Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our Yard, 12/23/14

I pretty much stayed around the house today and checked the yard frequently as a windy cold front blew in. This kind of weather often seems to move butterflies around so I was hoping for something unusual for the yard.  We didn't get anything super rare but this Mexican Yellow was a first for our yard; butterfly # 92.


This Orange-barred Sulphur was the second for our yard.


Sulphurs are often attracted to red or blue tubular flowers.  Here's a Large Orange Sulphur on Turk's Cap.


Also a second for our yard was this Red-bordered Pixie.  It's not unusual for them to hide on the underside of a leaf.


For some reason, we don't get too many Gulf Fritillaries in our yard.  This one was very photogenic.


Fawn-spotted Skipper is a RGV specialty.  Shady places like our back yard are a good place to find one.


Here's the list of 29 species seen in our yard today.
  • Cloudless Sulphur 1
  • Orange-barred Sulphur 1
  • Large Orange Sulphur 1
  • Lyside Sulphur 1
  • Mexican Yellow 1
  • Little Yellow 3
  • Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak 1
  • Cassius Blue 2
  • Red-bordered Pixie 1
  • American Snout 2
  • Gulf Fritillary 1
  • Bordered Patch 1
  • Elada Crescent 1
  • Vesta Crescent 1
  • Red Admiral 1
  • White Peacock 1
  • Monarch 1
  • Queen 9
  • Brown Longtail 2
  • Sickle-winged Skipper 1
  • White Checkered-Skipper 1
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper 10
  • Laviana White-Skipper 1
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 1
  • Clouded Skipper 2
  • Fiery Skipper 2
  • Whirlabout 1
  • Southern Broken-Dash 1
  • Eufala Skipper 1

Sunday, December 14, 2014

National Butterfly Center, 12/14/14

Honey and I ran over to the National Butterfly Center this warm, windy, sunny day.  There were plenty of butterflies but nothing good until Jeff Glassberg found a Ruddy Hairstreak.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo. I also failed to photograph the Malachite, so here's a pair of copulating Soldiers.


And a couple of White Peacocks in love.


This South Texas Satyr (AKA Hermes Satyr, AKA Carolina Satyr) has very small ocelli.


Tropical Leafwings are in short supply this winter, but this is a rally nice one.


I guess this is just a dark Cassius Blue.


Here's our list of 43 species.
  • Black Swallowtail 1
  • Checkered White 1
  • Southern Dogface 4
  • Cloudless Sulphur 4
  • Large Orange Sulphur 5
  • Lyside Sulphur 5
  • Tailed Orange 2
  • Little Yellow 2
  • Silver-banded Hairstreak 1
  • Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak 5
  • Ruddy Hairstreak 1
  • Dusky-blue Groundstreak 25
  • Cassius Blue 2
  • Ceraunus Blue 5
  • Red-bordered Pixie 1
  • American Snout 3
  • Gulf Fritillary 8
  • Zebra Heliconian 4
  • Bordered Patch 2
  • Vesta Crescent 2
  • Phaon Crescent 10
  • Red Admiral 8
  • White Peacock 5
  • Malachite 1
  • Common Mestra 1
  • Tropical Leafwing 2
  • Tawny Emperor 25
  • Carolina Satyr 1
  • Monarch 5
  • Queen 40
  • Soldier 10
  • Brown Longtail 3
  • Sickle-winged Skipper 3
  • White Checkered-Skipper 20
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper 8
  • Laviana White-Skipper 8
  • Julia's Skipper 2
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 3
  • Clouded Skipper 50
  • Southern Skipperling 5
  • Fiery Skipper 6
  • Whirlabout 1
  • Sachem 1
  • Eufala Skipper 3

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Our Yard, 12/13/14

With all the cloudy weather around lately, I've spent more time birding than looking for butterflies.  But I hung around the house the past two days and came up with a list of twenty species.  Brazilian Skippers always get me excited till I figure out what they are.  This was a nice one.



This Silver-banded Hairstreak was only the second for our yard.


