July 26 - July 30 • Tucson, Arizona

Hosted by

The Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group

2016 Preliminary Program
Subject to Change
July 26
8:00am - 12:00pm
IABES Meeting
1:30 - 4:30pm
TITAG Meeting
1:00pm - 4:00pm

Thank you to our Gold Level Sponsors:

July 27
6:30 - 8:30am
1:30 - 5:30pm
FIELD TRIPS - Pre-registration required
7:00am - 4:00pm

Tiger Safari (12 participants) Led by Doug Taron, Chicago Museum of Science

Willcox Playa, about 1.5 hours from our hotel, is one of the world's tiger beetle hotspots. Over 20 species have been recorded there, including numerous endemics. There will be ample opportunity for collecting and photography at several good viewing spots in the area. In addition to tiger beetles, expect good grasshopper diversity, tarantula hawks, and lots of other cool stuff. Prepare for hot, dry conditions, as this is an old lakebed with salt pannes and no shade. If there is time we will stop at French Joe Canyon, home of big bugs, as we return to Tucson.

7:10am - 4:00pm

Butterfly Wonderland (24 Participents) Led by Michael Buckman, Callaway Gardens

Butterfly Wonderland is the largest indoor butterfly pavilion in America and provides a magnificent, lush rainforest atrium where thousands of butterflies from around the world fly freely.  The experience also includes a 3D theater experience, the Butterfly Emergence Gallery, honey bees, desert nature exhibits, a stingray touch tank, and more.  Max Shure, Assistant Curator, will be guiding us through the facility and offering a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the operation of this state-of-the-art butterfly exhibit.  Butterfly Wonderland is located in Scottsdale, just two hours from the hotel.

7:20am - 4:00pm

BUG TOURS Episode 24 – The Desert Awakens (24 Participants) Led by Zack Lemann, Audubon Insectarium

A short time ago in a habitat not too far away… The Entomologists’ Alliance had been visiting a remote region of southeast Arizona for years. As the summer rains came, they ventured into canyons and scrublands to find that the arthropod fauna had blossomed. Seeking a continuation of their success, they sent a team of intrepid explorers back in 2016 to examine cacti, turn rocks, and swing nets. Come collect and observe all that this amazing land has to offer on a day long field trip. In addition to gathering fascinating information and (we hope) terrific invertebrates for your exhibits, you will also have a chance to create philosophical quotes like these: This net is the tool of the entomologist. Not as clumsy or random as trying to catch butterflies by hand; an elegant device from a more civilized age. I find your lack of bugs disturbing [only to be used if it’s been too dry]. Remember: a Bugi (or gal) can feel the monsoons flowing through the Sonoran landscape.

7:30am - 4:00pm

Waterfalls and Water Bugs (12 participants) Led by Shane "Bugz" Burchfield, Bugs of America

We will be exploring the Catalina Mountains by foot in this exploration focusing on but not limited to waterfalls and water bugs. The hiking will be moderate to difficult and weather permitting. A extra pair of shoes and clothing or bathing suit is recommended. This field trip will give all who attend an opportunity to experience many aspects of the local mountain range, riparian area and wildlife. Feel free to bring a camera but not your nets, collecting is not permitted on this field trip.

7:45am - 1:45pm

Pass the Peppersauce, Please! (24 participants) Led by Howard Byrne, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Peppersauce Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountain range is a great place to escape the warmer reaches of the lower desert during the day. It's nestled in at around 4,700 feet in elevation, and even boasts a nearby cave! This ephemeral riparian area is lined by Sycamore, Walnut and Ash trees. The surrounding hills are 'peppered' with oaks, grasses and yucca. Arthropod species are as varied as other more southerly sky islands, and it's even a notable birding location. It's a beautiful spot for a half-day field trip, and we'll be back to the resort by early afternoon. This will be a new and different area, so come along and check it out!

5:30 - 9:00pm
Welcome, Keynote Presentation, and Reception

Dr. Karen Oberhauser is a Professor in the Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly ecology. Her research depends on traditional lab and field techniques, as well as the contributions of a variety of audiences through citizen science; this research has resulted in over 100 scientific publications. Her strong interest in promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy led to the development of a science education program that involves courses for teachers, and opportunities for youth to engage in research and share their findings with broad audiences. In 1996, she and graduate student Michelle Prysby started a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, which continues to engage hundreds of volunteers throughout North America. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that the connections her projects promote between monarchs, humans, and the natural world promote meaningful conservation action. She is the chair of the Monarch Joint Joint Venture, and a founding officer of the Monarch Butterfly Fund. In 2013, Karen received a White House Champion of Change award for her work with Citizen Science.

