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MOTHS, BUTTERFLIES BASK IN MALL SPOTLIGHT

The Utah Lepidopterists' Society. Now that's a long and difficult-to-pronounce name.

Its members have a free public display through Saturday at Valley Fair Mall, where you can find that the society is simply for people fascinated with the beauty of butterflies and moths.Club members are not all science teachers, work in museums or spend a lot of time collecting insects. But the group, which includes a medical doctor and the director of a mosquito abatement district, is enthusiastic about collecting and keeping records on various specimens, some of which have been collected from throughout the world.

Now over 30 strong, the club gathers monthly, in the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University or the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.

Club meetings feature presentations on any subject within the scope of lepidoptera - the order of insects that include butterflies and moths. A current topic of concern to club members, said president Todd Stout, Bountiful, is the destruction of the tropical rain forests in Brazil and other areas.

"Because of the reproductive capabilities of butterflies and moths, the collecting of a few individual specimens does not affect long-term population numbers. However, with the ongoing destruction of the rain forests, up to six species insects, plants or animals are being rendered extinct daily," Stout said.

At the Valley Fair Mall exhibit, club members display several cases of mounted butterflies and moths as well as other insects from around the world. Exhibits of butterfly caterpillars and how they behave in the wild are shown. Also, a demonstration is given on how butterflies are mounted for display.