Adult event
Butterflies of the UAE: Binish Roobas, Gary R Feulner & Oscar Campbell

Butterflies of the UAE: Binish Roobas, Gary R Feulner & Oscar Campbell

Date/Time: Sunday 13 February 2022 14:00-15:00

Venue: Al Joud Ballroom 2, Hilton, Al Habtoor City

Language: English

Session No. 131 

‘Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.’ – Vladimir Nabokov

The sight of a butterfly can bring joy and wonder to the most world-weary. These vibrant creatures are also the best known symbol of the marvel of metamorphosis, still one of nature's mysteries. But how and where do butterflies survive in the arid UAE? Have you seen them in parks or gardens or in the wild? How many different kinds have you noticed? Are they familiar to you? Have you perhaps overlooked the smaller, inconspicuous ones that frequent grasses or stick closely to their preferred shrubs? And did you know that several common urban butterflies are only recent arrivals to the Emirates?

Our panel consists of three of the authors of Butterflies of the United Arab Emirates. All three are resident amateur naturalists who have published independently on various aspects of the UAE's flora, fauna and environment. For each of them, the butterfly book was both a labour of love and a learning experience. In this illustrated discussion, they will be sharing their knowledge about how to identify many of the UAE's fifty-eight recorded butterfly species and will provide information about their distribution, habitat, flight periods, larval foodplants, life cycles and behaviour. They will also be happy to discuss their experiences doing field work in the UAE and Oman.

Binish Roobas holds degrees in zoology and environmental science and worked in south India as a naturalist guide; in the UAE he has been responsible for the re-discovery and study of a number of rare animal species, as well as the three most recent additions to the UAE butterfly list. He is also an accomplished wildlife photographer. Gary R Feulner is the long-time chairman of the Dubai Natural History Group and has explored widely in the UAE and Northern Oman for several decades. Oscar Campbell teaches science in Abu Dhabi; he is a well-travelled naturalist with a special interest in birds and has been the chairman of the Emirates Bird Records Committee for more than a decade.

The discussion will be moderated by Peter Hellyer, editor of The Emirates – A Natural History and of Tribulus, the journal of the Emirates Natural History Group – Abu Dhabi, who has studied and written about aspects of the UAE's wildlife for over 30 years.

This session has taken place