Dwindling numbers for an iconic insect: A conservation biologist ponders moving beyond the documentation of declines

Monarch butterflies populations have been declining over the last 20 years. Because insect numbers are notoriously difficult to assess, and because they often show large year to year fluctuations, simply documenting this decline has been a challenge. It is now important to move beyond simple documentation, and toward responding to the challenge posed by monarch conservation, and insect conservation in general. Monarchs are negatively impacted by many human activities, and various scientists and monarch advocates have implicated habitat degradation and loss, pesticide use, climate change, vehicular collisions, invasive species, and pathogen spread in their dwindling numbers. In this presentation, I’ll describe the amazing biology of migratory monarch populations, and the work of citizens and scientists in documenting monarch numbers at all stages of their migratory cycle. I’ll then discuss threats to monarchs, and potential responses to these threats. Because conservation biology must be, at its essence, a science of hope, my focus is on positive changes as well as on the challenges posed by declining monarch numbers.

Thank you to our Silver Level Sponsors:


July 28
7:00am - 4:00pm
Silent Auction
7:00am - 4:00pm
Registration and Exhibits -- Registration may close during paper sessions and lunch.
Welcome and Announcements
8:10 - 9:30am
From the Field

Joseph Soltis - Disney's Animal Kingdom Zoo
How honeybees are helping elephant conservation in Kenya

Zak Gezon, Anne Savage, and Jaret Daniels - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Changes in butterfly community composition driven by shifting phenolgies

Jacqueline and Katie Genovesi
A teens perspective: Using butterfly farms and exhibits to engage teens in critical environmental issues such as climate change.

Tim Becker - ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park
Propagation and Repatriation of the Regal Fritillary Butterfly

9:30 - 9:50am
Announcements and Break -- Please visit the Exhibit Hall!
9:50 - 10:50am
Bugs in the Machine - Tech Talks

Gwen Pearson - Purdue University
Social Media Tips and Tricks

Patricia Nichols - Insectopia
Insect Education through YouTube

Amber Zelmer - Houston Zoo
Using Photographic Guides & Charts to Integrate ‘Non-invertebrate’ Keepers into an Invertebrate House (short)

Prof. J. Phineas Michaelson (aka Mike Weissmann) - US Biological and Geological Survey of the Territories
It’s All Geek To Me: Translating Names Of Insectarium Arthropods

David Suttinger - Houston Zoo
Creating Buzz at the Houston Zoo Bug House with Time Lapse (short)

10:50 - 11:30am
Special Presentation: Social Media Tips and Tricks
COMPLIMENTARY lunch provided for conference participants
1:30 - 4:30pm
Desert Ants: Collecting and Managed Care, Part I: Laboratory Techniques (15 participants)
Led by Randy Morgan - Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and Paige Howorth - San Diego Zoo

The first part of this comprehensive workshop concerns how to set up and maintain ant colonies and/or freshly collected queens for long-term maintenance. Materials to build artificial nests and contain ants will be discussed, as well as general techniques for the care of captive ant colonies. Participants will work directly with nest construction materials and collaborate to create laboratory ant habitats.

This is a two part workshop. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to sign up for both parts.
1:30 - 4:30pm
Let's Teach You How to Teach (24 participants) Led by Kelsey Johnson, National Park Service

Educational programming is changing at a rapid pace across the nation with various ground-breaking initiatives. Inclusion and knowledge of these trends strengthens any educational institutions programming, thus, attracting visitors and improving overall visitor experiences. Participants will learn theories such as learning styles, the basics of common core, 5E inquiry-based education techniques and how to write curriculum -based lessons plans. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop their own lesson plans, including hands-on curriculum-based activities, with one-on-one instruction and group discussion.
1:30 - 4:30pm
Make Your Own Habitat for Invertebrates! (25 participants) Led by Nicky Williams & Tony Ruiz, Reynolds Advanced Materials

