Tuesday, February 26, 2013

National Butterfly Center, 2/26/13

After yesterday's howling winds, weather was beautiful today at the National Butterfly Center and the butterflies were active.  Best among the 68 species I saw today was this Malicious Skipper Synapte malitiosa.  I only saw it for a few seconds and only managed three shots.  This photo was the best.

I think this is the sharpest Banded Peacock Anartia fatima I have ever seen.

Dottie got me onto this Band-celled Sister Adelpha fessonia when I first arrived in the garden.

Is this a Barred Yellow Eurema daira?

You bet it is!

Here's a perky Common mellana Quasimellan eulogious.

I really like White-patched Skippers Chiomara asychis.

Turk's-cap White-Skipper Heliopetes macaira is not very common at the NBC.

Turquoise antenna knobs give away the Great Southern White Ascia monuste.

We thought this was a Boisduval's Yellow Eurema boisduvaliana at the time,  but it's clearly a Mexican Yellow E. mexicana.

Here's today's list

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Checkered White (Pontia protodice)
Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
Southern Dogface (Colias cesonia)
Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe)
Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside)
Barred Yellow (Eurema daira)
Mexican  Yellow (Eurema mexicana)
Little Yellow (Eurema lisa)
Mimosa Yellow (Eurema nise)
Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe)
Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon istapa)
Western Pygmy-Blue (Brephidium exile)
Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus)
Reakirt's Blue (Hemiargus isola)
Fatal Metalmark (Calephelis nemesis)
American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
Mexican Fritillary (Euptoieta hegesia)
Bordered Patch (Chlosyne lacinia)
Texan Crescent (Phyciodes texana)
Vesta Crescent (Phyciodes vesta)
Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaon)
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Tropical Buckeye (Junonia genoveva)
White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae)
Banded Peacock (Anartia fatima)
Band-celled Sister (Adelpha fessonia)
Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa)
Common Mestra (Mestra amymone)
Tropical Leafwing (Anaea aidea)
Empress Leilia (Asterocampa leilia)
Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton)
Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Queen (Danaus gilippus)
White-striped Longtail (Chioides catillus)
Brown Longtail (Urbanus procne)
Mazans Scallopwing (Staphylus mazans)
White-patched Skipper (Chiomara asychis)
Mournful Duskywing (Erynnis tristis)
Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis)
White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus albescens)
Tropical Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus oileus)
Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana)
Turk's-cap White-Skipper (Heliopetes macaira)
Common Streaky-Skipper (Celotes nessus)
Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus)
Malicious Skipper (Synapte malitiosa)
Julia's Skipper (Nastra julia)
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)
Southern Skipperling (Copaeodes minimus)
Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)
Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho)
Common Mellana (Quasimellana eulogius)
Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Estero Llano Grande State Park, 2/25/13

Today at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Rick Snider and I found this very colorful crescent.  We tried to turn it into Chestnut Crescent Phyciodes (Anthanassa) argentea but the underside of the forewings is orange like a Texan Crescent P. texana and the forewing white spots seem to agree.  But the hind upperwing is pretty funky.

There were plenty of regular Texans about.  And I don't mean the loud braggadocius kind.

Saw a couple of Celia's Roadside Skippers Amblyscirtes celia.

A brilliant Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mazan's Scallopwing at Estero, 2/23/13

Yesterday I ran across this skipper on the Green Jay trail at Estero Llano Grande State Park.  It was in the area where we frequently find Mazan's Scallopwing so I guess it's a female.  I have not seen one this pale.

The day before I saw Rick Snider and his butterfly group scrutinizing something.  Turned out to be a Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak.  As always we tried to turn it into a Tailless but it's got gray eyes so it's a Lantana.  The dark edges of the wings are due to a shadow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chestnut Crescent at NBC, 2/10/13

The thermometer hit 96 in McAllen today so I bet we were at least that hot at the National Butterfly Center south of Mission.  But that didn't keep that darn Mike Rickard from making another great find.  He managed to pick out a female Chestnut Crescent Phyciodes argentea from the many butterflies taking advantage of the springtime bloom.  Only half of a topside shot makes the ID pretty clear.

Here's the common Texas Crescent Phyciodes texana for comparisson.

Common Streaky Skipper Celotes nessus is not supposed to be rare in the RGV but the prolonged drought has had an affect on many species.  This is my first.  What a cool little bug.

I guess this is just a Long-tailed Skipper Urbanus proteus but the forewing spots sure don't seem to match the book.  I would appreciate any comments.

No problem with the ID on this White-striped Longtail Chioides catillus.

Recently Common Mellanas Quasimellana eulogius seem to have appeared out of nowhere.

The winter form of Clytie Ministreak Ministrymon clytie can get your imagination going.

Love is in the air for these Bordered Patches Chlosyne lacinia.

I finished the day with 57 species.  Not too bad for a hot winter day.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Frontera Audubon Thicket, 2/9/13

I couldn't let a warm windy afternoon go to waist so I ran over to Frontera Audubon Thicket here in Weslaco to check out what was flying.  Despite little rain the Eupatorium, Lantana and Crotons had really burst into bloom.  It's springtime in the Valley.  When I arrived Troy and Robin were busy photographing this Pavon Emperor Doxocopa pavon.

Mike Rickard reported a Southern Broken-Dash Wallengrenia otho yesterday.  I bet it was this little beauty.

Pale-banded Crescent Phyciodes tulcis.

I always have trouble with Duskywings.  I guess this is a Mournful Erynnis tristis.

This good looking American Lady Vanessa viginiensis reminds me of the old joke.  Who was that lady I saw you with last night?  That was no lady.  That was my wife!

The hind wing was bordered with orange so I guess this is the more common Elada Checkerspot Texola elada.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gold-bordered Hairstreak at NBC, 2/6/13

After spending a couple of hours not seeing too much at the National Butterfly Center south of Mission, I wandered up the trail through the woods.  In the distance I could see Dottie Lamolinara in the garden behind the visitor's center and she was scrutinizing something in the spot where the Gold-bordered Hairstreak Rekoa palegon had been found yesterday.  She waved me over and there it was.  I'd rather be lucky than good!

This fresh Banded Peacock Anartia fatima popped up several times.

I keep checking out the Dusky-blue Groundstreaks Calycopis isobeon, hoping to find something unusual.  This one really has a lot of red.