They’re Coming to Get Cool Daddy With a Net…
Dear Cool Daddy: Your memo about the Monarch and Viceroy butterflies [here] brought back happy memories of scurrying thru the fields with my trusty net poised to strike. As I recall, the real prize was a Tiger Swallowtail…altho there were some black versions too, right? …from Bubbles, New Haven
Dear Bubbles: I’m with you, obviously…altho I shudder to think what PETA might have to say about the deal…catch-and-release, maybe? Or is that too traumatic for our insect co-creatures? But as you can see left, they still make the nets, including one shaped like a butterfly, which I’d venture to say is intended to completely transcombobblate your prey, which could be unsportsmanlike, I dunno.
But bearing in mind there are a zillion butterfly species and sub-species, some widely distributed, others fairly localized…the most commonly encountered swallowtails across much of the US are the 4 below…
Thus, when you snagged a black big-boy, you had to see what you got…unless you could identify them on the wing, which wasn’t impossible. Now the black phase (today they call it a “morph”) of the Tiger was always female…and depending on how deeply you got into lepidoptery…and I was in pretty deep, even did a science project on ’em…you could also distinguish between the males (1) and females (2,3). Uncle Wiki even has this half-and-half mutation…wow!…we’re talking Butterfly Catcher Hall of Fame, nez pah?
At the same time, you could go to the butterfly collecting section of your local hobby shop (yes!!) and supplement your collection with dead specimens from around the country and the globe…I did. The Zebra Swallowtail was out of my range, growing up in New England…and the gaudy Southern Festoon resides only in Europe. And there must be the occasional albino of any of these, altho I don’t recall ever seeing one…indeed, can’t scrounge up a picture on the net…but anyway, happy hunting!
shameless plugtails, on the fly…
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