Our commonest butterfly by far is the Tropical Checkered-Skipper (not counting when the big swarms of Queens are here).


Here's the list from the past two days.

  • Cloudless Sulphur 2
  • Large Orange Sulphur 2
  • Little Yellow 1
  • Silver-banded Hairstreak 1
  • Cassius Blue 2
  • American Snout 1
  • Bordered Patch 1
  • Elada Crescent 1
  • Vesta Crescent 1
  • Phaon Crescent 1
  • Monarch 1
  • Queen 2
  • Guava Skipper 1
  • Brown Longtail 1
  • White Checkered-Skipper 1
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper 8
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 2
  • Clouded Skipper 3
  • Fiery Skipper 2
  • Brazilian Skipper 1


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Violet-patched Skipper, Hecebolus Skipper at NBC, 11/16/14

This morning was kind of cool and drippy but Honey and I decided to head over to the National Butterfly Center anyway.  Glad we did as we had a heck of a day.  Best butterfly goes to my first Violet-patched Skipper.  When I saw this tiny skipper with bold wing markings I first thought Nysa Roadside-Skipper.  But when I got my camera on it and saw the red coloration and two toned body I knew I had something good. This is a butterfly I've wanted to see for a long time.




An equally good butterfly was my first Hecebolus Skipper found by my guru Mike Rickard.  Mike and Ginny had found another in the same area recently.  The spot above and anterior to the big arrow on the dorsal surface is the key field mark.




Mike and I spent quite a while searching the blooming chomonque before I pulled out this sharp Marius Hairstreak.


Even without the stellar three butterflies above it was still a pretty good day.  We got the two Chioides longtails, White-striped and Zilpa.


A couple of Purple-washed Skippers were nice.  Everyone was having a difficult time today keeping the names Violet-banded, Violet-patched and Purple-washed straight.


A nice Texas Powdered-Skipper


A swell Silver-banded Hairstreak.


And a bucket of Red-bordered Pixies.


And I almost forgot the Great Purple Hairstreak.


Here's our list of 60 species for today at the NBC.
  • Checkered White 1
  • Southern Dogface 4
  • Cloudless Sulphur 3
  • Large Orange Sulphur 2
  • Little Yellow 6
  • Sleepy Orange 3
  • Dainty Sulphur 3
  • Great Purple Hairstreak 1
  • Marius Hairstreak 1
  • Silver-banded Hairstreak 1
  • Gray Hairstreak 6
  • Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak 12
  • Dusky-blue Groundstreak 10
  • Western Pygmy-Blue 2
  • Ceraunus Blue 10
  • Reakirt's Blue 1
  • Fatal Metalmark 5
  • Red-bordered Pixie 10
  • American Snout 50
  • Gulf Fritillary 10
  • Zebra Heliconian 4
  • Variegated Fritillary 2
  • Bordered Patch 4
  • Elada Crescent 1
  • Vesta Crescent 3
  • Phaon Crescent 8
  • Pearl Crescent 1
  • American Lady 1
  • Painted Lady 3
  • Red Admiral 8
  • Common Buckeye 3
  • White Peacock 6
  • Tropical Leafwing 1
  • Tawny Emperor 50
  • Monarch 5
  • Queen 500
  • Soldier 10
  • White-striped Longtail 1
  • Zilpa Longtail 1
  • Long-tailed Skipper 1
  • Brown Longtail 5
  • Texas Powdered-Skipper 1
  • Sickle-winged Skipper 2
  • White-patched Skipper 2
  • Funereal Duskywing 5
  • White Checkered-Skipper 20
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper 5
  • Laviana White-Skipper 6
  • Violet-patched Skipper 1
  • Julia's Skipper 5
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 3
  • Clouded Skipper 40
  • Southern Skipperling 6
  • Fiery Skipper 15
  • Southern Broken-Dash 3
  • Sachem 10
  • Common Mellana 1
  • Eufala Skipper 8
  • Hecebolus Skipper 1
  • Purple-washed Skipper 2