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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.

July 22, 2019, 7 PM meeting: Living on the Edge: The Effect of Catastrophic Fire on a High Elevation Butterfly and its Habitat, presented by Charles Herrmann.

In the summer of 2013, the Carpenter 1 Fire raged through the Spring Mountains outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the largest, most catastrophic fire ever recorded in the Spring Mountains, burning roughly 28,000 acres of forest. This fire burned through habitat for the Mount Charleston blue butterfly, coming close to completely burning through the remaining stronghold of the butterfly. I spent three summers (2014-2016) studying the effects of the fire in terms of regrowth of larval host and nectar plants of the butterfly. Results were positive, with a strong initial regrowth of plants used by the butterfly, though abundance of butterflies remained similar throughout the three years.

Grew up in New York exploring nature and the ocean, learning to love and appreciate nature. Attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2015. Worked on a range of projects, varying from surveying eels in the Hudson River to studying parasites in northern saw whet owls. Worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Directorate Fellow junior year summer of undergrad in Las Vegas assessing the status of the endangered Mount Charleston blue butterfly after a catastrophic fire went through the Spring Mountains. After graduating Vassar, went on to get my Masters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UNLV from 2015 to 2017, continuing my work on the Mount Charleston blue butterfly. Moved to Austin to start a position in the Austin Ecological Services Field Office as the lead biologist for a wide array of species including the Mexican long-nosed bat, Houston toad, and Desert Massasauga.

Aug. 26, 2019, 7 PM meeting: A Moth Odyssey, presented by Ann Hendrickson.

Why am I interested in moths rather than butterflies? Because there are many more of them, they have been studied by amateurs for a much shorter time (dating to the introduction of cheap digital cameras), there are still numerous species for which live photographs are not available to the public, there is a greater chance of discovering a new species and MOST importantly as I age – THEY COME TO ME!

Ann Hendrickson is a self taught naturalist who has been studying the flora and fauna on their property near Camp Wood for the past 19 years. In 2012 she purchased a black light set up to attract moths and became “hooked” on identifying anything that shows up on her sheet ever since. She is a contributing editor on Bug Guide, provides photographs for Moth Photographers Group and has worked with Dr. David Wagner collecting and egging specimens for some of his unpublished work on western caterpillars. Ann has reared broods of over 40 different species of moths from eggs, sends specimens to the University of Guelph for DNA extraction and is currently obsessed with learning to dissect for identification purposes.

Sept. 23, 2019, 7 PM meeting: Scolytines, Noctuids, and More: An Overview of PPQ’s Domestic Pest Detection Activities, presented by Xanthe A. Shirley.

Within the United States Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) is tasked with safeguarding U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of significant pests and with facilitating the safe trade of agricultural products. Domestic surveillance of potential and introduced pest threats is one of the various programs PPQ implements to support this mission. I will give an overview of PPQ’s domestic pest detection process and will discuss my involvement with the surveys I provide support for (Exotic Wood Borer/Bark Beetle, Old World Bollworm, Silver Y moth, and more).

Xanthe attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and received a Bachelor of Science degree in entomology in 2012. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Bob Wharton’s braconid systematics lab. After working as an ANRP (Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy) intern during the 83rd Texas legislative session in Austin, Texas, she returned to Texas A&M University to pursue her Master of Science degree in entomology. She worked in Dr. Jim Woolley’s lab on Aphelinus taxonomy and systematics, and graduated in 2016. Since January 2017, she has worked for USDA APHIS PPQ as Domestic Identifier.

Oct. 28, 2019, 7 PM meeting: TBA

Nov. 25, 2019, 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. Plus, the club provides pizza for this year end meeting! If you plan to participate contact .

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