Austin, Texas, is home to about 170 species of butterflies. It is also the home of the Austin Butterfly Forum, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to butterfly conservation and to enriching people's lives through butterflies. The Austin Butterfly Forum is a club that organizes field trips, conducts butterfly counts, promotes native gardening, performs conservation activities, and meets monthly for an educational presentation. We are a community of butterfly enthusiasts who also enjoy dragonflies & damselflies, bees, beetles, spiders and arthropods in general, and our meeting presentations span this gamut as well. Join Us!

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American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), photo by J. Keverline

Meetings are held in the Zilker Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78746 at 7:00 PM on the fourth Monday of each month except December.

Jan. 26, 2014, 7 PM meeting: How Do Butterflies Breathe?, presented by Dan Hardy.

Not like us! They have no lungs. Their skin is impermeable to air. They have a heart, but lack red blood cells. How do they pull this off?

Dan Hardy enjoys researching topics for club presentations. He has talked about Wallace and evolution, the butterflies of the Barton Creek Greenbelt, caterpillars and their food plants, and the biology of butterfly wing patterns. He is a pathologist and specializes in microbiology.

Feb. 23, 2014, 7 PM meeting: How butterflies can teach us about Natural Selection, presented by Peg Wallace.

Charles Darwin published his thesis “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” in 1859. The idea of “evolution” is familiar to most of us, but the mechanism proposed by Darwin may not be as familiar. He called this mechanism “natural selection” to distinguish it from the type of changes in species that we can see brought about by human selection.

This discussion will outline the basics of evolution and natural selection using examples from the world of insects, especially butterflies. Peg Wallace has a Master’s in Geography from the University of Texas, and worked as a teaching assistant in genetics for 5 years. She is fascinated with the topics of genetics, evolution and ecology, and enjoys teaching these concepts.


All of our normal events are open to the public, but you may want to become a member of the Austin Butterfly Forum to help support us and our events. We also treat members to some extra goodies, such as reduced admission to special programs that have a fee and discounts on purchases made at meetings. Membership is $20 annually per household payable during meetings or by mail to Doris Hill, ABF Treasurer, 1605 Broadmoor, Austin, TX 78723.

For more information, please contact Mike Quinn, ABF president at 512-577-0250 or

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