July 27 - 31 • Tucson, Arizona

Hosted by

The Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group

2021 Preliminary Program
Subject to Change
July 27
9:00am - 4:00pm
TITAG Meeting - Location: Presidio III, IV, V
1:00pm - 4:00pm
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ice Breaker - Location: Santa Rita Upper Level & Balcony (Upper Level of Hotel Lobby)

Thank you to our Gold Level Sponsors:

July 28
6:30am - 8:30am
1:30pm - 5:30pm
7:00am - 10:00pm

Bugs, birds, and bobcats- It’s a Biodiversity Party! (10 participants) Led by Catherine Bartlett, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Sweetwater Wetlands is teaming with life! Explore this 60 acre urban wildlife habitat and outdoor classroom, with Catherine Barelett. It is home to a plethora of species for you to find. This area is full of cattails, cottonwoods, and mesquites trees, creating plenty of diverse habitats for aquatic and terrestrial animals. Waterfowl, aquatic insects, reptiles, and an occasional mammal call this place home. If you use eBird, iNaturalist, or love the challenge of wildlife photography, this is the place for you! Sweetwater is right off I-10 in Tucson and has 2.5 miles of flat walking paths including a paved ADA accessible portion. We’ll start at 7:00am since the early eBirder gets the worm. Bring binoculars for the best experience. (No collecting)

7:30am - 3:30pm

PAN...ACEA? THE DESERT SURE IS! (15 Participants) Led by Zack Lemann - Audubon Insectarium New Orleans

Assuming the bugs missed us as much as we missed them, this trip to the canyons south of Tucson should make for a fantastic reunion. "Cactus longhorn! I missed you so much!" "Giant with too many digits at the end of your limbs! What brought you back?" To be serious: a trip for observing and collecting arthropods after monsoon rains have made the Sonoran landscape spring to life is a special treat. This will be a car caravan lead by Zack Lemann, will be making approximately three stops to a variety of habitats ranging from cactus fields to rolling hills to moderate montane terrain. If you don't see a bug that makes your heart leap, you may have contracted a disease!

Water and route map provided, and trip leader will have a 1st aid kit, paper towels, and toilet paper. Lunch not provided - please pack your own. Responsible collecting allowed.

8:30 - 10:30am

Tucson Botanical Gardens (12 Participants)

Enjoy Tucson’s mid-town oasis during monsoon season! A brief overview of the Gardens’ history will be followed by a tour of the Gardens led by the Horticulture Manager. Topics during the tour will include an overview of the Gardens’ integrated pest management program, bee box partnership, and soil formation. After the tour of the grounds, the Curator of the Tropical Conservatory will discuss the butterfly program, including a visit inside the greenhouse to see orchids and other tropical plants (butterflies are not present in the summer months). Following the tour, participants can then self-guide to areas of interest, and consider visiting the café and gift shop. (Conservative specimen collecting is allowed on this field trip.)

9:00am - noon

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (12 participants) Led by Howard Bryne, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes of one of the best attractions in the Tucson area? Join Howard Bryne, Curator Extraordinaire as he leads you through the back areas of the Sonoran Desert museum, allowing participants to see sections of the facility not open to regular guests. Be prepared to be amazed at Howard’s knowledge of herpetology, entomology, ichthyology and well as desertology. Tour will last until it is done and participants can then venture out and enjoy the rest of the museum at their own leisure. Only collecting allowed is the vast knowledge Howard will be sharing. There are two great cafés on grounds making this the perfect half day excursion for those not ready to tackle a full day field trip.

5:30pm - 9:00pm
Welcome, Keynote Presentation, and Reception
Location: Presidio III, IV, V

Our IECC 2021 keynote speaker is Sergio Avila! Many of you know Sergio already, as he is a good friend of the Conference. He will be sharing his projects and perspectives on wildlife conservation and social justice in the natural world.

A little more about Sergio:
For over twenty years, Sergio has worked on local and regional conservation efforts along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, as a conservation scientist, wildlife researcher and facilitator of bi-national conservation projects. He has led collaborative efforts on connectivity for wildlife, habitat restoration, public education and interpretation in the U.S. southwest and northwest Mexico.

For over ten years, Avila tracked and studied borderland jaguars and ocelots in Sonora and Arizona. More recently, he led efforts to protect monarch butterflies promoting pollinator gardens in Arizona, and connecting efforts with a new monarch-monitoring network in northwest Mexico.

Sergio now works for the national Sierra Club in the Outdoor Activities Team. His focus is to support staff and volunteers in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah, with the mission to connect all people with the natural world and with the Sierra Club, by maintaining and enhancing diversified, superior, volunteer-run outdoor activities that support the Sierra Club’s conservation mission.

We all know how special the Tucson area is, and we look forward to hearing about Sergio's experiences when we gather there in July!

