Professor in beer-for-butterfly trade
14th January, 2014 by Lauren Eads
A university professor is offering a pitcher of beer in return for the capture of a white cabbage butterfly as part of an unusual competition which has run since 1972.
Professor Arthur Shapiro, from the department of evolution and ecology at the University of California, has vowed to reward the first person of 2014 to track down the butterfly with a pitcher of beer, or its cash prize equivalent, according to The Reporter.
Shapiro has studied the climate of butterfly seasonality for the last 43-years and first launched his annual butterfly hunting contest in 1972 across the three-county area of Yolo, Solano and Sacramento.
Speaking to The Reporter, he said: “It is typically one of the first butterflies to emerge in late winter.”
“Since 1972, the first flight has varied from 1 Jan to 22 Feb, averaging about 20 Jan.”
The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of the butterfly’s “first flight” and the ecology of butterflies.
Despite promises of beer Shapiro conceded that it was usually he who won his own contest.
In 41 years Shapiro, who is in the field more than 200 days a year, has only bee defeated three times.