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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Zebra Heliconian by Dale Clark

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.

May 28, 2018, 7 PM meeting: Bioblitzing on Vacation in Western Panama, presented by Chuck Sexton.

During a three-week holiday stay in December 2017, Chuck and Mary Kay Sexton enjoyed the biological diversity in and around Boquete in the Chiriquí Province of western Panama. They visited habitats ranging from coral reefs to cloud forests. Chuck ran a moth station with a UV light on 13 evenings of their stay at 5,000 ft elevation on the flanks of Volcan Barú. The resulting moth diversity was stunning. Chuck will also highlight some of the other butterflies, insects, plants, and habitats encountered during the visit.

Dr. Chuck Sexton is a retired professional wildlife biologist who has spent almost all of his career based in Central Texas. He grew up in southern California and migrated to Austin in the mid-1970’s to attend graduate school. He received his doctoral degree in 1987 studying the impacts of urbanization on birds. With Greg Lasley, he was Texas regional editor for American Birds for many years. He has served on the Texas Bird Records Committee and the ABA Bird Checklist Committee. He worked in the City of Austin’s Environmental Department for a decade, during which he had a hand in designing the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan. He worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for 16 year as the biologist at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, retiring from that position in 2010. He is an active eBirder and iNaturalist and continues to lecture and lead field trips.

June 25, 2018, 7 PM meeting: Introduction to the University of Texas Insect Collection, presented by Dr. Alexander Wild.

The insect collection at The University of Texas at Austin hosts about 2 million arthropod specimens focusing on the central Texas fauna. Particular strengths include the world's largest collection of cave invertebrates, as well as extensive collections of Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera. In this presentation, Curator Alex Wild will display a portion of the collection, present current research, and discuss opportunities for volunteering.

Dr. Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas/Austin, and his research concerns the diversity and evolution of ants. Alex holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of California/Davis (2005). Alex is also a professional photographer whose work appears in numerous natural history museums, magazines, books, television programs, and other media.


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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