Thank you to our Silver Level Sponsors:


July 29
7:00am - 4:00pm
Registration- Registration may close during paper sessions and lunch.
7:00am - 4:00pm
Silent Auction
PAPER SESSIONS - Location: Presidio III, IV, V
Welcome and Announcements
8:10am - 9:55am
Who We Are And What We Do

Louise I. Lynch-O'Brien - University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The Philosophy of Entomology

Jaret Daniels - Florida Museum of Natural History
Back from the brink: Collaborative conservation efforts to help save our only federally listed swallowtail

Paige Howorth - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (short)
Laguna Mountains Skipper Breeding and Reintroduction

Sarah Jenkins - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
An Update of the Captive Management and Reintroduction of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, Cicindela nevadica lincolniana

Winnifred Wolfe - Bowditch Middle School (short)
Eight-legged Footprints: How Spiders Impact the World

Presenter Panel Discussion

9:55am -10:15am
Announcements and Break
10:15am - noon
Education is the Key to Success

Faith J. Weeks - Towson University
“A mealy-what now?” Providing middle school teachers with authentic entomology research experiences to enhance student science curriculum

Charles Wallace – Arizona State University
Don't Do What I Did: Mistakes to Avoid in Identification Guides

Dr. Ron Wagler - The University of Texas at El Paso
Incorporating the Giant Peppered Roach (Archimandrita tessellata) into your Science Classroom

Miles Maxcer - The Ant Network
Ants in Madagascar! | Ants & Canopy Bootcamp 2019

Gwen Pearson - Purdue Entomology (short)
InsectFestivals.org: Can we develop a common evaluation for Bug Festivals?

Presenter Panel Discussion

COMPLIMENTARY lunch provided for conference participants
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Sparking Curiosity and Connection Through Nature Journaling
Led by -Stephanie Dole - Beetlelady LLC
Location: Presidio I

Nature journaling is the practice of noticing and recording observations from the natural world. It is a powerful tool that connects people to nature and natural processes. This can be especially true for nature journaling with arthropods since they are ubiquitous, easily accessible, and often misunderstood. In this workshop, Dr. Stephanie Dole (Beetlelady) will teach simple ways to get started nature journaling on your own and in the classroom. We’ll talk about tools, techniques, prompts, mindset, and lesson plans that you can bring back to your institution. Then, we will head outside and journal together in the beautiful Arizona landscape.
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Invertebrate Welfare Roundtable
Facilitated by Erin Sullivan, Woodland Park Zoo and Paige Howorth, San Diego Zoo
Location: Presidio III, IV, V

This informal discussion will focus on applying established concepts of animal welfare to enhance the lives of invertebrates in managed care.

2:45pm - 3:45pm
Facilitated by Ann McKenzie - MSECR, McPete Scientific, Education and Conservation Resource
Location: Presidio III, IV, V

A layman's medical approach to skin & body reactions to various invertebrates.

7:00pm - 9:00pm
Insect Trivia and Game Night - Location: Presidio III, IV, V

July 30
7:00am - 4:00pm
Registration-Registration may close during paper sessions and lunch.
7:00am - 4:00pm
Silent Auction
PAPER SESSIONS - Location: Presidio III, IV, V
Welcome and Announcements
8:10am - 9:45am
Operation Critical

Anita Schiller - Harris County PCT4 Biological Control Initiative
What do West Nile Virus Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika Virus have in common? They’re viral infections with historic pandemics

John Watts – Texas Discovery Gardens
Captain Chrysalis – In Search of Acercophagus papaya

Martin Feather - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
7.5 years, 85,500 hours, then came COVID

Nathan Brockman – Reiman Gardens
Managing Invertebrate Care Activities with Trello

Presenter Panel Discussion

9:45am - 10:05am
Announcements and Break -- Please visit the Exhibit Hall and Posters!
10:05am - 11:20pm
Zoos Working Together

Erin Sullivan - Woodland Park Zoo
Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group (TITAG) Updates

Jessie Sutherland - Point Defiance Zoo
Safety Web for Arthropod Reproduction and Management (SWARM)

Glennon Frei and Kayla Garcia, Saint Louis Zoo
All Hail the Snail! A 5-year review of Partula nail (Partula nodosa) conservation and Future Possibilities

Lily Maynard, PhD - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Zak Gezon - Disney's Animal Kingdom
Monarch SAFE

Presenter Panel Discussion

11:20am - 12:00pm
USDA Permitting for Insect Zoos and Butterfly Houses Roundtable
Facilitated by Wayne Wehling - USDA APHIS PPQ

The USDA permitting round table will be an opportunity to discuss changes to permitting requirements that affect the Arthropod exhibit community in the United States. Significant new changes may be in place by conference time. This gathering is an opportunity to ask questions, get answers, and seek change.
COMPLIMENTARY lunch provided for conference participants
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Cooking with Aquatics: How to create faux samples for distance programming about aquatic bioindicators
Location: Presidio I

Guiding learners through the concept of aquatic invertebrates as bioindicators is tricky in virtual settings. But then, it’s tricky under normal circumstances if the right habitats aren’t accessible. Using (mostly) edible cooking materials, participants will learn how to create faux aquatic samples for use in distance programming about aquatic invertebrates. Of course, everyone has their own tastes. Whether it’s a pinch of flour to increase turbidity, a drop of green food coloring to get things eutrophic, or a pile of pinto beans to mirror a fast-flowing stream, we will explore recipes and activities to bring aquatic entomology to participants’ doorsteps.
1:30pm - 3:30pm
US Fish and Wildlife. How can we help?
Facilitated by Robert Herndon – USFWS
Location: Presidio III, IV, V

A round table to let folks bring issues and dialogue with USFWS on what we can do to help folks achieve their goals, while doing it legally.

