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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leafminer, by Mike Palmer

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.

Feb. 24, 2020, 7 PM meeting: Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects, presented by Mike Palmer, Ph.D.

Leafmining insects represent a bewildering variety of taxa that have mastered a very particular niche. Although their study goes back centuries, it is possible for dedicated amateurs to make substantial contributions to the field. Indeed, a number of advances in technology and resources (especially the recently published Leafminers of North America by Charley Eiseman) herald a golden era of leafminer research. The most important factor facilitating developments is the generosity and interconnectivity of researchers, as well as the growing number of enthusiasts.

Mike Palmer received his PhD in Botany at Duke University in 1988, and then did postdoctoral research on biodiversity scaling at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. He joined the Botany (now PBEE) faculty at Oklahoma State University in 1990, and retired in 2017 at the rank of Regents Professor. Mike has performed research on multivariate methods, quantitative floristics, forest dynamics, fire ecology, plant virus ecology, and theoretical studies. In his retirement, he is returning to his childhood interest in insect natural history.

Mar. 23, 2020, 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. 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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