Next Meeting Monday 04-22-2024 Title: Finding the Center of North American Biodiversity
Monday 04-22-2024 7:00pm

Discovering Leafmining Moths and Other Insects.

monday 1-22-2024

Description: Zach DuFran will present his work surveying moths across the incredibly diverse state of Oklahoma and his efforts to recruit more moth enthusiasts to help with this mission. Bio: Zach is a naturalist living in central Oklahoma. Zach is a Software Engineer for the National Weather Service by day and enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible. He is crazy about moths and has been working to expand the knowledge of moth species and distributions in his area. During the warm season he hosts public "Moth Nights" near his home and around the state. He also enjoys birding and tending to his native pollinator garden. He loves traveling to state parks with his wife and two kids on weekends, and much farther abroad during extended vacations.

Lepidoptera of NW Louisiana, and how I document them.

Entomologist Royal Tyler, of northwestern Louisiana, will speak to us this February on: Lepidoptera of NW Louisiana, and how I document them. Royal Tyler will initially cover how he got started documenting nature, and leps in particular. What his light setups are, what type of cameras he has used, daytime versus nighttime photography, and then go through some of his research papers and findings (primarily on micromoths). Royal will then focus on the butterflies of Louisiana and how he plans to find more species in 2024 and photograph them, and how he plans to find the rare ones. Royal is a life-long well rounded naturalist that worked primarily in natural resource management in his early years before starting his own business 6 years ago to sell lawn care and pest control products. This has freed Royal up to pursue his passion for nature a little deeper, especially for conducting research and writing papers. He has primarily published on lepidoptera and bee fauna of NW Louisiana. Royal enjoys photographing and studying the microfauna that we know less about, and which present a challenge to get "just right shot" for identification. Royal has published the only detailed study of native bees in NW Louisiana where he found several unidentified species that may be new to science, and he has expanded the known range of several species of bees. Royal has documented and published host plant information and life cycle data on several lesser known species of micromoths. Many of his papers can be seen here:

INTRODUCTION: Dr. C. Barry Knisley Speaker - Tiger beetles have been called 'the butterflies of the beetle world' due to their great beauty and the fact that there are numerous wonderful field guides with superb photographs or drawings as well as distribution maps. These factors make tiger beetles popular with many naturalists who in turn contribute much important data to scientists. The Austin Butterfly Forum is most pleased to have Dr. Barry Knisley speak to us about aspects of his life of tiber beetle research and conservation.
TITLE: TIGER BEETLES; BIOLOGY, CONSERVATION, AND DIVERSITY IN TEXAS BIO: Dr. C. Barry Knisley, Wornom Professor Emeritus of Biology at Randolph-Macon College, received a B.S. in Zoology and Entomology from Penn State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology from Rutgers University. He began his 40 years of teaching in liberal arts colleges with the first 10 years at Franklin College of Indiana. With the opportunity for teaching courses more related to his area of expertise and pursuing research on tiger beetles, he joined the biology department at Randolph-Macon College in 1979. He has taught entomology, ecology, and a field course in desert biology in the southwest and tropical biology in Costa Rica. Most significant was his development of a field biology program and a requirement for biology majors to conduct an independent research project. His 50 years of research has focused on the biology and conservation of tiger beetles, resulting in over 80 co-authored papers and 5 books (Field Guides to Species of the South Atlantic States, 1997, and Field Guide to Species of U. S. and Canada, 2015, Tiger Beetles of New Mexico, 2023). He has conducted most of the research for 4 of the 5 tiger beetles currently on the Endangered Species list and continues to be active in tiger beetle conservation throughout the U. S. A primary goal of listing tiger beetles has been to insure the protection of significant natural areas for the tiger beetle and other species. He has worked closely with various government and private groups on tiger beetle conservation. His studies have been funded by the USFWS, Maryland DNR, National Park Service, BLM and various private conservation groups. Much of his research since the late 1980s has involved monitoring and research on the Northeastern Beach and Puritan Tiger Beetles in Maryland and Virginia. He was one of the founding members and past president of the Virginia Natural History Society.
Title: Finding the Center of North American Biodiversity
Presented by Mike Quinn PhD. Entomolgist and board member Austin Butterfly Forum. Most people know that Texas is the most biodiverse state in the union, but why is that and where within Texas is that biodiversity concentrated? The recent explosion of observational data can now augment collection-based entomological data to address these questions. We will look at a variety of plant and animal data, of both vertebrates and invertebrates, overlain on ecoregional maps to explore United States biogeography. Bio: Mike Quinn's first biological interest was with the snakes of New Orleans where he grew up. After successive explorations of birds, botany and butterflies, he developed a deep curiosity in beetles. His fascination with true bugs is currently competing with his appreciation of beetles.