3:30pm - 4:30pm
Pollinators! What is your institution doing?
Facilitated by Erin Sullivan – Woodland Park Zoo
Location: Presidio III, IV, V

What is your institution doing to help pollinators? Let’s share ideas and inspire each other!

7:00pm - 9:00pm
Black Lighting Adventure - Catalina State Park

Black lights and sheets will be set up at this amazing location to enjoy the insect life as it flies in. Please note that this event is organized at no cost to conference participants. This means that there will be no meal provided, and participants are encouraged to eat before attending. Car caravans will be coordinated via a sign up sheet in the exhibit hall, and will depart from the resort at 7pm. In case of inclimant weater, please check in at the registration desk to see if the event was cancelled or moved.

Bronze sponsors

Thank you to our Bronze Level Sponsors:

July 31
7:00am - 1:00pm
Registration -Registration may close during paper sessions and lunch.
7:00am - 1:00pm
Silent Auction
PAPER SESSIONS - Location: Presidio III, IV, V
Welcome and Announcements
8:10am - 9:30am
Shiny and New—Invertebrate Facility Design

Justin Dunning, Kurtis Herperger – Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Inverts eh! -- Please join us in a virtual flash tour of the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and Insectarium located in beautiful Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada. This colourful tour is hosted by Justin Dunning (Living Collections Manager) and Kurtis Herperger (Gardens Manager).

Amanda Lorenz - Michigan State University
The Bug House at Michigan State has been serving the University and wider community for over twenty years. Founded as a space for members of the Department of Entomology to engage the public in entomological outreach, the focus of the Bug House is to increase awareness of the positive roles insects and other arthropods play in the environment and their importance to human life. This presentation will discuss the facility and current educational programs through which the Bug House engages the University and surrounding community.

Dave Clark - London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo’s Tiny Giants exhibit -- Our building showcasing invertebrates, originally opened as Web of Life in 1999 & then more recently called BUGS, has had a makeover. Now titled “Tiny Giants, from minibeasts to coral reefs”, all the interpretation has been renewed with some updated interactives, and due to the closure of our ancient Aquarium, we now have an 8 metre long coral reef exhibit. Join Head of Invertebrates Dave Clarke for a whistle-stop tour of the new display.

Ernesto Rodriguez - El Bosque Nuevo
El Bosque Nuevo Butterfly Farm

Presenter Panel Discussion

9:30am - 9:50am
Announcements and Break
9:50am - Noon
Let's Talk About Husbandry

Maia Holmes - Colorado State University
Diet Matters in the Growth of Captive African White Spotted Assassin Bug (Platymeris biguttatus)

Michelle Faehr - Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
I Love You, Just Not in My Leaf Mold! A Guide to Nutrient Rich Leaf Mold, Without the Pesky Predators

Jeremy Jensen - Thanksgiving Point
The environmental conditions that leads to vinegaroon ecdysis

Mary Allen - Harris County Precinct 4, Texas Biological Control Initiative
More Than Fish Food: Raising Dero spp. for Aquatic Carnivores

Tayler Schwartz - Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Training Jumping Spiders To Follow A Target

Susi Ngoi - San Diego Zoo
How to Fill a Room With Spiders

Presenter Panel Discussion

1:30pm - 4:30pm
Starting (and Running) an Educational Podcast
Led by Charles Wallace – Arizona State University
Location: Presidio I

Less technically demanding than video and more accessible than live events, podcasts are a powerful tool for science communication, but it can be difficult to know where and how to start. Charles Wallace is one half of independent science podcast Assigned Scientist at Bachelor’s (https://asabpodcast.com/) and in this workshop will guide you from idea to implementation, addressing questions such as: should you make a podcast? How good of a microphone do you actually need? Can you make a good podcast on a budget? How do you tailor content to your audience? Will you get sued? And more...
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Creative Oasis
Led by Georgia Blum, Lady Buggy
Location: Presidio II

Have you ever wanted your own pair of custom painted bug-themed shoes, but never had the time, supplies, or confidence to make them yourself? In this workshop, there will be no lecture or presentation. Just a dedicated time and space to create. You supply your white fabric/canvas item of choice such as shoes, cap, or bag, and I supply everything else you need to produce your own buggy masterpiece! There will be plenty of paints/brushes etc, plus examples and advice on techniques if you wish. Let’s spend a relaxing few hours together visiting, painting, and being inspired. No experience necessary.
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Browse/Vegetation Needs
Facilitated by Julie LaTurner - Houston Zoo
Location: Presidio III, IV, V

Browse for invertebrates is very important, if not critical. This would be a round table to help each other with what types of browse we have been successful with and for what species. Lets share successes, surprises and challenges to supplying our collections with browse, not only for bug keeping veterans, but also for those new to the field.

BANQUET - Location: Presidio III, IV, V
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, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tohono Chul and Tucson Botanical Garden (50% discount).