Our monthly meetings, which have been held regularly since 1993 at Zilker Garden Center, feature an educational program. All are open to the public and most are free. The Garden Center is located in Zilker Botanical Gardens, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78746.
- Feb. 27, 2017, 7 PM meeting: The Natural and Cultural History of the Long Expedition (1819-1820), presented by Mike Quinn.
- The Long Expedition was the first exploration of the West that included trained scientists. The party of 22, under the guidance of Major Stephen Long, included botanist Edwin James, zoologist Thomas Say and artist, naturalist Titian Peale.. They traveled from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains and passed through the Texas Panhandle on their return. The "gentlemen scientists," on their expedition through "Great American Desert," collected and later described over 300 new species of plants, insects, reptiles, amphibians and birds.
- Mar. 27, 2017, 7 PM meeting: Native Bees, the Buzz in Your Backyard, presented by Karen Wright.
- When people think about bees, the first image to come to mind is the honey bee. Sometimes folks even recognize that there is more than one species of bee; bumble bees, carpenter bees and sweat bees are also known by many people. But the reality is much more than that. There are more than 19,000 species of bees known to science and many more yet undescribed. Most native bees are solitary, meaning that they donít live in a hive and they donít have a queen. Most bees make bee bread, not honey. They range in size from three quarters of a millimeter to over two inches in length and come in many more colors than just black and yellow. They have complex relationships with the flowers that they pollinate and because of these relationships, the earth has been covered in a breathtaking diversity of wildflowers.
Karen Wright received a BA in Biology and a BS in Environmental Science at the University of Delaware in 1996. She became interested in insects while volunteering at the Southwest Research Station in Portal, AZ and started her masterís degree in Entomology at Oregon State in 1997. Her dissertation was on the true bugs and beetles of hazelnut orchards in Oregon. After her Masterís she worked for almost ten years for the Sevilleta Long-Term Research Program based out of the University of New Mexico doing mostly field work and data management. During this time, she developed an interest in native bee ecology and taxonomy and she started a long-term bee monitoring program and a plant phenology project that are currently in their 16th year. Karen took The Bee Course in 2001 and has become an accomplished bee taxonomist , specializing in the bees of the southwest. In 2009, Karen started her PhD program at the University of New Mexico in Dr. Kelly Millerís lab of insect systematics. She is currently wrapping up her dissertation on the evolution of diet breadth in Melissodes Latreille bees and is the new Assistant Curator of the Insect Collection at Texas A & M University. Her main research interests include native bee community ecology, diet breadth of native bees, and plant flowering phenology.
- Apr. 24, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA
- May 22, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA
- June 26, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA, presented by Berry Nall.
- July 24, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA
- Aug. 28, 2017, 7 PM meeting: Moths: The Mysterious Majority, presented by Valerie Bugh.
- Of about 2000 species of lepidoptera found in the Hill Country, only 150 are butterflies. Moths are far more numerous and diverse than butterflies, including more varied lifestyles, far greater size range, and some rather surprising survival strategies. This program will cover both caterpillars and adults, identifying the major families as well as some oddities, and a look at the beauty of these often overlooked insects.
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
- Sept. 25, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA
- Oct. 23, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA
- Nov. 27, 2017, 7 PM meeting: Member's Show & Tell.
- This is a fun meeting that we have every year. Any member can show their favorite photos of the year or to tell about their a trip or butterfly experience. You have 5-10 minutes. There will be a projector and laptop so just bring your flash drive. If you plan to participate contact .