Austin, Texas, is home to about 170 species of butterflies. It is also the home of the Austin Butterfly Forum, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to butterfly conservation and to enriching people's lives through butterflies. The Austin Butterfly Forum is a club that organizes field trips, conducts butterfly counts, promotes native gardening, performs conservation activities, and meets monthly for an educational presentation. We are a community of butterfly enthusiasts who also enjoy dragonflies & damselflies, bees, beetles, spiders and arthropods in general, and our meeting presentations span this gamut as well. Join Us!
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Dryinid wasp, photo by Mike Quinn
Meetings are held in the Zilker Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78746 at 7:00 PM on the fourth Monday of each month except December.
- Apr. 23, 2017, 9:00 AM and 1:30 PM: Field Trips, with Carly Tribull.
- Are you interested in starting your own insect collection? How about searching for wasps that survive by consuming hosts from the inside? Or maybe youíre more artistically inclined and want an excuse to draw insects, plants, and scenery? Then join Carly Tribull and others for an informal nature walk at the BFL and the AN&SC. She will cover the basics of field and insect illustration, while also searching for the parastized hosts of the wasps she studies. Please bring a sketchbook/notebook/clipboard with some paper (something to draw on!) and pencils/pens(something to draw with!), sunscreen, water, and insect collecting materials if you have them (a small number of nets and vials will be available to use).
The morning walk will be at the BFL, meeting in the parking lot out front at 9:00 a.m.
Brackenridge Field Laboratory
2907 Lake Austin Blvd,†Austin, TX 78703
We will lunch at the Shady Grove - 1624 Barton Springs Rd
Around 1:30 p.m., we will meet in front of the AN&SC for an afternoon walk. Park under the MoPac bridge on†Stratford†Dr. and walk up to the nature center.
Austin Nature & Science Center
2389 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX 78746
- Apr. 24, 2017, 7 PM meeting: Wasps and Comics, presented by Carly Tribull.
- Have you ever found a caterpillar that seemed to be sporting some extra growths? Or the mummified husk of an aphid? Most likely, parasitoid wasps are to blame! These wasps are important controls on herbivorous insect populations, even if their lifecycle does require the gruesome deaths of their hosts. In this talk, Iíll explore two families of parasitoid wasps, Bethylidae and Dryinidae, and the potential they have for controlling major crop pests. I will also explore how molecular sequencing can help us better understand the taxonomy and evolutionary histories of these wasps and highlight the work my team of undergraduate researchers has been carrying out on local parasitoid species.
In addition, I will cover another passion of mine - the use of comics and games in entomological and biological education. While many think of comics as focusing on superheroes in spandex, the medium has diversified and grown to include educational works. Comics can successfully be used at a variety of levels, from elementary school classes to advanced coursework, because the combination of sequential images and text act as an intermediary bridge for understanding complex ideas.
Carly Tribull received a BA in Integrative Biology and Practice of Art from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011. Since then, she has worked to combine her interests in illustration and entomology. While pursuing her PhD at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, she produced educational outreach comics about different types of wasps for children. Now a visiting assistant professor at Sam Houston State University, her research focuses on the local taxonomy and evolutionary histories of parasitoid wasps. She still continues to combine comics and education, with a current focus on creating comic materials for college lectures.
- May 6, 2017, 10 AM to 4 PM workshop: How to Know and Grow Austin Butterflies
- Learning to identify common butterflies of our area is only one aspect of the Austin Butterfly Forumís Annual Butterfly Workshop, held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Zilker Botanical Garden Center. Topics will cover caterpillar food plants, how to raise caterpillars and watch metamorphosis at home, strategies for caterpillar survival and identification, as well as books and resources about this rapidly growing hobby. The workshop will include a light lunch and a walk to identify butterflies in the Zilker Botanical Garden.
To register, please contact Jeff Taylor at 512-255-0368 or .
Fee for the workshop is $35.00 with a light lunch provided.
- May 22, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA
All of our normal events are open to the public, but you may want to become a member of the Austin Butterfly Forum to help support us and our events. We also treat members to some extra goodies, such as reduced admission to special programs that have a fee and discounts on purchases made at meetings. Membership is $20 annually per household payable during meetings or by mail to Doris Hill, ABF Treasurer, 1605 Broadmoor, Austin, TX 78723.
For more information, please contact Mike Quinn, ABF president at 512-577-0250 or
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