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Upcoming Meetings

Monday 03-22-2021

Monday, January 25th, 2021, at 7 pm. meeting: A Life Spent Chasing Moths & Their Caterpillars, and Discovering So Much More, presented by Alma Solis

I will relate how my interest in moths was kickstarted at a cloud forest in northeastern Mexico. This fieldwork led to my life-long interest in the Pyraloidea, or snout moths, one of the largest and most diverse groups of Lepidoptera. I will describe the importance of pyraloids to agriculture, mostly as pests of crops, but also as biological control for noxious plants, such as the cactus moth. The adults vary widely in size and can be measured in centimeters or millimeters, and the larvae eat plants, animals, and even beeswax. The most unique pyraloids are those with caterpillars adapted to living in and around water; a film will be shown of an aquatic pyraloid caterpillar that lives its entire life under water.

Butterflies are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Alma Solis was born and grew up in south Texas where she attended Texas Southmost College in Brownsville and developed an interest in biology. For her thesis research at UT Austin, she studied lepidopteran leaf miners feeding on deciduous trees in a cloud forest in northeastern Mexico and expanded her study to include light-caught Lepidoptera. She then specialized on pyraloids for her dissertation research at the University of Maryland at College Park. Alma has been a Research Scientist in the Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, USDA, and Curator of the Pyraloidea and related families at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., for over 30 years; she was Research Leader of the laboratory for ten of those years. She has published more than 100 research papers and book chapters on the classification of Pyralidae or snout moths. She has conducted fieldwork and research in major museums worldwide. She is married to Jason P. W. Hall, a riodinid butterfly specialist. An NPR interview with the couple entitled "Rare Specimens: An Unusual Match-Up in Entomology" aired in 2012 to highlight their butterfly garden in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Exploring a Tropical Paradise: Cuba and Its Fantastic Biodiversity by Marc C. Minno, Ph. D.

Monday 02-22-2021

Since 2011 I have been working with volunteers and Cuban scientists to explore Cuba's extraordinary natural areas, document flora and fauna, and assess the conservation needs of the rarest butterflies. Cuba has some plant communities that are similar to those in South Florida including mangrove swamps, freshwater marshes, and dry tropical forests, but others have no equivalent such as savannas, scrubs, and pinelands on serpentine soils, moist tropical forests in the mountains, and arid, rocky shrublands. The island is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots with many endemic plants and animals. At least 210 different kinds of butterflies have been reported from Cuba and about 40% are unique to the island. Butterflies are often good at dispersing and there is exchange with Mexico, Hispaniola, south Florida, and other widely separated places. This presentation will give an overview of Cuban culture, landscapes, and biodiversity.

Dr. Marc Minno-Bio

Dr. Minno has a Ph.D. in zoology and more than 30 years of professional experience as an interdisciplinary scientist. He is currently a Water Resource Coordinator with the Suwannee River Water Management District in Live Oak, Florida. Marc and Maria Minno also work on plant and butterfly projects throughout Florida via Eco-Cognizant, Inc., their home-based consulting business. In addition to his many years of experience with wetlands, Dr. Minno is keenly interested in conservation biology and has conducted field research throughout the US and in Central America, South America, Caribbean, Europe, and India. Since 2011 Dr. Minno has been working with biologists in Cuba to better understand the ecological relationships of imperiled butterflies in southern Florida. He has authored/ coauthored six books and six book chapters on butterflies and plants.

Manfreda Conservation Survey: In Search of Rare Species

The National Butterfly Center is leading the charge to learn more about Manfreda and the critically imperiled butterfly that needs it to survive. Citizen scientists are needed to help with the first phase of this conservation project, upon which we hope to build a comeback for this rare, native host plant and its "ghost," the Manfreda Giant-Skipper. Bio: Marianna T. Wright is a passionate advocate for Texas' natural treasures. As executive director of the National Butterfly Center, she is leading the charge to protect and preserve the creatures and features that make South Texas so special.

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

Aug. 24, 2020, 7 PM meeting: Insect declines: Current Research in the Appalachians & a Roadmap Moving Forward, presented by Graham Montgomery.

Insect declines have become an important topic over the last few years, for good reason. Insects are such a key component of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems that downward trends in insect biomass and abundance are concerning to say the least. I'll touch on the current state of insect decline research, our efforts to standardize insect monitoring, and my ongoing research in Great Smoky Mountains National Park using historical insect and bird surveys originally conducted by the early ecologist, Robert Whittaker.

I am a PhD student in Dr. Morgan Tingley's lab at UCLA, studying insect declines and their effects on insectivorous birds. I grew up in Houston, went to Cornell University where I majored in entomology, did biological field work for 3 years before starting graduate school. My PhD research focuses on using historical data as a baseline to better understand the drivers and consequences of insect declines, and I am currently doing insect and bird resurveys in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, among other projects. When I'm not in the lab or field, I enjoy macrophotography, playing basketball, and kayaking.

Abbott's sphinx moth caterpillar, photo by Graham Montgomery

sep. 28, 2020, 7 PM meeting: John and Kendra Abbott will introduce their new book, Common Insects of Texas and Surrounding States that is to be released in October. They will talk about the layout and contents as well as the process for creating this book that contains 1,300 species and more than 2,700 photographs

Thanks to its size and geographic position, Texas is home to nearly 30,000 species of insects, likely making its insect population the most diverse in the nation. Ranging from eastern and western to temperate and tropical species, this vast array of insects can be difficult to identify. In Common Insects of Texas and Surrounding States, John and Kendra Abbott have created the state's most comprehensive field guide to help readers recognize and understand these fascinating creatures.

John and Kendra are professional nature photographers, educators and outdoor enthusiasts based in Tuscaloosa, AL. John is the Chief Curator and Director of Research and Collections for The University of Alabama Museums and Kendra is a Research Scientist in the Department of Biology..

October 26, 2020, 7 PM Meeting: "Butterflies of Nuevo Leon, Mexico" by Alida Madero Farias

Picture of Carousing Jewelmark - a subject of Alida Madero Farias work

October's presentation will be given by butterfly experts Alida and Lucy from Monterrey, México. They will provide an overview of Mexico as a biodiverse country, with an emphasis on Nuevo Leon and its butterfly hotspots such as Picachos, Chipinque, and Estanzuela. They will discuss the history of area butterfly counts and multiple field guides that they co-authored. Included will be a discussion of butterflies among ancient Mexican cultures as well as how the current pandemic is affecting México.

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Show and Tell

Every November we have had a Show and Tell meeting where members or guests have about 10 minutes to show their best or most memorable photos from the past year. This pandemic year has forced us to have online Zoom meeings. We will continue to have the show and tell format but we wil have to do it via zoom.

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2-24-2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd

2/20/2020

Butterflys are flying insects with colorful wings. They taste terrible and have a habit of mass migration.

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 2-24-2020