Nicaragua - A Bridge between North and South America Presented by Dr. Jean Michel Maes PH.D.

Monday 01-23-2023

Jean-Michel Maes: Born in Belgium in September 1958. Bachelor and PhD in Ecology. 40 years of experience in Entomology in Nicaragua. Teacher (1983 – 1988) at UNAN (National University of Nicaragua, Leon): Entomology, taxonomy, biological control of pests. Founder and director of Entomological Museum of Leon (1987 – today), the collection has more than 500,000 specimens. The main goal is doing an inventory of the insects of Nicaragua, a first checklist published in 1998-1999 condensed information on 10,000 insect species (including terrestrial arthropods). Around 300 publications on entomology, including some books and CD ROM. Founder and director for 15 years of the French Alliance of Leon. Founder member and actual president of NGO ALAS (Alianza para alas Areas Silvestres), a NGO devoted to conservation of Nature and study of birds. The NGO edited the first bird guide of Nicaragua. Founder member of Science Academy of Nicaragua, member of “Education and Science Promotion Comission”. Editor of “Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia” (1987 – today). Editor of “Revista Nicaraguense de Biodiversidad” (2015 – today). The name “maesi” and “Maesia” in around 30 species and a genus given by colleagues. Hobby: philately, mainly insect topic in stamps and on covers.

Moths of the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Monday 02-27-2023

Presentation by Stuart Marcus PhD: Zone 6 coordinator for the Lepidopterists’ Society and a Texas Master Naturalist: Speakers Bio: My ten plus years of mothing started when I moved to a new office located on the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in 2012. I was amazed at all these unknown critters showing up under the security lights. My curiosity soon turned into a passion. It is now, as my wife jokingly says, an obsession! I have always been interested in all types of wildlife and got a degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Florida in 1977. After working a short stint with the U.S. Forest Service in 1978, I started my career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1979, retiring in 2019 with over 40 years of service. I worked at 4 refuges in Florida and then moved to Texas in 1994 as the Refuge Manager to start the newly created Trinity River Refuge in Liberty County with an initial purchase of 4,400 acres. When I retired, we had surpassed 30,000 acres. Honestly, during the last decade of my career, I was getting a little bored with all the administrative and personnel work I had to do. Low and behold, moths showed up at the new office after working in town at a storefront for 18 years. Now I could get back to some biology! I consider myself an avid citizen scientist, primarily photographing moth species at a single light setup. All the photos are sent to various websites for additional identifications and comments. I have also collected numerous species for various researchers over the years who have contacted me. I started a butterfly count on the refuge in 1995 and continue to do a yearly survey with help from some local butterfly enthusiasts. Additionally, in 2020 I became the Zone 6 coordinator for the Lepidopterists’ Society and a Texas Master Naturalist.

Title: Insects You'll Miss Them When They're Gone

Presented by Jessica Beckham -Associate Professor University of Texas at San Antonio.

