We sadly mark the passing of “Butterfly Bob,” Robert J. Snetsinger, on April 16, 2016. Bob hailed from Illinois and was professor of entomology at Penn State, retiring in 1999. He spent much of his career at PSU’s Mushroom Test Demonstration facility, studying and combating insect pests in an industry important to Pennsylvania. However, he was always interested in sharing his knowledge with a wider public. He inaugurated the Great Insect Fair at Penn State, a popular educational event that now draws thousands. After his daughter’s death, Bob became drawn to the beauty and transformative abilities of butterflies. In 1996 he started to develop the habitat in Tudek Park. In 2011, The Tudek Trust, Ferguson Township, and Centre Region Parks and Recreation recognized Dr. Snetsinger's many years of outstanding work and dedication to the garden by officially designating the habitat as "The Snetsinger Butterfly Garden at Tom Tudek Memorial Park". “Butterfly Bob” was an inspirational presence to SBG volunteers and visitors alike, and his initiative and persistence were instrumental in helping the SBG to become a popular and valued place.
Dispatches from Bob's Notebook
The links below lead to various pieces written by "Butterfly Bob" over the years.
Have you seen "butterfly houses" in catalogs and magazines? Do they work? Dr. Snetsinger reveals who really takes up residence in these houses.
It's not easy being a larva. Young caterpillars face myriad challenges right out of the egg. This article explores rationale behind creating habitat for shepherding a caterpillar through all instars to adulthood.
And now for something completely different - Bob discusses Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and reveals the potential "fathers" of Butterfly including a French sailor, a Pennsylvania lawyer, a one-time California actor, an Italian composer, and an English merchant - all implicated in the affair with Cio-Cio-San and the “fathering” of baby Dolore, nicknamed “Trouble.”