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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Firefly, photo by Harriett Wolf

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.


July 25, 2016, meeting: Fireflies of Texas: Glowing, Glowing, Gone!, presented by Ben Pfeiffer.

Ben Pfieffer will discuss the types of fireflies (Lampyridae) in Texas, why they flash and how they use light to communicate to potential mates. He will show you how to identify Texas species and discuss their distribution across the state. Pointers will be given on how to create a good habitat for fireflies in your own backyard. Ben will address specific threats to fireflies and discuss why they are disappearing in many areas of Texas.

Ben is Founder of Firefly.org, a firefly conservation and educational non-profit. He got his start with fireflies in 2009 after hearing about firefly disappearance in parts of the US. The website was created to educate those on how to help keep fireflies from disappearing. Since then, Firefly.org has grown in popularity and is currently the internetís most visited website about fireflies. Benís work focuses on researching Texas firefly species. He is working on understanding Lampyridae distribution across the state, threats to its habitat and survival, and educating people on how to protect fireflies in their area. Ben studied biology at Texas State University and is a certified Master Naturalist. He is a lifelong native Texan and has spent most of his life working to understand Texas ecology and unique diversity.


Aug. 22, 2016, meeting: Pollination, presented by Valerie Bugh.

The movement of pollen from stamen to stigma is a major issue for plants, and they cannot easily do it themselves. While bees are the first resource that comes to mind when pollination is mentioned, no ecosystem is simple; complexity demands multiple solutions to every problem. We will look at the various animals that interact with plants in this process, and discuss the expenditures, risks and compensations.

Val Bugh is a local naturalist specializing in the arthropods of the Austin area, with interests in taxonomy and photography. She runs the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, leads insect discovery walks, teaches entomology courses, provides insect/spider identifications, gives talks to local organizations, and has published pocket guides to "Butterflies of Central Texas" and "Spiders of Texas." Website: Austin Bug Collection


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. 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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