Presentation Description: It is estimated that there are over 1 billion insects for every human on this planet! Have you ever wondered just what they are all doing here, and why we have to deal with them? Let's face it -- the numerous services that beneficial insects provide to us are often overshadowed by the annoyances caused by "pesty" species. In this talk you will gain an appreciation for some of the unsung heroes of the insect world such as dung beetles, ants, lacewings, and parasitoid wasps as we discuss their biology, roles in ecosystems, and their benefits to humans. We will also look at some of the recent studies that have led to headlines proclaiming that we are in the midst of an "insect apocalypse," as well as how our everyday actions can help these critically important organisms. Bio of Yourself: Jessica Beckham is an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Integrative Biology department at the University of Texas at San Antonio; there she teaches entomology and zoology courses, primarily for environmental science majors. Her background includes broad training in entomology with a focus on the conservation of native Texas bumble bees. She is also a proponent of making science accessible to all through citizen science initiatives and is an active member of the iNaturalist community.

Title: Finding the Center of North American Biodiversity

Presented by Mike Quinn PhD. Entomolgist and board member Austin Butterfly Forum. Most people know that Texas is the most biodiverse state in the union, but why is that and where within Texas is that biodiversity concentrated? The recent explosion of observational data can now augment collection-based entomological data to address these questions. We will look at a variety of plant and animal data, of both vertebrates and invertebrates, overlain on ecoregional maps to explore United States biogeography. Bio: Mike Quinn's first biological interest was with the snakes of New Orleans where he grew up. After successive explorations of birds, botany and butterflies, he developed a deep curiosity in beetles. His fascination with true bugs is currently competing with his appreciation of beetles.

The Life Aquatic: How insects make their living in the water

Presented by Robby Deans PhD environmental specialist with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

Description: The common ancestor of all insects was almost certainly terrestrial, and in terms of diversity, insects are one of the most successful lineages on land. Some insects, though, abandoned their land-lubber kin and have adapted to living in water. In this talk, we will explore the diversity of insects (including Lepidoptera!) and other arthropods that live in water and some of the adaptations resulting from this transition. Bio: Robby got his PhD at UT Austin studying aquatic insect communities. He worked briefly for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality identifying macroinvertebrates from streams. He is currently an environmental specialist with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. He is interested in the natural history of pretty much everything--especially insects, herps, and plants, and he enjoys hiking and macro photography.

Title: "Hopping Through iNaturalist: How Citizen Science Shapes a New Era of Biodiversity and Taxonomic Research in Entomology"

Description: Through an in-depth look at some of the published and ongoing research in the world of Auchenorrhyncha (true hoppers)—a group of small, jumping, sap-feeding insects—the ways in which citizen science is reshaping the way we understand insect diversity is illustrated. Topics discussed are the importance of people photographically documenting nature, experts disseminating their knowledge to the public, and the development of citizen science platforms that highlight the development of our understanding of insect ecology (through accommodations aiding research) and conservation (through clear presentation of information).Bio: Solomon Hendrix is a junior undergraduate student majoring in Insect Ecology and Conservation at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He is studying insect taxonomy with a focus on the Hemipteran suborder Auchenorrhyncha (true hoppers) under Dr. Charles Bartlett. He moderates and manages the identification and taxonomy of true hoppers on the sites and, with over 200,000 identifications on iNaturalist and has emphasized citizen science as an important part of his entomological research. He is currently focused on the taxonomic revision of a genus of planthoppers in the family Cixiidae, Melanoliarus, with a number of smaller ongoing research projects. Introduced to entomology through macro photography and illustration, he has always been passionate about the interdisciplinary space between art and science.

Mexican Insects in the Anthropocene

Robert Wallace Jones Ph. D, Entomology, 1994, Master’s 1985 Texas A&M University, B.S,1978, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts. Areas of interest: Systematics of Weevils, Ecology of Insects in Tropical Environments Over 80 refereed journal articles, various book chapters, and two books with the most recent being the first co-author of “Mexican Fauna in the Anthropocene” by Springer Publishers,

The scientific evidence for insect decline in Mexico is limited. However, many alarming environmental issues related to the deforestation and urbanization of Mexico leave little doubt that insect losses reported for other regions of the globe are also occurring here. Given the enormity of the task of sufficiently describing factors affecting the highly diverse and poorly known insect fauna of a megadiverse country such as Mexico, the talk will focus on selected topics and case studies concerning insect species or communities unique to the country, including butterflies, beetles and Homoptera.

