Desert Lepidoptera of the Western U.S. and Adjoining Areas

This is a private group, meaning that posts cannot be viewed by non-members. If a member says something that is later regretted, it stays in the group instead of being openly available to anyone browsing the internet. This protects the member of DesertLeps.

The purpose of this group is to promote the exchange of information and discussions of lepidoptera, and this includes both butterflies and moths, across political boundaries for states having desert areas. This is essentially all states west of the Mississippi. Also included is Baja California, the Mexican states peripatric to the U.S. border, and the immediate areas of Canada that are habitat extensions of the U.S. states along its border.

The intent is for this group to be an outlet for
1. The scientific study of lepidoptera (such as taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography, as well as any other scientific discipline applied to the study of lepidoptera) by the professional as well as the non-professional avocationist.
2. The recreational collector, photographer, and butterfly watcher.

Topics of discussion can include rearing, taxonomy, systematics, biogeography (which encompasses sightings), genetics, population genetics(genomics), phylogenetics, evolution, curatorial practices, conservation, life histories, and any other aspects of lepidoptera. This is not an inclusive list. Any topic is allowed for discussion if it is related to lepidoptera.

Although the area covered by this group are all U.S. states west of the Mississippi, and the areas of Mexico and Canada bordering the U.S., discussions of lepidoptera outside this area are allowed. The philosophy is that a complete discussion and analysis of a lepidopteran species or other taxa is not possible if information outside the formal discussion group area is prohibited.

All types of members are allowed in DesertLeps, from the butterfly watcher/photographer to the butterfly and moth collector. Besides membership from within the formal geographic area of DesertLeps, members are allowed, and valued, from anywhere else inside the U.S. and the world.

Discussions of politics, religion, and social issues are not allowed, except for two exceptions. Discussions of politics are allowed if it is related to lepidoptera, such as political issues surrounding the listing of a lepidopteran species. The other exception is related to religion. Discussions of Creationism/Intelligent Design are allowed but only in the subgroup called 'Non-Mainstream-Explanations", or, alternatively, "Scientifically Unaccepted Theories."

A member of the main group can view discussions in a subgroup at the main group home page, but has to subscribe to the subgroup to post to it and to receive email messages. The email address for subscribing to a subgroup is in the subgroup's web page. Alternatively, a member can contact the owner. The owner can place the member in the subgroups he/she wants to belong to.

Only two subgroups exist, "The-Monarch-Butterfly", and "Non-Mainstream-Explanations." A subgroup for the collecting/anti-collecting debate was not created. The importance of collecting for documenting and understanding the natural world is so important that all such discussions need to be in the main group.
(The cover photo is a Battus philenor caterpillar taken on a 2005 Lepidopterist's Society field trip)

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