Mission TX and Monterey CA week 8

My RV campground features a daily “happy hour” ritual of 20-30 folks co-mingling under a palapa at 4 pm to swap stories.  While I chatted golf with neighbor Fred, Lorna asked me (from a few tables away) if I had seen any new butterflies.  She couldn’t hear my first response above the clamor, so I loudly yelled “I saw a TWO-BARRED FLASHER!”  Immediately heads turned my way in puzzled, shocked silence.  Much laughter ensued when I added “uh, OK everyone . . . that’s a butterfly!”

Another cold front zeroed in on Texas, so I nabbed a Tuesday flight to CA to visit family, friends, and pick up a few early flyers in Partington Canyon on the Big Sur coast.  This warm coastal canyon attracts many late winter species and is reliable for the jewel-like Sonoran Blue (below) and, in April-May, Doudoroff’s Moss’s Elfin.

But before leaving TX, two 80-degree days brought in several new species, including the Two-barred Flasher and a rare White Scrub-hairstreak (below).  The hairstreak was fortuitous: in a frenzy of activity I snapped off photos of several butterflies on flowerheads, and discovered my prize only later that evening while reviewing and cropping photos.  I emailed the photo to Mike Rickard for ID confirmation.

In response to a few requests, I now provide a link in the main menu (above) to my species’ photos.

New Species:  Pacific Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara, Boisduval's Yellow Eurema boisduvaliana, Mimosa Yellow Pyrisitia nise, White Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon albata, Western Tailed-Blue Cupido amyntula, Sonoran Blue Philotes sonorensis, Gabb's Checkerspot Chlosyne gabbii, Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta, California Sister Adelpha bredowii, Gemmed Satyr Cyllopsis gemma,  'California' Common Ringlet Coenonympha tullia california, Two-barred Flasher Astraptes fulgerator, Mazans Scallopwing Staphylus mazans, Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius, Mournful Duskywing Erynnis tristis, Umber Skipper Poanes melane

New Species:  16     Total trip species:  91      Species Photographed:  81


Astraptes fulgerator
Strymon albata
IMGP8535

Highlight Species: Two-Barred Flasher, White Scrub-Hairstreak, Sonoran Blue

On name alone, the flasher merits featured-species status.  The tiny scrub-hairstreak nectared inches away from a Great Purple Hairstreak that Don Dunn and I were admiring.  The highly-prized Sonoran blue warrants a better photo to adequately display its ornate qualities.  Photographed respectively at the National Butterfly Center, Resaca de la Palma, and Partington Canyon.

© Chris Tenney 2014