on the dead dolphin? What a stench.
Frog City, Florida was a blast. Smallest Post Office in the USA. It was a memorable trip.
Denny and I met you in Homestead one fall several years later and we collected with you for a couple of days. I collected bags full of Balloon Vine pods for Hairstreak, Chlorostrymon simaethis and a blue, Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri and Strymon limenia.Take the pods home, spread them out and wait for the above mentioned Lep's to emerge.
I do not think you could have a trip like those today. Development consumed many of those locations.
The marsh where we found the bulenta and byssus and viator was near Darien, GA. I still collect there on occasion. That's where I stepped onto the rotting body of a baby porpoise in the water while focused on approaching an E. dukesi. Smelled so bad I had to discard the boots & socks and we drove home with the pants in the truck of the car with the soiled legs outside, flapping in the wind. I missed the dukesi, too.
I took home about a bushel of baloon vines, and not a single solitary simaethus larvae was to be found in any of them. Glad I got a nice series of adults earlier.