Mission TX week 6 

Four consecutive days of sunny skies allowed me to chase down a number of species that had eluded me, but no real rareties yet - they’re more likely in the fall.  Perhaps most exciting were the Zebra and Julia heliconians within minutes of each other in the Butterfly Center garden.  A couple from the midwest found the Julia, and ran over to me to show me their photo on the camera monitor.  They wanted confirmation of their find, and were so thrilled they were still exuding enthusiasm an hour later to other visitors and employees in the Butterfly Center office.

And thanks to Lorna for spotting the Soldier at Santa Ana WR.  Actually, we were ready to shrug it off as another Queen until Mike took a closer look and shouted “Soldier,” our first for the year.  

In two weeks I fly to CA for a week with family and friends.  Until then, I expect finding new species here in s. TX will be increasingly difficult, at least until March, when warmer weather following good winter rains will hopefully yield strong flights of many spring species. 

Everyone please note that I have added a “Totals” tab to the main menu above, which includes a species list-to-date and weekly cumulative totals.

New Species:  Great Southern White Ascia monuste, Julia Heliconian Dryas iulia, Zebra Heliconian Heliconius charithonia, Bordered Patch Chlosyne lacinia, Tropical Leafwing Anaea aidea, Soldier Danaus eresimus, Sicklewing Skipper Eantis tamenund, Turk's-cap White-Skipper Heliopetes macaira, Common Sootywing Pholisora catullus, Southern Broken-Dash Wallengrenia otho

New Species:  10     Total trip species:  71      Species Photographed:  65

Dryas iulia
Heliconius charithonia

Highlight Species: Julia and Zebra

These tropical longwings reach the U.S. in our southern states, primarily Florida and Texas.  The larvae feed on passion vines, which contain chemical toxins passed on to the adults, making them noxious to predators.

© Chris Tenney 2014