Announcing MDLepsOdes, a new Google list for sightings and discussion of the field biology of butterflies and odonates.
Over the years, the butterfly and ode communities have grown closer in our joint interest in and mutual commitment to field and ecology work. A great example is the very useful and active sister list to the north, PALepsOdes, after which MDLepsOdes is modeled. What we find so useful about PALepsOdes is that it reaches both communities, butterfliers and ode specialists, for whom there is an increasing overlap of interest and field activity and whose field observations enrich our knowledge of both orders of insects. The collegial and respectful discussions that inform PALepsOdes will be what we strive for here.
There are plenty of resources for butterfly gardening, rearing leps, and general educational information about insects, but this list is created especially for those of us who are interested in field work. We welcome pictures, but this isn’t primarily a site for sharing good photography unless it is part of a field work or sightings discussion. We won’t be too picky about geographic limits of MDLepsOdes as long as the location is within a day trip’s distance for most Marylanders.
Most importantly, this isn’t a list to debate the politics of GMOs or restoration schemes or to entertain the flame wars that erupt from time to time on some of our other local lists. Issues that touch on butterfly field research or observation — such as collecting and permit rules, access to study sites, etc. — will be welcome within reason. As moderator, I won’t hesitate to pull the plug on posts or posters that wander repeatedly off topic or descend into the uncivil.
MDLepsOdes seeks to complement, not replace, the discussions at washbutterflies, VA-MD-DE-Bugs, and VaLeps. Each of these lists has its focus, just as MDLepsOdes will. If you want to follow sightings and field activities with a minimum of other distractions, this is the place the find them.
Other than that, MDLepsOdes works like all the other listservs at Google Groups: You subscribe yourself, and if the time comes that you want to leave the list, you unsubscribe yourself. There are also digest modes and vacation stops and other bells and whistles that are explained at the Google Groups site. To keep from being spammed, I will be approving all requests to join the list, so give me a day or so to do that. If you have any problems, just drop me a note.
I want to drop a special invitation to the Maryland ode community — I for one would really like to see/hear about what’s being seen where. And to those of you lep people who’ve dropped out of the other discussions, welcome back!
Special thanks to Tom Stock and Beth Johnson, who’ve provided encouragement and beta testing for the listserv to make signing up as easy as possible. I’ll continue to rely on them to provide counsel as issues in list management come up.
We look forward to seeing you at MDLepsOdes, and please share this information freely!
To sign up, go to https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/mdlepsodes