2021 Advanced Disease Prevention in Lepidoptera


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Learn how to recognize and prevent disease in butterflies.
FOUR weeks of online disease education and receive your “Advanced Disease Prevention Certification” seal and certificate upon successful completion of the Course and Final Exam.

February 1 - February 26, 2021

This is a LIVE course taught by Edith Smith of Shady Oak Butterfly Farm. 

Over 130 pages of instructional material including: 
Signs and Symptoms; Methods of Disease Transmission; OE; NPV; Fungi; Bacteria; Breeding Stock; Checking for Disease; Standard Operating Procedures, Journal; Causes of Disease; Safety Precautions to prevent disease; Sanitization of eggs, pupae, food, surfaces, and containers; and more! 

How the course works: 
  • The beginning of each week for four weeks, students receive their course material via email.
  • A short quiz is included each week. This quiz is due by Saturday midnight.
  • An email mailing list is used for class discussion. Students are not required to receive or participate in this mailing list.
  • The end of the fourth week students receive their final exam. The final exam is due the following Saturday by midnight. This gives a minimum of seven days to fill out the final exam.
  • Quizzes, vocabulary words, and final exam are optional unless the participant wishes to receive a course completion certificate.
Course fees:  
AFB Professional - FREE 
AFB Enthusiast - $112.50
Non-AFB Member - $150.00

Join the Association for Butterflies now as a Professional and take it for free!  Enthusiast may take the course for $112.50.  Non AFB Members may take the course for $150.00.

Week One: Farm size and disease,  Basic information,  What is disease?,  SOP,  Journal,  Breeding stock, Eggs,  Larvae signs & symptoms

Week Two:  Disease transmission,  Outbreak triggers,  Breeding Stock,  Cleaning the lab (or rearing room),  Disinfecting rearing containers/sleeves,  Sanitizing eggs,  Sanitizing pupae,  Larval food,  Sanitizing food,  Instant/artificial diet,  Disposal of material

Week Three:  NPV,  Cleaning the lab,  Screening for disease,  Bacteria,  Bt,  Fungus,  Nosema,  Serratia,  Aspergillus niger,  Toxic plants,  Mechanical damage

Week Four:  OE – a parasite,  OE - signs and symptoms,  OE - lifecycle,  OE - in pupae,  OE -Taping for OE,  OE -How Monarchs contract OE,  OE - Disinfecting eggs

Week Five:  Final Exam - Week of March 1st.  Due March 6th.

Edith and her husband Stephen have been butterfly farming for over 18 years.  Their farm, co-owned with their daughter Charlotte, raises 30 species per year.  In addition to raising butterflies, Edith searches the fields and woods for anything she hasn't raised and in the process, has learned a good deal about diseases and parasitoids. 

Edith has been teaching this course every year since 2007.  Each year it is updated with new photographs added to illustrate diseases and everything that pertains to disease in butterflies and raising butterflies.

Edith worked with Dr. Leellen Solter and Amanda Lawrence as they edited the material before it was offered as a course.  The OE material was edited by Dr. Sonia Altizer and Dr. Karen Oberhauser first as a presentation (presented by Edith) at an AFB Symposium.