“California: Butterflies and Beyond”

Presented by Presented by Ian M. Wright - Field Biologist
Description: In this talk Ian will take you on a lepidopterist’s tour of California. We will highlight some of the unique butterflies in the state as well as the habitats, soils, and biogeography that make California such an interesting state for insects. Bio: Ian M. Wright is a field biologist with over two decades of entomological expertise. He has conducted butterfly surveys, sampled insect diversity, taught courses in entomology and natural history, and curated entomology collections in California and Texas. He has worked on projects to conserve threatened species and is driven by a fascination with their natural history. Ian is also an avid macro and nature photographer and documents the species and habitats he observes on expeditions around the country and the globe.
Galls: Let's Get Curiously Addicted! - Presented by Kimberlie Sasan a Texas Master Naturalist
Galls are fascinating structures found on a wide variety of plants. These abnormal growths are caused by a range of organisms, including insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria. Galls can vary in size, shape, and color, and can serve a range of functions for the organisms that inhabit them. This presentation will explore the diverse range of galls found in nature, from the simple bumps caused by mites to the complex structures induced by wasps. Join us to learn what galls are, how to identify the organisms that make them, and even how you could find the next undescribed species! Bio Kimberlie Sasan is a Texas Master Naturalist from the Fort Worth area. She started out with a wide variety of volunteer activities, mostly bluebird nestbox monitoring and working with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, both of which she still does today, but quickly recognized an interest in insects. She completed the Volunteer Master Entomology Specialist class in 2018. She enjoys mothing and traveling across Texas to iNat new flora and fauna. In 2022 she described a gall new to science, Druon laceyi, and will be presenting a more in-depth talk on galls at the Texas Annual Master Naturalist Meeting in McAllen this October. Kimberlie is also an Herbarium and Research Assistant at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
The Joy of Flies - Presentedd by Laura Kimberly a Texas Master Naturalist in the North Texas Chapter.
Don’t’ be fooled by mimicry and misinformation. Flies, taxonomically known as the Diptera, are colorful, elusive, beguiling, acrobatic, charming, and helpful. So, you ask, there’s more to flies than filth and bite? Yes! How would you know? Find the joy of flies by taking a closer look at the qualities across the wide diversity of the Diptera with an overview of dipteran life histories, feeding habits, and beneficial behaviors, and basic fly family identification. All that; so, you too can advocate for flies and their important ecological roles. Laura Kimberly is a Texas Master Naturalist in the North Texas Chapter. Flies and other insects caught her attention and earned her appreciation as she worked to rescue, propagate, and plant native flowers and grasses as a prairie restoration volunteer. After completing the Texas A&M AgriLife volunteer entomology specialist training in 2017, she has pursued many opportunities, from podcasts to college courses, to learn more about the habits and habitats of flies as well as other insects. She is a community scientist and insect photographer who uses those skills to advocate for flies and extol the benefits of insects.

"Cool biology in a hot place: the Central American Tropics". by James Adams a Lepidopterist and Professor of Biology (1990-present )

Monday 01-24-2022

Description: The talk covers a wide range of topics, from what makes the tropics the tropics, different tropical habitats/biomes, interesting plants and plant-plant relationships, pollination modalities, various vertebrate animal groups, a rather long section on insect defenses against predation, insects and what they eat, insect attraction to lights, and a short section on deforestation and sustainable practices in the tropics.

Dr. James Adams

[Modified] Bio: James Adams is a Lepidopterist and Professor of Biology (1990-present ), Dalton State College, Dalton, Georgia. He was born 1960, Smithville, Missouri and has three degrees: B.S. (1983), M.Phil. (1987), Ph.D. (1990), all from Univ. of Kansas. James is a specialist in “Macro” lepidoptera (esp. Noctuoidea), of Georgia and Kansas and has amassed a collection of 60,000+ prepared specimens. He has published on the butterfly biodiversity on Sapelo Island, a barrier island of Georgia and co-authored the description of a new species of moth from there as well as a new moth species from northern Arizona and southeastern Utah. He is a co-author of a chapter on Superfamily Zygaenoidea in Moth

Convergence of Texas beetle data from collections, BugGuide, and iNaturalist.

