Chris Cosma: Lepidoptera Conservation with The Butterfly Net – Oct 3, 2022
Our October meeting is on the 3rd of October. The speaker is Chris Cosma, a Ph.D Candidate at the University of California, Riverside. Chris has been developing an app based on his research on Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) interactions with plants. The best way to protect Lepidoptera is to plant native plants! Chris will share how to find the plants best suited for your region and why. See the Zoom link for the meeting at the bottom of this post
The Butterfly Net is a web application that helps users find native plant species that best support Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), in both their caterpillar and adult stages, at any location in California. It was developed by Chris Cosma, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside, and it is currently hosted on R Shiny: https://ctcosma.shinyapps.io/the_butterfly_net/.
Lepidoptera populations are declining in California, driven mainly by the loss of native host and nectar plants due to habitat destruction. The goal of The Butterfly Net is to improve Lepidoptera conservation success in California by increasing the use of specific native plant species that provide resources for native butterflies and moths. The tool analyzes the complex networks of interactions between plants and Lepidoptera to identify “keystone” plant species—those that are most important to the insect community as a whole. It can be used by the public and professionals alike, to find plant species to use in anything from home gardens to restoration projects. Lepidoptera are important pollinators and an integral part of the food web.
Watch a video of the meeting: https://youtu.be/8ufZ_I6XuFY