Mission TX week 5

Jan 29-Feb 4

Yet another cold front to south Texas shortened my butterfly week to just two days.  On Thursday Mike and Jenny Rickard chauffeured me to the Falcon Dam area for a few new species, including Red-bordered Pixie, and the next day I joined Rick Snyder’s weekly outing at Estero Llano Grande.  

Since then, during the rain and cold, I’ve read 3 books, played cards with my campground neighbors, attended several yoga classes, and watched Sunday’s entertaining Superbowl on the RV park’s big screen.  Most of us were Seahawk supporters, and we all looked at each other in disbelief and stunned silence after the last interception, as if thinking “Did that really just happen!?!”  Now it’s four days later and sportstalk radio shows (I have no TV) are still chattering about it.

The good news is it’s warming up, with temps near 80 this weekend.

New Species:  Pipevine Swallowtail Battus philenor, Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes, Western Pygmy-Blue Brephidium exile, Red-bordered Pixie Melanis pixe, Elada Checkerspot Texola elada, Texan Crescent Anthanassa texana, Texas Powdered-Skipper Systasea pulverulenta, White-patched Skipper Chiomara georgina, Funereal Duskywing Erynnis funeralis, Sachem Atalopedes campestris, 

New Species:  10     Total trip species:  61      Species Photographed:  54

Brephidium exile

Highlight Species: Western Pygmy-Blue

The smallest butterfly in North America.  Larvae are “myrmecophilous,” or tended by ants.  The larva exudes a sugar solution eaten by ants, who then protect the larva from predators.  Photographed at Estero Llano Grande.

© Chris Tenney 2014