Mission TX week 3

Jan 19-21

S. Texas greeted me with t-shirt and shorts weather, approaching 80 deg., so I quickly renewed acquaintances with some of the more common butterflies that survived early January’s extended cold, wet weather.  It was also great to re-connect with friends from last year - Mike Rickard, Lorna Graham, Donald Dunn, Marianna Trevino-Wright - to name a few, and I hope to share some butterfly-chasing adventures with these nice folks and others over the coming months.

My Sportsmobile camper is conveniently situated across the street from Bentsen State Park, just a mile down the road from the National Butterfly Center and its wonderful butterfly gardens, where most of this week's new species were observed.  

New Species:  Checkered White Pontia protodice, Southern Dogface Zerene cesonia, Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae, Large Orange Sulphur Phoebis agarithe, Lyside Sulphur Kricogonia lyside, Mexican Yellow Eurema mexicana, Tailed Orange Pyrisitia proterpia, Little Yellow Pyrisitia lisa, Dusky-blue Groundstreak Calycopis isobeon, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon istapa, Reakirt's Blue Echinargus isola, Fatal Metalmark Calephelis nemesis, American Snout Libytheana carinenta, Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae, Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos, Phaon Crescent Phyciodes phaon, American Lady Vanessa virginiensis, Mexican Bluewing Myscelia ethusa, Queen Danaus gilippus, White Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus albescens, Laviana White-Skipper Heliopetes laviana, Fawn-spotted Skipper Cymaenes trebius, Clouded Skipper Lerema accius, Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus, Eufala Skipper Lerodea eufala

Total trip species:  33      Species Photographed:  27

Myscelia ethusa

Highlight Species: Mexican Bluewing

This tropical beauty reaches the U.S. only in extreme S. Texas.  It doesn’t nectar at flowers, but is attracted to rotten fruit, so locals mix a rotten banana brew to lure it to their gardens.

© Chris Tenney 2014