This entry-level classroom course will focus on the biology and ecology of butterflies that call Joshua Tree National Park their home. Students will learn how to tell a butterfly from a moth, the life stages of a butterfly, the significance of larval versus nectar plants, seasonal changes in the local butterfly fauna, and how to distinguish among the six major butterfly families, including representative park species from each family. There is an optional field outing (additional fee) on October 1st in which students will visit a location within Joshua Tree National Park where a variety of butterflies can be observed. Emphasis will be on low-impact butterfly identification using techniques familiar to birders such as recognition of field marks, behavior, and cues related to habitat and season.
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