Since 1972, Professor Arthur Shapiro has held an annual contest to catch a particular butterfly species. He awards a pitcher of beer to the first person who captures a live cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae, after Jan. 1 each year. The butterfly usually is the first kind to emerge after metamorphosis in spring. Shapiro runs the contest to make sure he's doing his job monitoring the insect. Few beat him to the punch. (from Dateline, January 17, 2003)
- "The suspense fluttered to an end on Jan. 26  when entomologist Art Shapiro captured the first cabbage butterfly (Pieris rapae) of the year in West Sacramento, Yolo County. He gets to buy himself a pitcher of beer for the 28th out of 34 years—that is the deal he's made with himself. '"I arrived at 1 p.m. sharp, saw the bug coming straight at me and got it on the first swing at 1:06 p.m., and the rest, as they say, is history.'" (from Dateline, Feb 3, 2006)
- 2007: 91-Year Old Catches Butterfly, Misses Beer
- 2008: First butterfly of the year goes to Art Shapiro, again
- 2009: According to the Evolution and Ecology office, the contest ended on January 20th when Dr. Shapiro again caught the first Pieris rapae of the year in Yolo County.
- 2010: Dr. Shapiro won on January 27th.
- 2011: Dr. Shapiro won at 1:21pm on January 31st, catching the butterfly bare-handed in Suisun City.
- 2012: Dr. Shapiro won on Sunday, January 8th, catching the first butterfly in West Sacramento.
- 2013: Dr. Shapiro won on January 21st
- 2014: Dr. Shapiro won on January 14th, snagging the butterfly in West Sacramento with a jump shot.
- 2015: Dr. Shapiro collected the winner in a West Sacramento mustard patch near the railroad tracks on January 26th.
- 2016: UC Davis graduate student Jacob Montgomery won a beer on January 16th.
- 2017: Dr. Shapiro netted the first cabbage white at 1:56 p.m. on January 19th in the student gardens near the Solano Park Apartments on the UC Davis Campus.
- 2018: Dr. Shapiro collected the first cabbage white at 11:23 a.m. on January 19th in one of his frequented sites—a mustard patch by railroad tracks in West Sacramento, Yolo County. He caught it with his hands–no net.
- 2019: The contest is on, with the 37th annual competition starting January 1st.