The State insect of Maryland happens to be endangered in the state. Historically, the species’ distribution in Maryland spanned 15 counties, most of which contained multiple breeding colonies. Today, however, wild colonies are known from only 11 sites in 7 counties. Unfortunately, the checkerspot is not the only species of butterfly in Maryland whose populations are declining or worse yet, have become extirpated (extinct in the state).  Fred Paras, president of the Maryland Entomological Society and invertebrate curator for NHSM, will present on those species we used to find a good number of species locally (Balt, Howard, Mont, Carroll, PG, Fred, Charles, Dorchester,, many other counties) and they aren’t around any longer.  A few species only very scanty observations if at all.

Fred Paraskevoudakis, President – Maryland Entomological Society. Professor – Natural and Physical Sciences department, vice-president Faculty Senate, Baltimore City Community College (BCCC), Baltimore, MD and NHSM Invertebrates Curator, Malacology.  Fred Paras has been teaching primarily Microbiology at BCCC since 1992, but has also taught Environmental Science and Biotechnology courses. He hold two Bachelors from U. of Md., an MS from JHU (Environmental Science) and an MS from Towson (Biology). His passion for insects and natural history began over fifty years ago, and has continually increased throughout his life. He is an ardent traveler, photographer and prodigious collector who has been fortunate to visit many places in the world.

The Lep Club, is made up of novice and expert lepidopterists who meet to exchange knowledge and support concerning habitat, threats, food sources, identification, and life cycle of butterflies and moths. Club meetings encourage a sharing of knowledge for the raising and breeding of moths and butterflies through hands-on lessons and guest speakers. Club members are also involved in outreach in the greater Baltimore community through educational programs and service projects. Club meetings feature a guest speaker that share their knowledge on a topic related to moths and butterflies as well as time to distribute caterpillars and eggs. As a group, we rear and share incredible native butterflies and saturniid moths (lunas, polyphemus, cedropia, imperials and more) with one another. Senior club members always walk you through everything you need to know in order to successfully raise your new friends. The goal is to raise enough leps that some can be released and increase the wild population.
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