Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hoary Skipper at Santa Ana NWR, 5-31-16

After having visited Santa Ana NWR each of the past three days for birds and butterflies, today I had to make it four days in a row after Javi Gonzalez found a fresh Hoary Skipper yesterday.  I spent nearly four hours looking for it, had given up and was leaving when guess what I found?  Only it wasn't Javi's Hoary.  It was a different one.  So with the beat up one he found a couple of weeks ago that makes three of this pretty rare bug at Santa Ana.  It was only the second one I have ever seen.

Three days ago I took a hot afternoon walk at Santa Ana hoping to find something good over there and I did.  This East-Mexican White-Skipper was on the tour road just past the canopy walk.

Other stuff I saw along the tour road included Common Mestra and Mimosa Skipper.

Then Sunday morning visiting birders found a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at the refuge so I ran over and failed to see it but did see this Two-barred Flasher.

There were at least a half dozen Pale-banded Crescents.

Yesterday I went back again to give the Sulphur-belly another shot when I found this Banded Peacock.

This is proving to be a good summer for Mexican Bluewing.  They have been hard to find the past couple of years.

Then today I went back for the Hoary Skipper.  While looking for it I found an ovipositing Brown-banded Skipper.  Barbados Cherry is the host plant.

After searching for a couple of hours, I walked up the tour road and checked out the Willow Lakes area.  A large number of the granjeno (spiny hackberry) bushes were completely stripped of leaves.  Upon closer inspection I discovered the culprits, American Snout caterpillars.

Walking back to the visitors center I found a Pearl Crescent which has been in short supply lately.

So here's a compound list from the past four visits to Santa Ana NWR.

  • Giant Swallowtail 6
  • Checkered White 1
  • Great Southern White 8
  • Cloudless Sulphur 2
  • Large Orange Sulphur 8
  • Lyside Sulphur 20
  • Little Yellow 5
  • Mimosa Yellow 5
  • Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak 1
  • Dusky-blue Groundstreak 8
  • Clytie Ministreak 15
  • Western Pygmy-Blue 1
  • Cassius Blue 4
  • Reakirt's Blue 4
  • Rounded Metalmark 3
  • American Snout 50
  • Gulf Fritillary 1
  • Zebra Heliconian 2
  • Mexican Fritillary 1
  • Bordered Patch 3
  • Elada Crescent 2
  • Texan Crescent 8
  • Pale-banded Crescent 6
  • Phaon Crescent 5
  • Pearl Crescent 1
  • White Peacock 3
  • Banded Peacock 1
  • Red-spotted Admiral 1
  • Mexican Bluewing 6
  • Common Mestra 4
  • Tawny Emperor 10
  • Carolina Satyr 5
  • Monarch 10
  • White-striped Longtail 2
  • Brown Longtail 6
  • Two-barred Flasher 1
  • Mimosa Skipper 3
  • Mazans Scallopwing 1
  • Hoary Skipper 1
  • Brown-banded Skipper 1
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper15
  • Laviana White-Skipper 20
  • Turk's-cap White-Skipper 5
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 5
  • Clouded Skipper 5
  • Whirlabout 5
  • Southern Broken-Dash 10
  • Celia's Roadside-Skipper 10
  • Eufala Skipper 3
  • East Mexican White-Skipper 1

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Resasca de la Palma, 5/26/16

This morning I ran out to Resaca de la Palma State Park to see how the butterflies were doing.  I don't think I had been out  there since last fall's butterfly festival.  The butterfly garden was overgrown with little blooming and in need of trimming.  But the Ebony Trail was great.  Best butterfly was this Falcate Skipper on a blooming crucillo.  I think it's my first for Cameron County.

Also saw three Band-celled Sisters.  Glad to see them back after they were missing here last year.

Boisduval's Yellows were all over the place.

And good to see plenty of female Mexican Bluewings.

Here's an orangish Pale-banded Crescent.

There must have been a couple of hundred Clytie Ministreaks.

Never seen so many Mazan's Scallopwings.  The males are really black this summer.

Resaca de la Palma is a good place for Mimosa Skippers.

In the butterfly garden were several Rounded Metalmarks.

And a Red-bordered Metalmark.  I saw a Blue Metalmark but could not get a photos.

This female Cloudless Sulphur was really pumping out the pheromones.

Here's my list for the day.
  • Black Swallowtail 1
  • Giant Swallowtail 2
  • Great Southern White 20
  • Cloudless Sulphur 20
  • Large Orange Sulphur 4
  • Lyside Sulphur 10
  • Boisduval's Yellow 25
  • Little Yellow 3
  • Dainty Sulphur 3
  • Dusky-blue Groundstreak 3
  • Clytie Ministreak 200
  • Rounded Metalmark 3
  • Red-bordered Metalmark 1
  • Blue Metalmark 1
  • American Snout 5
  • Gulf Fritillary 1
  • Zebra Heliconian 1
  • Texan Crescent 4
  • Pale-banded Crescent 2
  • Phaon Crescent 2
  • White Peacock 2
  • Band-celled Sister 3
  • Mexican Bluewing 8
  • Tawny Emperor 3
  • Carolina Satyr 2
  • Brown Longtail 1
  • Falcate Skipper 1
  • Mimosa Skipper 1
  • Mazans Scallopwing 20
  • Sickle-winged Skipper 10
  • White Checkered-Skipper 3
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper10
  • Laviana White-Skipper 6
  • Fawn-spotted Skipper 3
  • Clouded Skipper 5
  • Whirlabout 3
  • Southern Broken-Dash 4
  • Common Mellana 1
  • Celia's Roadside-Skipper 2
  • Eufala Skipper 2

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Crimson Patch eggathon orgy at NBC, 5/12/16

The spring bird migration has been much better than recent years so I have not spent much time lately with leps.  But things are slowing down a bit and I thought maybe I'll check out the National Butterfly Center for bugs and maybe some birds.  Lots of flowers blooming but not much in the way of interesting butterflies. When I finally got down to the old gardens I noticed a few Crimson Patches in the shaded area with the Dicliptera.  I used to think this was flame acanthus but John Rosford got me straightened out on that.  I then noticed a couple were depositing eggs.

I then noticed a couple of others and scanned the area trying to come up with the total number of Crimson Patches.  Then I saw this blob of several more of them.

More ovipositing was occurring.

And looking a little closer it was clear that in all the excitement they were getting a little sloppy about where they were placing their eggs.

With the weight of the eggs all on one wing her flight was pretty labored.  I imagine a bird or a lizard will probably get her.

It was quite a show.

And I topped it off with a calling Willow Flycatcher which is hard to find down here.