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-\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 i J? an - Fraiicisccr Sunday Call
Mabel H. Collyer SPOLICEMAX by day — a trailer of fairy gold by night! Patrolman 15. a stalwart, full chested, good natured member of San Francisco's "finest," is a man -»-\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 with a dual personality. By day you may catch a glimpse of him patrolling his beat, anywhere along Geary, O'Far rell or out by Fillmore; by night you may not be able to catch up with him at all, unless your eyes are keener than those of the candle moth or the other creepy, crawly things whose haunts he disturbs. Straight as an ar row by day, big and brawny, built something on the typical western cow boy plan, he dwindles away at night to an insignificant nocturnal prowler. Togged out in brown khaki, with a slouch hat pulled over his eyes and a net over his shoulder, he skulks along blind Janes and alleys, as suspicious looking a character as any he himself xrcay run in during the day. For our friend the policeman is a bugologist of a very pronounced typ*. Bugs — ugh! Their mere mention brings a vision of blue spectacled old men, with long hair end pasty faces, peering into slimy pools! But our cop will t*ll you that this Is a passing type — -that the entomologist of today is as lively as the cricket lie trails and as sportive as the bee. "The greatest sport, in tli« world." he calls ft, this tramping over hill and d;ilt after airy fairy, fluttery vreaturcs, or poking into hollows for ugly brown beetles. And be it known that on his longer jaunts during: vacation, or on «o:ne holiday, a single butterfly ha* led him a chase of some SS miles in a day—only to die a dire little death at sundown in a cyanide bottle and to be labeled, "Rare and beautiful specimen of the" — spa?e us the narr.e! But apart from this — the glorious sport that it is, and the exercise, the interest and all that Is to be derived from a painstaking pursuit of ento mological objects— there is another tide, namely', that an ever Increasing demand for rare and perfect specimens brings a goodly financial return to the professional collector.. The prices paid for unusual specimens are truly enough to make the uninitiated out eider sit up and take notice. Imagine If you will a little feather weight of a moth being worth $5 in gold, and an odd kind of beetle, a little different from all his neighbors, commanding a price of $20 In open market, with va rious collectors bidding against each other for his possession at that. Policeman James E. Cottle, sitting In the dining room of his home at 2117 Bush street, told with twinkling eyes how he first came to be Interested In the insect industry: » "It was one day in early *June^ I think." he said, "that I was rusticating in some little out of the way place. I had the popular notion In my head that a chap who would spend his time chas ing beetles and bees over the hills was a species of crank that ought to be locked up; bo when I saw one of them, coming down the mountainside' with a net over his shoulder and a bug in his hand.'l bad a notion to run him in on the spot. But I had some curiosity concerning his special genus, sol saun tered up and asked him what he thought he was doing, anyway. '"'What am I doing?* said he, looking at me, kind of scornfulllke. 'Why, I've just caught one of the rarest butter flies in this locality, and I think I'm on the trail of some more." ' I looked at the bug. It didn't amount to shucks in my. eyes; so I asked him what he,. wanted with the things after he'd got 'em. He was a good natured chap, and just grinned at my ignorance. •"Want with 'em?' said he. 'Why, I can sell these fellows for $2 apiece easy.' You should have seen me jump! " 'Say.' said I; 'do you- mean to tell me, you ran get reaPraoney for things like that?' "'That's what," said he. 'I got $20 for a dandy.lot last week.' I saw my chance and ducked in. 'Don't you need some help?' said I, easy like. ' 'Have you got another net?" He had, and off we sailed together. We raught 23 that day and he sold 'em, and gave me half the profit, like the dead game sport that he was. That was my start. I bought some books and set to work. I have been a confirmed bugologlst ever since, and that was 20 years ago." Mr. Cottle explained that the novice of course can not collect specimens with, profit to himself or any one else with out some proper instruction. Butter flies, moths and even hardy looking beetles, It seems, are all of them fragile enough to be ruthlessly destroyed by a little clumsy handling; and since there Is a market for perfect specimens only, i it behooves the wouldbe collector* to \u25a0 learn ways and means before starting ; to the hills with a net and a bottle. ; As far as the field is concerned, it -is i right at our doors, for California's Hie : mecca of. the entomologist, and some of the rarest specimens, many of them unclassified as yet, are to be. found on, : over and around our San Francisco hills. According to Officer Cottle and others of his ilk the atmosphere en circling: our city is a vast unexplored, mine of floating wealth. And right '< here ctfmes in the hint of fairy gold;. ; for what could be more evasive, -more ' elflnlike, than a little ethereal moth, ":; its wings steeped in gold dust, hover- ; , ing just out of reach of some -horrid ; old miser's net^ God! . Not only, in .] color, but In substance! And behoidj' \u25a0.') here is a new way to mine for bright i little nuggets— with a net and a cyi:- \u25a0 , nlde bottle, instead "of a pick and : BY DAY HE CATCHES BURGLARS: BY NIGHT HE CATCHES BUGS Poli cem a.n Co 111 c 5 *ys Our Bdvlmy Air Is Full of Flying Nuggets: Get c* Butterfly NeK d^nd HelbYouraelf shovel! And a beautiful showing the little nuggets make, stuck on pins In< glass showcases!:. \u25a0.'