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 24, 2017, 7 PM meeting: The Monarch Conservation Movement, presented by Katie Boyer.
- The eastern migratory population of the monarch butterfly has declined by 80-90 percent in the past 20 years, which has prompted an international movement to conserve this majestic species.† This presentation will cover monarch biology and the conservation movement to recover the beloved insect.
Katie Boyer serves as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceís Monarch Outreach Specialist for Texas and Oklahoma, stationed in the beautiful and booming city of Austin, Texas.† In this role, Katie coordinates monarch butterfly conservation efforts with a variety of partners throughout both states in addition to leading outreach efforts to increase awareness of monarch and pollinator decline.† Katie previously served as a listing biologist, working with teams of scientists to analyze the status of species under the Endangered Species Act.† Katie holds a Bachelor of Science in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana and a Master of Natural Resources in Environmental Policy from Utah State University.† After the work day ends, Katie enjoys kayaking, hiking with her two dogs, and checking out Austinís outstanding live music scene.
- 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: Insects Unlocked, presented by Alejandro Santillana.
- Insects Unlocked†is a public domain project from The University of Texas at Austinís Insect Collection (UTIC). In 2015, our team of student and community volunteers crowd-funded a campaign to create thousands of open, copyright-free images. From more than 200 small contributions, we built an insect photography field kit and photo studio.
Alejandro Santillana is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with an undergraduate degree in Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Alejandroís introduction to insect photography and macrophotography took place†as volunteer to the UTIC under Dr. Alex Wild. Alejandro is also an avid birdwatcher and field herpetologist, and spends half his time chasing wildlife across Texas and the United States, and the other half reading about them.
- Oct. 23, 2017, 7 PM meeting: TBA, presented by Robinson Sudan.
- Oct. 28, 2017: Butterfly Count
- The Butterfly Forumís annual butterfly count is Saturday, October 28, 2017. To participate meet at the Zilker Botanical Garden Center (2220 Barton Springs Rd.) parking lot at 8:00 am. Everyone is
welcome, including all skill levels. We count within a 15 mile diameter circle centered at Mount Bonnell. In addition to Zilker, we visit many of the best butterfly-finding locales around town, including the Barton Creek Greenbelt and St. Edward's Park. We usually work as a single group. Our focus is butterflies, but we are interested in moths and other insects.
This is the butterfly equivalent of the Audubon Christmas Bird count. The results are submitted to the North American Butterfly Association (NABA).
Be prepared to walk through brush and wet areas. Bring close-focusing binoculars if you have them. Long pants, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended. The count typically lasts until mid afternoon, although you may leave at any time. We have lunch at a restaurant between stops.
If it rains Saturday, we may re-schedule to the following day. For more information contact
- 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 .