Monday 2-28-2022

Description: GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, is the global umbrella group for online biota locality data including Texas beetle data. GBIF is growing exponentially, driven in large part due to the exponential growth of data coming from iNaturalist. Also contributing to GBIF are copious amounts of specimen data, particularly from the Texas A&M University Insect Collection (TAMUIC) and from BugGuide. I will discuss the growth and ramifications of the availability of Texas beetle data.

Mike Quinn has been a board member of the Austin Butterfly Forum for over 20 yrs and has been studying beetles for nearly 30 years in close association with Ed Riley, the foremost authority on Texas beetles.

The Ways in which Butterflies Fly - Presented by John Acorn.

Butterflies don't just flutter, and birds don't merely flap. They also hover, glide, soar, burst, stoop and perform a remarkable suite of additional flight styles, all in accordance with their sizes, shapes, and situations. Join me for an explanation of bird and butterfly flight that will focus on the different "modes" that these animals use while in the air. I promise to go easy on the physics, and also to give you some tips that might enhance your wildlife viewing experience, and encourage you to make more use of that slow-motion setting on your camera or smartphone. Bio:John Acorn is a biologist and naturalist, and he teaches at the University of Alberta. John has been a lifelong resident of Edmonton, and he is best known for his television series Acorn, The Nature Nut, and as the author of some twenty books on natural history subjects.


Title:"Adventures in New Mexico Butterflies-Presented by Steve Cary."

[Modified] Bio:Born and raised in the Upper Midwest, Steve earned his M.S. at the University of Wisconsin. After coming to New Mexico in 1980, Steve worked professionally for 35 years in resource management, environmental protection and nature conservation. Butterflies have always been Steve’s passion and he has published a variety of scientific and popular articles on his favorite creatures. Through countless butterfly talks and guided walks, he has become New Mexico's Butterfly Guy. New Mexico Magazine published his book, Butterfly Landscapes of New Mexico, in 2009. He self-published a biography of 19th-Century naturalist Winslow Howard in 2020. For the last two years he has been blogging about New Mexico butterflies and collaborating with Mike Toliver to assemble an on-line field guide to Butterflies of New Mexico.

Dinumma Deponens Moth

Title: "Dinumma Deponens in the U.S.: the continuing saga. Contributions from social media and citizen science"

James Adams is a repeat speaker for the Austin Butterfly Forum. This month James will give a fun presentation on the spread across the Southeast US of a Noctuoidea moth first collected by James and a colleague in Georgia in 2012, Last year it was recorded at Tyler State Park in ne. Texas! Bio: James Adams is a Lepidopterist and Professor of Biology (1990-present ), Dalton State College, Dalton, Georgia. He grew up in Missouri and has three degrees: B.S. (1983), M.Phil. (1987), Ph.D. (1990), all from Univ. of Kansas. James is a specialist in “Macro” lepidoptera (esp. Noctuoidea), of Georgia and Kansas and has amassed a collection of 60,000+ prepared specimens. He was the 2004/05 president of the Lepidopterists Society and has co-authored the description of new species of moths from Georgia and the southwest. James' presentation should last 30 minutes.

Dinumma Deponens Moth

Title - What Makes a Tick Tick?

Description - Learn about ticks within the US and abroad, their ecology, diseases they vector, control methods, and more. Bio - Tyler Hedlund works for the USDA, originally as an Area Identifier in Laredo, TX, but now as a Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist in Champaign, IL. No matter the location, he is always collecting and learning more about the local arthropods. His background is in ticks and Orthoptera, but his interests have expanded to include spiders and various beetle families.

Dinumma Deponens Moth

Title- North To Alaska: Butterflying In The Last Frontier.

Overview: Bill Dempwolf will discuss butterflying in Alaska. What to consider when planning, what habitats and what butterflies you might encounter. Bio: Bill Dempwolf has been interested in butterflies and moths since getting hooked as an adult in 2006. Bill is an enthusiastic amateur lepidopterist with a special passion for skippers. His butterflying trips outside Texas have included Alaska, California, Florida and Peru.

