Program Meeting – Moths

October 14, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
UM Gallagher Building, room 123
Susie Wall

Our October speaker will be Mat Seidensticker speaking about the Little Known World of Moths

What about moths? No doubt, for most of us moths are not top of mind. They are simply those boringly-brown bugs that fly frenzied around our neighbor’s porch light on hot summer nights. Or perhaps the pests we read about causing damage to Douglas-fir trees near Missoula.

Truth be told some moths are boringly-brown and others prone to pestilent outbreaks on plants or trees. But moths also represent one of the most diverse insect groups on the planet, outnumbering butterflies approximately 9-to-1, and exhibiting myriad characteristics in size, shape, color, and wing-patterning. Considered the most speciose insect lineage adapted to depend on living plants during their life cycles, moths serve ubiquitous roles as herbivores, pollinators, and prey in terrestrial ecosystems and food webs. Yet, the natural history of many moth species remains little known.

Join us on Monday, October 14th to hear wildlife researcher, Mat Seidensticker, discuss a variety of moth topics during his presentation: About Moths.  Mat will highlight interesting moth natural history, how “mothing” and “birding” are similar, and discuss challenges moths face. He will also present information about the importance of moths in the diet of winged nocturnal insectivores like bats, common poorwills and nighthawks, and Flammulated Owls on MPG Ranch in the Bitterroot Valley.

Mat earned Wildlife Biology (B.Sc. 2000) and Environmental Studies (M.Sc. 2011) degrees from the University of Montana where he developed broad interests in wildlife research and natural history. After graduation in 2000, Mat worked over a decade with the Owl Research Institute conducting field studies on Snowy, Long-eared, Saw-whet, Flammulated, Pygmy, and Northern Hawk Owls in Alaska and Montana. Since 2015, he has worked with Kate Stone and other avian science team members at MPG Ranch conducting research on Common Poorwills and Nighthawks, Flammulated Owls, Saw-whet Owls, Lewis’s Woodpeckers, and moths. Mat is currently Executive Director of Northern Rockies Research & Educational Services, a non-profit organization he recently established to serve a mission of advancing scientific research and monitoring of moths, insects, and birds in the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys and beyond.

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