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Old 08-23-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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butterfly Butterfly nets okay for educating kids??

Is it OK to use a butterfly net? | Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:44 PM   #2
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I've never been all that thrilled with people who kill butteflies to mount them and sell them. I went to a fair a coupla weekends ago and took some photos only because I was disgusted to see bats mounted.... granted I don't think the bats were from the US and the guy probably picked them up overseas when he was out nabbing butterflies but.... seeing the bats spread out and mounted then stuck behind glass to "adorn" someone's wall was kinda a stomach churner. I don't mind a deer or an elk head on a wall if I know a hunter ate it before having it mounted but... mounted butterflies and bats???? I don't really have a problem with buttefly nets if a parent is standing right there to make sure the kids don't smush em and they're let go after they've had a chance to look at em up close. Kids can get a little excited and they don't have the greatest fine motor skills so the younger the kid the more you'd have to really watch out for what ever's in the net. I think butterfly nets should be reserved for when there's adult supervision and the butterflies should always be released.... never mounted to anything. We started cutting deals with teachers to allow our kids to take photos of bugs instead of mounting them after one of ours started getting physically sick over a science project. That kid ended up stealing dead bugs from spider webs and picked a few bugs off our windshields once we suggested he find a way to work around what his teacher wanted him to do. He was pretty upset. We went to her and told her and she was supportive of his alternative collection idea. Our kids didn't want to kill them so we backed them up and found work arounds.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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The dollar store down the street has nets for sale. I laughed when I saw them. I was tempted.

When I was a little kid, Santa shopped at Marshall Field's toy department, and one year I got a butterfly collecting kit that included everything. Nets, containers, envelopes, poison to kill the butterflies, some chemical to relax the wings of the dead butterflies so they could be spread on the board, steel pins, display mounting boxes, the works. My brother and I were into it, big time. I remember being at our family doctor's office that had a spectacular garden, and the receptionist was mortified when we told her we were collecting butterflies. So it kind of lost its appeal, and we moved on to other hobbies.

Can you imagine a toy store selling those chemicals in a kid's bug collecting set these days?! I feel old! Although I wouldn't mind having a net to go after the cabbage white butterflies (invasive pest)... as long as no one saw me.

Do the people who raise butterflies here use nets, or just cover the butterflies where they're living on the plants outdoors?
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:23 AM   #4
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Its relatively easy to raise flowers and host plants for butterflies. Then all you have to do is wait for them to show up, lay eggs, and grow to maturity. I think this could be done with a potted plant on an outdoor patio or balcony. It does take longer when you go about it in this way. There is plenty of time for taking notes, and watching the weather change, as the seasons pass. The problem with netting them is that then you don't get to see them fly. I would have to be really, really hungry before I would consider netting them.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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I don't think it's okay. It teaches kids that other organisms are theirs to snatch up and kill at will. There are plenty of alternatives to trying to collect butterflies with nets and in the process potentially damaging them.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:06 AM   #6
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I have a couple butterfly nets in the classroom, but I use them when we have an escapee. They have also come in handy to catch the occasional dragonfly or damsel that emerges when we weren't looking!

I did buy a couple of the dollar store nets, but I have a big one, too.

As far as the raising of butterflies, I have put cages over the plants in the yard. I bought a couple collapsible hampers and secured them around the parsley when I want to watch the swallowtail caterpillars. They can then pupate right on the hamper! I had three black swallowtail butterflies eclose this weekend in the hamper. I simply turned it over and they flew away!
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erictjohnson View Post
Its relatively easy to raise flowers and host plants for butterflies. Then all you have to do is wait for them to show up, lay eggs, and grow to maturity. I think this could be done with a potted plant on an outdoor patio or balcony. It does take longer when you go about it in this way. There is plenty of time for taking notes, and watching the weather change, as the seasons pass. The problem with netting them is that then you don't get to see them fly. I would have to be really, really hungry before I would consider netting them.
Eric,
It is fun to watch a caterpillar chomping away at a potted plant! I have milkweed in pots and most of it has been chewed down to the nubs by some really fat cats! One of them pupated on a potted bonsai!
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp thing View Post

When I was a little kid, Santa shopped at Marshall Field's toy department, and one year I got a butterfly collecting kit that included everything. Nets, containers, envelopes, poison to kill the butterflies, some chemical to relax the wings of the dead butterflies so they could be spread on the board, steel pins, display mounting boxes, the works. My brother and I were into it, big time. I remember being at our family doctor's office that had a spectacular garden, and the receptionist was mortified when we told her we were collecting butterflies. So it kind of lost its appeal, and we moved on to other hobbies.

Can you imagine a toy store selling those chemicals in a kid's bug collecting set these days?! I feel old! Although I wouldn't mind having a net to go after the cabbage white butterflies (invasive pest)... as long as no one saw me.

Do the people who raise butterflies here use nets, or just cover the butterflies where they're living on the plants outdoors?
Swampthing, I can't believe you were able to buy such a kit in a store!

When you ask if people who raise butterflies here use nets, are you asking if we capture butterflies in butterfly nets or are you asking something else?
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bridget1964 View Post
Eric,
It is fun to watch a caterpillar chomping away at a potted plant! I have milkweed in pots and most of it has been chewed down to the nubs by some really fat cats! One of them pupated on a potted bonsai!

Cool, you have bonsai!

That would make a cool photo--did you happen to take one?
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:55 AM   #10
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I had a teacher in middle school that had us killing and mounting insects for a little insect collection. I liked it at the time. Then much later, in college, I did another insect collection thing for college Entomology (an extremely boring class, BTW...it's amazing how very dry and boring they can make a class that should have been interesting). I think the middle school teacher had us using a chemical to kill the insects that is now known to be a very dangerous carcinogen, in addition to what harm its unsupervised use could have done immediately to children. I just can't believe she had us using that stuff! And BTW, it was available back then to anyone that wanted to buy it. Oh, and I used a net for a college lab...to catch and document any insects caught, then we released them.
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