Title-Dragonflies What I learned from Odonates: a ‘Big Year’ of adventures and discoveries

Benjamin Schwartz, PhD Professor, Department of Biology Director, Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center Texas State University San Marcos, Texas, 78666

Title-The Urban Butterfly Initiative by Paul Switzer PH. D.

Getting people to notice, understand, and value nature is a key challenge in today’s ever more urban and technological world. In his presentation, Paul Switzer will explain the genesis of the Urban Butterfly Initiative, a community service nonprofit he founded in 2018 that uses butterflies as the hook for broader conservation, environmental education, and community building goals across communities in central Illinois. Brief BIO: Dr. Paul Switzer received his Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis and is currently a Professor of Biology at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. He has published over 60 research and teaching articles. He started the Grand Prairie Butterfly Club in 2003 and in 2018, he founded the Urban Butterfly Initiative, 501(c)3 non-profit for which he currently serves as Director.

Our first Austin Butterfly Forum Field Trip in over a year! - Come Join US

Commons Ford Metropolitan Park ( 614 N Commons Ford Rd, Austin Sunday, May 30, 2021 9 - 12 am Free of charge

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.

A Life Beyond Butterflies by Betsy Betros.,

Her book is titled A Photographic Field Guide to the Butterflies in the Kansas City Region. It is available for purchase on the following website link: click here to purchase book.

Betsy Betros Bio: Graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Entomology in 1976.

Note: This discussion will look at the process of writing her book on Butterflies of the Kansas City Region and then into working on an inventory of bugs and spiders on her 5 acres.

Member Show and Tell

Note: This Month we have an Open Show and Tell with our ABF and Facebook Members

A Tribute to a Texas Naturalist: Greg Lasley (1949-2021)

The recent passing of Greg Lasley has brought into focus his wide-ranging career in linking people with nature. As a top birder, world-class photographer, and patient citizen scientist, Greg Lasley touched the lives of countless others during his own quest to study and understand the natural world. His long-time friend and birding companion Chuck Sexton will review the breadth of Greg’s contributions, particularly with respect to the world of insects, and relate a few personal stories of their travels during a 40-year friendship.

Presented by Dr. Chuck Sexton, a retired wildlife biologist, birder, iNaturalist, and lecturer.

An Interview with @greglasley from iNaturalist on Vimeo.

Greg Lasley

Greg Lasley

Male Sex Scales of Moths – Natural Wicks for Scent Dispersal”

Male Sex Scales of Moths – Natural Wicks for Scent Dispersal Butterflies and moths have attracted much attention because of their colorful wing patterns derived from pigments inside their scales. Males of many Lepidoptera have scales that lack pigments, but rather are used for producing and disseminating pheromones that are essential for mating success. This presentation is based on examinations of the male scent scales of tortricid and gelechiid moths with a scanning electron microscope. The images of magnified scales have revealed another kind of beauty with the structural innovations that increase surface area to improve dissemination as well as different ways of protecting the scent scales when not in courtship.

Richard L. Brown I began collecting and studying microlepidoptera in Arkansas during the 1960’s and obtained my M.S. degree in Entomology at the University of Arkansas. After serving as a medical entomologist in the U.S. Army at Ft. Sam Houston, I obtained a Ph.D. at Cornell University in 1980. I was then employed as Director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University where I also taught courses in Insect Taxonomy, Aquatic Insects, and Immature Insects. My research has concentrated on morphology and systematics of tortricid and gelechiid moths and has involved fieldwork throughout the U.S. and in Chile, Venezuela, New Caledonia, Fiji Islands, and Thailand. Since my retirement in 2020, I have greatly enjoyed working full time on moths and manuscripts.

