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Announcing the Sixth Annual Lepidoptera Course, 16–25 August, 2015

Held at the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) in the Chiricahua Mountains in SE Arizona (a 2.5 hour drive from Tucson), the focus of the Lep Course 2015 (August 16-25, 2015) is to train graduate students, postdocs, faculty, state and federal employees, and citizen-scientists in the classification and identification of adult Lepidoptera and their larvae. Topics to be covered include the biology and systematics of major families of Lepidoptera, an introduction to adult and larval morphology with a focus on taxonomically important traits, extensive field work that concentrates on  both collecting and photographing adults and larvae, collecting and curatorial techniques, genitalic dissection, larval classification, use (and abuse) of DNA barcoding, and general topics in Lepidoptera systematics, ecology, and evolution.

With its extensive series of Sky Island mountain ranges, SE Arizona has the highest Lepidoptera diversity in the United States. With low desert scrub, oak and mixed oak-pine woodland, lush riparian, juniper, Douglas fir, and mountain meadow habitats – all within a 40 minute drive from the station – the SWRS is an ideal location from which to sample this diversity of both habitats and species.

If you want to interact with other Lepidoptera enthusiasts, see a spectacular Dysschema, identify the Organ of vom Rath, sort through trap samples with hundreds of species, learn about diversity of Lepidoptera, and enjoy the vistas of the SE Arizona, then this course will provide a unique experience.

Partial list of invited instructors (subject to change):

  • Richard Brown (Mississippi Entomological Museum)
  • Jennifer Bundy (RD4AG)
  • Chris Grinter (Illinois Natural History Survey)
  • Don Harvey (Smithsonian Institution)
  • Sangmi Lee (Arizona State University Hasbrouck Insect Collection)
  • Chris Schmidt (Canadian National Collection)
  • Bruce Walsh (University of Arizona)

For more information, see http://research.amnh.org/swrs/education/lepidoptera-course or www.lepcourse.org or contact Bruce Walsh at jbwalsh@u.arizona.edu. You can also see photos and comments from students in the 2011 course at their facebook site, “2011 Lep Course, SWRS SEAZ”.

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