Sunday, April 7, 2013

margined white ~ 04/07/13 ~ Garland Ranch

female  margined white / grey-veined white
female Pieris marginalis venosa (aka Pieris napi venosa)

edited 05/11/13 - Phew!  After a failed quick search of my go-to favorites for butterfly IDs, I cheated and asked Dr. Art Shapiro from UC Davis.  Once you know the spring generation has dark veins and the summer generation is almost all white, this is a fairly easy butterfly to distinguish.  Then, tracking down its currently correct name is a bugger. I'm using Butterflies of America in the first scientific name link above, because they seem the most anal about names. However, Art does not believe most of the CA populations are conspecific with P. marginalis and maintains the P. napi complex (mustard whites) remains uncertain.

Years ago, I was fortunate enough to have been a museum intern and later a research assistant for Dr. Sonja Teraguchi in the first establishment years of Ohio's Long-term Monitoring of Butterflies.  My fondest memories of Ohio are from butterfly outings and workshops with Sonja, various museum volunteers, and The Ohio Lepidopterists. That experience helped create and shape Nature ID. I was aware the program was partially based on the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network, but until I started this blog, I didn't know Art has been doing it since 1972. As an ulterior motive for contacting Dr. Shapiro, I've been wanting to go out with him during one of his butterfly walks for the past handful of years. I've dropped the ball, repeatedly... but not this year. Now, we're tentatively set to go to his Washington site in Nevada County next Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to meeting him and learning from a butterfly master.


Neil Kelley said...


I was lucky enough to take a few classes with Dr. Shapiro at Davis and tag along with him on a butterfly walk in the UC Davis arboretum.

Art is truly one of a kind. I hope you get to go!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Yay for knowledgeable and approachable experts in their field. ID heaven :o)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Oh man, Neil, I'm starting to get nervous about meeting Dr. Shapiro tomorrow. He's sent me more than a handful of intensive scientific papers over the past few years in response to what I thought were simple questions. I guess the answers are never that simple. At his heart he's a passionate teacher, which I will enjoy.

Graeme, I'm studying up, because we're expected to encounter butterflies I have never seen before in my life. I'm so excited.