..'•\u25a0' - Butterflies fly by day, the moth by night, and the beetle, though he seems to crawl forth most any old time, lias his favorite haunts, his habits and his hoars. But it is the moth, in ; its various guises, that Officer Cottle stalks" after nightfall, luring it: forth by means; of a -great,- tall acetylene lantern that gives a light as powerful as that of a, street- lamp. He makes some if his. catches around his own doorstep, others he trails out toward Golden GateVpark, that with its many flower beds and abundant shrubbery is a veritable storehouse of floating treasure, and thence wanders on, sometimes out by the beach and at other times out toward San Mateo and the adjacent dis tricts. 'He, is-a tireless' walker*' and an. expert climber. On his, lcmger jaunts among the hills over ; iri;finih valley and up around Mount Tamalpais tie seldom ' goes alone, but is accompanied "by; his' friend, P'rancis X.; Williams, ;a- giadu ate-^of Stanford university , in ; the de partment of entomology. : These two have scaled: nearly, ;every v high "peak in' the: vicinity' of the bay seeking certain ' odd specimens that"; have a penchant for. roostinj^^high'iJlaces.' .' ' . Rar4? flies 'are not always found in rare places; so it. is not necessary, to scale a high peak in order to discover a 'treasure. One of Mr. Cottle's'.-moit •highly prized specimens, a variety, of | the Pyrameis caryae,*-. with markings so peculiar arid so different frbm any other member ;of;, its family.; that (he values his catch at $50, was captured in: a garden at the corner of Washington and Buchanan streets. >- He .has the pride of a; discoverer in', his find, for tie sur mises that this is the . only \u25a0; variety of : its": kind in; any collection. All! collect ors are constantly .; on the lookout- for odd specimens of \ a recognized - faintly ' showing markings, or" characteristics a little different from. those on its family tree. Moreover, butterflies are ; migra tory- creatures, and : frequently; 'vanish from ;' a favorite ",\ locality only -to § re appear later amid entirely different sur-; rouhdings.; Thus ; the Lepisesla' phau ton, "formerly of Los Angeles, whose - progeny 'for $10 a pair.' because • of their scarcity?: may,; perchance, be rearinga; family jrighf around ttiecor rier.; \u25a0 The . Arctonotus "lucidus, . an ova si ye little olive green creature, (has i re cently moved from northern Oregon.to : pur: vicinity. Not ; quite;, so -scarce: as somo ; of. its neighbors, ; this fly; brings; about $3 a pair. '\u25a0\u25a0,'. Previous to April. do. .1906. Mr. Cot tie had as fine a collection of butter flies and moths ,as could be found In thai.Unlted : States,- representing' work a. period of 16 years. It all went up in smoke, alone with several other \u25a0 choice 'collections of various: *kinds '-' • In^ this city*. lie has re covered ' from the shock, " though he still bemoans the loss of a certain '.-beetle-, so .rare that only ..two of -.its' counterparts aro known* today— one in the : famous -Rothschild collection i'n> London and the other In the possession of Dr. Edwin Van Dyke of San Fran clsco.V Since Mr. Cottle makes a spe cialty of butterflies and moths, this beetle , was -merely a, straggler in his net, but proved very welcome, as there was a handsome price on his Jiead. The. little beetle when caught was bearing *up bravely under the, stupendous name of - Nebclyttius balteatus, having .been thus designated by. Professor .le Conte. Over :? the many other rare specimens . lost ;Mr. Cottle. "draws a" veil and points withCpride/to his new collection that Is. being rebuilt drawer -by. drawer, on a par. with the city's growth. , Wonder-' fill ".butterflies-. and moths, all of native \u25a0Calif ornians, , each with a neat unpronounceable name - attached to ; its ' : pin, are lined -up in ; a handsome new cabinet in a little den of a room re served especially for his bugs, and the paraphernalia that goes with them. And apart from these there Is a float ing population of brilliant flies with folded wings done up in little tricol ored manila envelopes ready for the eastern market, which Mr. Cottle Is constantly supplying with new specl \u25a0 mens.. _ Some of his rarer specimens ha ships to Germany, France and other European countries.