This shop will include an assessment of easy-to-use 2-part liquid silicone rubbers, liquid plastics and self-hardening epoxy putties all of which can be used to fabricate new, or enhance existing invertebrate habitats. Techniques for processing materials properly and efficiently will be covered to help you effectively create naturalistic environments with an authentic appearance. Session will include demonstrations by presenters as well as practical hands-on experience.
FIELD TRIPS - Pre-registration required.
1:30 - 10:00pm
Border Bugs 2016 - The Monsoon Gods Have Spoken
(previously Hot Chili Peppers and Hot Bugs) (36 participants)

Led by Jim Melli - San Diego Natural History Museum

We will explore the beautiful Pajarito Wilderness just north of the border. The proximity to the border and variety of habitats ranging from Madrean woodlands, desert grasslands, streams, ponds, and rocky hillsides bristling with ocotillo and agave insure that something groovy will show up. After nightfall we can hang out at a mercury vapor blacklight and see what comes in. Last year we saw giant killer centipedes and other cool bugs, including aquatics. Among the herps that we saw, were short-horned lizards, black-headed and hook-nose snakes. What will we find in 2016?
7:00 - 11:00pm

Thank you to our Luncheon Level Sponsors:

July 29
7:00am - 4:00pm
Silent Auction
7:00am - 4:00pm
Registration and Exhibits -- Registration may close during paper sessions and lunch.
Welcome and Announcements
8:10 - 10:10am
Life Support: Invertebrate Husbandry and Natural History

Tad Yankoski - Sophia M Sachs Butterfly House
Increased fecundity and larval growth rate of African fruit chafer, (Pachnoda sinuata flaviventris) in a novel, fermented substrate.

Devin Krafka - Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Troubleshooting Exstatosoma tiaratum population decline (short)

Howard Byrne - Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
There's a Notocyphus on my back!

Tim O'Sullivan - St. Louis Zoo
Captive Rearing Study of Thermonectus marmoratus

Lauren Bloomenthal or Katie Malmberg - Pacific Science Center
Observing an Observation Hive

Mike Cash - Woodland Park Zoo
The Light Side of Darklings: Pupation and Eclosion of Pinacate Beetles, Eleodes spp.(short)

Kelli Walker - San Diego Zoo
Life History and Managed Care of the Coconut Crab, Birgus latro

10:10 - 10:30am
Announcements and Break -- Please visit the Exhibit Hall!
10:30 - 12:30pm
Special Husbandry Session

The Special Husbandry Session is organized to promote the discussion of husbandry in our industry, and to expand on the topics presented in the preceding paper session. All are welcome to join!

TOPICS: Beetles, honey bee observation hive management, phasmid pathology, coconut crabs.

COMPLIMENTARY lunch provided for conference participants
1:30 - 4:30pm

Desert Ants: Collecting and Managed Care, Part II: Field Observations (15 participants) Led by Randy Morgan - Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and Paige Howorth - San Diego Zoo

The second session of this two-part workshop will involve traveling to nearby southern Arizona habitats in search of desert ants. The ecology and natural history of these ants will be covered, as well as methods to collect, observe, and transport colonies or individuals.

This is a two part workshop. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to sign up for both parts.

1:30 - 4:30PM
Workshop Natural Born Botanists: Insects and their Hosts (20 participants)
Led by John Watts-Texas Discovery Gardens, Nancy Greig -Cockrell Butterfly Center

The best entomologists know their plants! Most herbivorous insects are dependent on one or a few species of closely related plants. We will help you learn to identify some of the most important plants from an insect's point of view, using hands on techniques (observations in the "field" at the Tucson Botanical Garden where we will have access to a wide variety of plants). We'll bring some specimens back to the hotel for closer observation/dissection (bring a hand lens if you have one).
1:30 - 2:30pm

Topics in Butterfly House Management
Facilitated by Lauren Williamson - IABES

Are you concerned with butterfly conservation or how it is portrayed in our industry? What types of education and interpretation would you like to see more in exhibits? Do you have a favorite nectar or host plant? These are just some of the potential topics we will cover in the roundtable. We welcome all butterfly houses and similar institutions as well as breeders, suppliers and anyone else who has an interest!

