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Upcoming Events

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.

Apr. 23, 2017, 9:00 AM and 1:30 PM: Field Trips, with Carly Tribull.

Are you interested in starting your own insect collection? How about searching for wasps that survive by consuming hosts from the inside? Or maybe youíre more artistically inclined and want an excuse to draw insects, plants, and scenery? Then join Carly Tribull and others for an informal nature walk at the BFL and the AN&SC. She will cover the basics of field and insect illustration, while also searching for the parastized hosts of the wasps she studies. Please bring a sketchbook/notebook/clipboard with some paper (something to draw on!) and pencils/pens(something to draw with!), sunscreen, water, and insect collecting materials if you have them (a small number of nets and vials will be available to use).

The morning walk will be at the BFL, meeting in the parking lot out front at 9:00 a.m.

Brackenridge Field Laboratory
2907 Lake Austin Blvd,†Austin, TX 78703

We will lunch at the Shady Grove - 1624 Barton Springs Rd

Around 1:30 p.m., we will meet in front of the AN&SC for an afternoon walk. Park under the MoPac bridge on†Stratford†Dr. and walk up to the nature center.

Austin Nature & Science Center
2389 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX 78746

Apr. 24, 2017, 7 PM meeting: Wasps and Comics, presented by Carly Tribull.

Have you ever found a caterpillar that seemed to be sporting some extra growths? Or the mummified husk of an aphid? Most likely, parasitoid wasps are to blame! These wasps are important controls on herbivorous insect populations, even if their lifecycle does require the gruesome deaths of their hosts. In this talk, Iíll explore two families of parasitoid wasps, Bethylidae and Dryinidae, and the potential they have for controlling major crop pests. I will also explore how molecular sequencing can help us better understand the taxonomy and evolutionary histories of these wasps and highlight the work my team of undergraduate researchers has been carrying out on local parasitoid species.

In addition, I will cover another passion of mine - the use of comics and games in entomological and biological education. While many think of comics as focusing on superheroes in spandex, the medium has diversified and grown to include educational works. Comics can successfully be used at a variety of levels, from elementary school classes to advanced coursework, because the combination of sequential images and text act as an intermediary bridge for understanding complex ideas.

Carly Tribull received a BA in Integrative Biology and Practice of Art from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011. Since then, she has worked to combine her interests in illustration and entomology. While pursuing her PhD at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, she produced educational outreach comics about different types of wasps for children. Now a visiting assistant professor at Sam Houston State University, her research focuses on the local taxonomy and evolutionary histories of parasitoid wasps. She still continues to combine comics and education, with a current focus on creating comic materials for college lectures.

May 6, 2017, 10 AM to 4 PM workshop: How to Know and Grow Austin Butterflies

Learning to identify common butterflies of our area is only one aspect of the Austin Butterfly Forumís Annual Butterfly Workshop, held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Zilker Botanical Garden Center. Topics will cover caterpillar food plants, how to raise caterpillars and watch metamorphosis at home, strategies for caterpillar survival and identification, as well as books and resources about this rapidly growing hobby. The workshop will include a light lunch and a walk to identify butterflies in the Zilker Botanical Garden.

To register, please contact Jeff Taylor at 512-255-0368 or .

Fee for the workshop is $35.00 with a light lunch provided.

May 22, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA

June 26, 2017, 7 PM meeting: Caterpillar Gardening: Providing 21st Century Hosting Solutions, presented by Berry Nall.

Natural habitat is shrinking drastically as Texas' population skyrockets. It is crucial that we incorporate caterpillar hosts into our gardens and landscapes. A creative approach is needed †to identify key host plants and find ways to promote their use in local plantings. Berry Nall will share some of his successes - and failures - in gardening for caterpillars. He will draw on his experiences to suggest ways that concerned individuals and clubs such as ABF can help provide habitat for future butterflies.

Berry Nall is a pastor and teacher who is fascinated by butterflies at all stages of their lives. For the past 10 years he has been seeking to rear as many species as possible from egg to adult; living in Starr County near the Mexico border, he has had the opportunity to raise a variety of exotic tropical butterflies. His butterfly photos and life history studies can be seen on his website.

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: The Cockrell Butterfly Center, presented by Dr. Nancy Greig.

Oct. 23, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA, presented by Robinson Sudan.

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 .

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