- The dtmand for such specimens, he states, is on the increase. The demand Is always ahead of the supply, since it is almost impos sible to capture more than one or two of certain rare species 'during a season, though occasional good fortune favors the collector when he stumbles on a swarm of some rara avis. Take, for example, the Kodiosoma nlgra. a spe cies of moth much In demand. Mr. Cottle. roaming around Marin county not long ago, was able to capture 16 of these In a single day and sold them in New York for $2.50 apiece, receiving a request for more with his check. The running mate of this little beastle. the Kidiosoma tricolor, whose haunts have been traced to the vicinity. of. San Jose, has so far eluded his net at every turn and he is still seeking his first specimen of this breed, though at pres ent he is looking more pointedly for specimens of the Arctonotus lucldus, a rare species that files from November to the last of February, with Its fa vorite haunts around Mount Tamalpais. Meanwhile he has his eye open for a glimpse of the bewitching N Melittla glo-" • riosa, a magnificent, moth, as elusive as: she is charming and valuable. In ail his collecting tie has caught but one specimen of the glorlosa, and that he states was a "battered old girl" \u25a0 roosting behind Mount Diablo. These little moths easily command a price of $8 a pair. They would be easy to catch, he declares, if a fellow, could only find "their haunts.' \u25a0'. "The" Heniseuca~electra, another rare moth, \u25a0is a native .of San Diego. Going : down there last year at the right sea son, Mr.- Cottle was 'able* to bag 64 flies and" 422" eggs. He realized 50 cents apiece for_ the males and |l apiece for the females. Eggs = so collected are hatched out in breeding cages and the ; collector/has the fun of watching, his specimens ' in their ; metamorphosis from \u25a0 worm • to fly. , Then ; pop— the fully de veloped specimen goes Into a- cyanid* bottle and incomes a, mummy on a pin. So It turns out that there Is money In bugs, and lots, of it — for the right kind.- Professor Studebaker. an au thority on insects of all kinds, mad* a goodly fortune selling butterflies alone, while Dr. Frank E. Blalsdell and Dr. Edwin Van Dyke of this city have collections of rare beetles, literally worth their weight in precious stones rather than gold — they are so light, .you know. Prof. Charles Fuchs of the University of California is another steady contributor to the beetle trade, and numerous other members of the Pacific Coast entomological, association .draw down tidy sums for their various finds. "\ ,'v Sooner or later, according: to Mr. Cot tle, it is absolutely necessary for an entomologist to specialize in some ono branch of tha Insect industry, alnca the whole rang* of entomology is too vast for any one man to hope to cover it in a lifetime. Therefore Mr. Cuttle long: ago made bia specialty the lepl dopteru. — though he is not at all averse to snapping up any odd specimen of any class that may creep across his path. ' Entomologists, too, generally work in couples or trios, or even in crowds, , since all of them exchange specimens in order to coraplsta their collections. Once find the food plant of a certain species, states Mr. Cottle, and the rest is easy, though time plays an Impor tant part in many a capture* Many of the iepidopera ar# staid li(U* crea tures of habit, with fixed hours for flyluir, fixed hours for matin? and fixed 'hours for dying 1 . A little too early or a little too late means no catch, at all. The Hepialus sequoiolus, a dainty little creature called tha head light moth, because tha female carries a bit of phosphorus on her back that lights up as she spreads her vrlngs. flies promptly at 7:45 and stops flying at S sharp, as abruptly as If some tiny curfew had been rung in her hearing. "' After S she and her train of admirers disappear completely until the same hour the next evening, when tha sama little headlight procession again swings Into viewr. ' Many butterflies fly only at higo noon, others make quick short flights promptly at 2 p. m., and .immediately take siestas with the regularity of automatons. How the little crea tures tell time Is a mystery yet un solved by the savant, but Cottla affirms that he would just as soon set his watch by a moth or butterfly as by the city chimes. Light attracts most . varieties .of ; moths, though . some revel in ab solute darkness, flitting about from flower to flower like tiny elfish owla. The study of the eccentricities and habits of these little creatures of th«u air is. as fascinating* as it is profit able, asserts Mr. Cottle. and he thinks that in trailing them hither and yon, always out In the open, he has dis covered a veritable elixir of youth. . "It Is the healthiest life in tha world.", he declared enthusiastically, "and the greatest sport I know any thing about. 1 wonder that more peo ple do not take it up. f can wager that a fellow with tuberculosis would be cured of his disease in a few - months; If he would follow my trail over the hills.'*. And his looks do not belie his words. He I3,the picture of. buoyant health, with a spring to. his gait and a fores to his fist that makes him quite In dependent of his Mlly. as he duti full}*-patrols his beat, day, after day, with his weather eye always peeled for a specimen bug. This little 'side issue in bugs ' might . .\ be called. a hobby except that a hobby, is usually an extravagance, while bus chasing is a" diversion that pays.