Sunday, July 19, 2015

National Butterfly Center, 7/19/15

Today I joined Mike and Ginny for the NABA butterfly count at the National Butterfly Center.  The heat, lack of rain and an influx of dragonflies have really knocked down the number of butterflies.  But compared to last year at this time, there's still quite a bit of interesting stuff around.  This male Silver Emperor is a real knockout.

Luciano found this Mournful Duskywing which was our only one for the day.

I found this crescent which I showed to Mike and he IDed it as a Vesta Crescent.  I thought it was a female Pearl but after checking it out once I got home, I can see that Mike was right.

There's still a Two-barred Flasher hanging on in the ditch.

Mike interrupted my lunch with this Malachite and another Silver Emperor.

My last addition for the day was this Brown-banded Skipper.

I finished with 41 species for the day and I know Mike and Ginny had another half dozen or more that I missed.

  • Giant Swallowtail 2
  • Great Southern White 5
  • Cloudless Sulphur 2
  • Large Orange Sulphur 2
  • Lyside Sulphur 8
  • Little Yellow 1
  • Mimosa Yellow 6
  • Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak 4
  • Dusky-blue Groundstreak 3
  • Ceraunus Blue 1
  • American Snout 1
  • Gulf Fritillary 7
  • Julia Heliconian 1
  • Zebra Heliconian 2
  • Mexican Fritillary 1
  • Bordered Patch 15
  • Crimson Patch 8
  • Texan Crescent 2
  • Pale-banded Crescent 1
  • Vesta Crescent 1
  • Phaon Crescent 8
  • White Peacock 1
  • Banded Peacock 2
  • Malachite 1
  • Tropical Leafwing 8
  • Tawny Emperor 150
  • Silver Emperor 2
  • Queen 35
  • Soldier 1
  • White-striped Longtail 2
  • Brown Longtail 8
  • Two-barred Flasher 1
  • Brown-banded Skipper 1
  • Mournful Duskywing 1
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper 8
  • Laviana White-Skipper 6
  • Common Sootywing 1
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 4
  • Southern Skipperling 3
  • Whirlabout 1
  • Eufala Skipper 2

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Erato Heliconian at Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, 7/7/15

This morning I got a call from Mary Beth Stowe saying that she had just found an Erato Heliconian at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse.  With the strong southerly winds, that's not an unlikely find.  But it's still a good one so I raced over and found it to be very cooperative.  Only my second ever for the Rio Grande Valley.

It was in a nice shady place up against the pumphouse and out of the wind so maybe it will hang around a few days.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Falcon Dam area, 7/2/15

Honey and I went up river today to see if we could find anything different during this unusually productive summer.   A stop at Barry Nall's place in Falcon Heights produced his two Polydamas Swallowtails.  It's been a few years since I have seen one.

We next visited the butterfly gardens at Falcon State Park.  The west side of Starr County has not received the rain we have had lately in the rest of the Valley so it was pretty dry.  But there were plenty of small croton blooming along with the Betony mistflower and a few lantanas.  There were lots of hairstreaks in the crotons and the Ruddy that Honey found for me was the best.

There had to be at least twenty Mallow Scrub-Hairstreaks.

And we probably had at least a dozen Lantana Scrub-Hairstreaks.

Here's a Turk's-cap White-Skipper.

This spider took a swipe at a Whirlabout and missed so he decided to get a better vantage point and wait.

A stop at the Roma World Birding Center garden found the gate unlocked but it was extremely dry with few butterflies.  One last stop at Yturria Brush found lush conditions and plenty of blooming flowers but not a lot of butterflies.  I did find several Two-barred Flashers.

I don't feel like doing a list today.  I guess I'm listless.