In Search of Butterflies

Oh, to find a butterfly in January.

Butterfly guru Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology, knows where they are. As mentioned in a previous Bug Squad blog, he spotted a cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapaeon Jan. 16 on the UC Davis campus, just south of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, located at 254 Old Davis Road.

As you probably know, Professor Shapiro always looks for rapae as part of his scientific research; he sponsors the annual Beer-for-a-Butterfly Contest to determine its first flight of the year. COVID-19 canceled this year's contest.

But did you also know that Shapiro found FOUR other butterfly species on his Jan. 16th rounds in Davis, which included Old Davis Road on the UC Davis campus, and residential Davis? 

The links on the species will direct you to his amazing research site, Art's Butterfly World, and the wealth of information.

Our butterfly-spotting record so far: Zero. Zilch. Nada.

But of course, what with the pandemic and all, we haven't been out much. The 100-acre UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden is a good place to stroll, observe and photograph. We remember spotting a Mourning Cloak in the Arboretum's Ruth Risdon Garden on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 on an identification sign for the silver anniversary butterfly bush, Buddleia “Morning Mist."

It was a good place to warm its wings.

Meanwhile, here are a few images of the butterflies that Shapiro saw on Jan. 16. These images were taken in nearby Solano County.