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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Stamnodes sp., photo by Ann Hendrickson

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.


Aug. 26, 2019, 7 PM meeting: A Moth Odyssey, presented by Ann Hendrickson.

Why am I interested in moths rather than butterflies? Because there are many more of them, they have been studied by amateurs for a much shorter time (dating to the introduction of cheap digital cameras), there are still numerous species for which live photographs are not available to the public, there is a greater chance of discovering a new species and MOST importantly as I age – THEY COME TO ME!

Ann Hendrickson is a self taught naturalist who has been studying the flora and fauna on their property near Camp Wood for the past 19 years. In 2012 she purchased a black light set up to attract moths and became “hooked” on identifying anything that shows up on her sheet ever since. She is a contributing editor on Bug Guide, provides photographs for Moth Photographers Group and has worked with Dr. David Wagner collecting and egging specimens for some of his unpublished work on western caterpillars. Ann has reared broods of over 40 different species of moths from eggs, sends specimens to the University of Guelph for DNA extraction and is currently obsessed with learning to dissect for identification purposes.


Sept. 23, 2019, 7 PM meeting: Scolytines, Noctuids, and More: An Overview of PPQ’s Domestic Pest Detection Activities, presented by Xanthe A. Shirley.

Within the United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) is tasked with safeguarding U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of significant pests and with facilitating the safe trade of agricultural products. Domestic surveillance of potential and introduced pest threats is one of the various programs PPQ implements to support this mission. I will give an overview of PPQ’s domestic pest detection process and will discuss my involvement with the surveys I provide support for (Exotic Wood Borer/Bark Beetle, Old World Bollworm, Silver Y moth, and more).

Xanthe attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and received a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology in 2012. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Bob Wharton’s braconid systematics lab. After working as an ANRP (Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy) intern during the 83rd Texas legislative session in Austin, Texas, she returned to Texas A&M University to pursue her Master of Science degree in entomology. She worked in Dr. Jim Woolley’s lab on Aphelinus taxonomy and systematics, and graduated in 2016. Since January 2017, she has worked for USDA APHIS PPQ as Domestic Identifier.


Membership

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. Annual membership is $20 per individual or $25 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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