2:45 - 4:45PM
Education Special Roundtable
Facilitated by Catherine Bartlett - Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

An overlap between arthropods and education is inevitable in zoo, museum, and collegiate settings. We all love bugs but spreading the appreciation and conservation message naturally comes with challenges. Participants will engage in discussions and share their own experiences. Don’t reinvent the wheel- just learn from others! This two-hour roundtable will have 5 break-out topics led by Jessie Sutherland (Battling Burnout), Kelseyanne Johnson (Advertising Your Program), Gwen Pearson (Fundraising), Karen Verderame (Organizing Insect Events) and Catherine Bartlett (Know Your Audience-and Engage Them). Even the most seasoned outreach educator will come away with fresh ideas from this powerhouse group of arthropod-ophiles!
7:00 - 11:00pm
Evening Adventures TBD
Check back soon for updates!

Thank you to our Bronze Level, Roundtable and Snack Sponsors:


July 30
7:00am - 1:00pm
Silent Auction
7:00am - 1:00pm
Registration and Exhibits -- Registration may close during paper sessions and lunch.
Welcome and Announcements
8:10 - 9:30am
Sustaining Flight: Butterfly House Nutrition and Tradition

Justin Dunning - Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Raising Giants

Nancy Greig - Cockrell Butterfly Center, Houston Museum of Natural Science
Stepping Up and Stepping Down: 22 Years at the Cockrell Butterfly Center

Nathan Brockman - Reiman Gardens
Going Vertical: New Take on Artificial Nectar Feeders

Anita Westphal - Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University
The Trials and Tribulations of Horticultural Design in a Butterfly House at a Public Garden

9:30 - 9:50am
Announcements and Break -- Please visit the Exhibit Hall!
Better Together: Engagement and Collaboration

Sarah Garrett - Butterfly Pavilion
Colorado Pollinator Summit 2016: Combining Conservation Efforts Statewide

Catherine Bartlett - Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Polishing a Presentation: Tips and Tricks for Successful Shows

Ron Wagler -The University of Texas at El Paso
Scientific Inquiry Activities with Madagascar Hissing Roaches: An Effective Way to Enrich Your Arthropod Education Program

Bob Merz - Saint Louis Zoo
Engaging different “Communities” in Endangered Species Invertebrate Conservation

11:10 - 11:30am
Announcements and Break -- Please visit the Exhibit Hall!
11:30 - 12:15pm

USDA Roundtable facilitated by Wayne Wehling, USDA/APHIS PPQ
This discussion will cover updates to USDA/APHIS PPQ policy as well as serve as a question and answer session for permit holders.

1:30 - 4:00pm
Bug Appetit! (20 participants)
Led by Zack Lemann, Audubon Institution

In recent years, interest in entomophagy has increased markedly in the U.S., and many natural history facilities have started single-day or weekend events involving edible insects. This workshop will offer a broad overview of how to go about serving tasting portions of cooked insects at a zoo, museum, or nature center. Participants will get a chance to do some cooking (and eating!) of their own, and the floor will be open for questions, discussion, and definitely trading stories for those who’ve been down the bug cooking road before. Practical pieces, background information, and good-natured banter included!
1:30 - 4:30pm
Art and the Single Bug (20 participants)
Led by Jim Melli - San Diego Natural History Museum

Here is your chance to get up close and personal with a groovy bug! In this workshop, participants will learn to observe and record their observations as drawings, with the guidance of Jim Melli, exhibit designer and skilled illustrator. Participants do not need to be artists, but would have to look closely at specimens and record details of their subjects as accurately as possible. A small sketchbook, pencil and sharpener, eraser, magnifier, and choice of specimens will be supplied. Come learn the basics of field illustration from one of the best!
1:30 - 3:00pm

Pollinators Unite!
Facilitated by Dr. Joseph Soltis, Dr. Zak Gezon and Jamie Sincage - Disney's Animal Kingdom

This round table is designed to bring anyone that is working on a pollinator project (whether it be bees, bats, beetles or butterflies) or someone looking into starting a pollinator project into one room to share ideas, best practices and just talk pollinators! Participants are encouraged to come ready to brag about their projects whether it be conservation, climate change , interspecies interactions, citizen science or just a cool local pollinator projects (photos are encouraged). Ultimately a spreadsheet compiled with all projects and contacts will be generated as a resource for all participants.

Final Silent Auction bids, Cash Bar and Banquet
Dancing until...?

We are pleased to announce that the following institutions are offering free admission during the week of the conference. Just show your conference ID badge to receive admission:

Reid Park Zoo, Butterfly Wonderland, Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson Botanical Garden & Desert Botanical Garden