Moth Madness program July 17th highlights lesser-known wildlife

Did you know there is only one known organism in the world that can breathe both underwater and on land, and that is a species of moth from Hawaii. Moths and butterflies really are the same thing — they come from the same order of insects called Lepidoptera. But butterflies are adapted to living during the day and moths are mostly nocturnal. Butterflies are beautifully patterned because they use vision to find each other, while moths use scent at night and are cryptically colored and camouflaged because they rest during the day.

Discover more about moths and butterflies during Moth Madness, a special educational program sponsored by the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas, July 17, 2015 at a private residence in the Poncha Springs area. Moth Madness is presented by Sam Johnson, a science teacher at The Colorado Springs School, where he works with outdoor labs and science seminars at the high school level. He maintains a large scientific collection of moths and holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Moth Madness starts at 7:15 am on Friday, July 17th. Sam will begin with investigating moths caught in light traps set-up the night before. He will go over identification, species diversity, natural history, and species distribution. After finishing with the moths the group will go on a short hike to search out butterflies using the area.

A special optional opportunity exists for all registered participants on the night of Thursday, July 16th. Interested individuals will meet in Poncha Springs at 8:15 pm to help set up a light trap for the next day’s program. Sam will also present a slideshow (outdoors and based on the weather) on moth families, predator-prey interactions, and population changes.

Advanced registration is required and participation is limited to only twelve individuals. The cost for the program is $5.00 for Land Trust members and $10.00 for non-members. To sign up, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the office at 719-539-7700. Meeting directions will be given at the time of registration. This program will be outdoors, dress appropriately for the weather. Programs are geared toward adult learners and participation is restricted to individuals 15 years of age or older.

Moth Madness is the first in a series of educational opportunities called Lesser-Known Wildlife sponsored by the Land Trust. Programs are $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Upcoming programs include the spiders and other Arachnids of Central Colorado, local reptiles, and bird conservation in the Western United States and how the Land Trust fits into this larger picture. Please visit for additional information about future programs.

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