Richard L. Brown is the W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus as well as Director Emeritus, Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University. Richard began collecting insects during the 1960's in northwestern Arkansas. As a student at University of Arkansas (M.S., 1973), he became interested in the Lepidoptera, especially the "micros" of the southern Ozarks. After serving as a medical entomologist in the military for two years, Richard concentrated on the systematics of the large micro moth family of Tortricidae at Cornell University. Upon completing my doctorate in 1980, I was employed as Director of the Mississippi Entomological Museum and Assistant Professor to teach taxonomy courses at Mississippi State University. Following collecting trips around the world, Richard began concentrating on the relatively unknown moth fauna in southeastern U.S., especially in unique and threatened habitats in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Thaumatotibia Sex Scales

Crocidosema Sex Scales

Nutritional Ecology: from basic research to developing sustainable management programs for grasshoppers and other herbivorous invertebrates, A journey through the USA, Australia, and Senegal!

Presented by: Marion Le Gall, Assistant Reseach Professor: Arizona State University. This talk will be about the unique challenges of grasshopper management on various continents. It is aimed at a broad audience.

Marion Le Gall has always loved insects and translated that interest into a career as a nutritional ecologist to study generalist herbivores. Her research seeks to understand how generalists solve the problem of balancing multiple and changing nutrient needs and how it affects their behavior and performance. She likes to use a physiological approach (the Geometric Framework) as a window into mechanisms underlying ecological patterns and processes. The overarching goal of her research is to use these insights to help establish sustainable management programs for herbivorous pests.

"Life in a Leaf: The Wonderful World of Leafminers".

Presented By: Charley Eiseman a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts.

Description: Leafminers are insect larvae that spend at least part of their lives feeding between the epidermal layers of leaves. In North America they include over 2000 species of moths, flies, beetles, and sawflies, belonging to over 50 different families. These insects are typically quite host-specific, and the form of the mine varies considerably depending on what insect produces it. As a result, it is often possible to identify the responsible insect using only the host plant and mine characteristics. After a decade of reviewing the relevant literature, traveling throughout the continent, and collecting and rearing thousands of leafminers, Charley has completed a guide to the North American species that includes keys to the mines found on each plant genus. This slideshow presentation will introduce the major groups of leafminers, drawing all of the examples from among the 200+ species he found in his yard last year. Bio: Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts. He has been conducting plant and wildlife surveys and natural resource inventories throughout New England for over 20 years, as well as teaching courses and workshops on interpreting animal tracks and sign (both vertebrate and invertebrate). He holds an MS in Botany (Field Naturalist) from the University of Vermont and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts. Charley is the author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), Leafminers of North America (self-published e-book, 2019), and an insect-themed blog called “BugTracks.” He has also published around 50 scientific papers on insect natural history, including the description of over 75 new species.

"Overview of Scarabs with focus on Rhinoceros Beetles"

"Presented by Dr. Salvador Vitanza Entomologiest with the USDA-APHIS-PPQ based in Nogales Arizona; PH D from University of Missouri.">

Description: The Scarab beetles (family Scarabaeidae) have attracted human attention and curiosity since ancient times. They are the most speciose and biologically diverse among the 12 Scarabaeoidea families. Scarab aficionados have placed most of their attention on the Rhinoceros beetles (subfamily Dynastinae) because of their beauty, environmental impact, and, in some cases, impressive size. This presentation will cover Dynastine beetles morphology, life history, collecting techniques, and identification to tribe level.

Bio: Originally from Honduras, Salvador works as an Entomologist for USDA-APHIS-PPQ based in Nogales, Arizona. All his higher education was obtained in entomology: Bachelor of Science from University of Florida, MSc. from Louisiana State University, Ph.D. from University of Missouri , and a Post-Doc at The Ohio State University. His work experience includes extension, research, teaching, administration, and the agrochemical industry. Salvador's applied entomological background includes integrated pest management (IPM) in cotton, pecan, small grains, field crops, and vegetables. His favorite obsession is documenting arthropods through macro photography. He has posted over 26,200 images in BugGuide ( and manages a website called Southwest Bugs ( where he posts arthropods from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Salvador loves his current job to the point that he is not looking for a fancier position and is in no hurry to retire.

Salvador Vitanza

Grants Hercules Bettle Eggs

lecture on butterflys by example smith t. phd


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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