Butterfly News
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Giant Swallowtail

Giant Swallowtail




In general the Bird News page is where current butterfly news, and ode (dragonfly) news is -- all mixed in together. Often daily butterfly species lists, sometimes even with individual totals are there. Especially when there aren't a lot of birds to report.    :)  Within the monthly summaries on the bird news page typically anything of note is mentioned.

For each year, below, is a fairly short recap of the butterfly highlights, and sometimes lowlights, for that year. But for 2007 below, for which there is a blow by blow account of the whole season, in detail, with photos of most of the good rare fancy stuff..... if you just want to see pix of a number of the better butterflies found here, scroll down past text on this page, down to the final section which has a dozen plus rarity photos, many of them were the NCR (new County record) documentation.

Also there is a somewhat recent newer page called Rare Butterflies which has the photo docs of most of the best rarities seen locally. There is a link for it just below in the 2013 news section.

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2015 Butterfly News

The winter and early spring were very dry, but a couple FEET of rain in May busted the drought. Though we quickly moved straight back to a no-rain cycle after a little in June. Summer was the same drought regimen as has been the usual lately. Far below normal rainfall in June, July, August, and September. Only a 2" event in August and a 3" event Oct. 9 broke the dry spell. So late summer flowers were somewhat weak save the Snow-on-the-Mountain, which is not really a big attractant, save when it is the only thing open sometimes.

The year was noteworthy for a number of species seen that had not been seen the last several years of drought. The May rains were enough to change things. Here is the list of those species absent lately due to drought that occurred this year with the last year recorded noted (when I could find them quickly), or an estimate is offered when I don't have a sure last month seen yet.

Nysa Roadside-Skipper - November 2009
Dotted Roadside-Skipper - 5-6 years
White-striped Longtail - November 2010
Laviana White-Skipper - September 2008
Arizona Sister - September 2010
Soapberry Hairstreak - 6+ years
Dusky-blue Groundstreak - November 2010
Sickle-winged Skipper - a few years


At least 8 species were seen that I had not seen in years, since the drought set in for most. So this was a remarkable insurgence and great to see, giving us some hope for some drought recovery. Some like the Nysa, the Sister and the Groundstreak were common to abundant in the wet cycle of 2003-2008, and have been all but absent since the drought set in.

This space reserved for all the great things I will find in the fall.



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2014 Butterfly News

It was a weak year overall for butterflies, and often flowers, no coincidence. The drought has really taken a toll on both. I detected only 80 species this year locally, with 55 sps. the high month in October, 54 next best in July. It was dry until May when a 7" rain event, August had a 5" event, and Nov. saw a 3". So finally rains came, but too late for spring.

An interesting record was my first Feb. record of Great Purple Hairstreak, which was at a Mistletoe (the larval foodplant) and undoubtedly had just emerged as it sat for an hour in the sun before taking off. April and May were the worst for flowers in a decade, and butterflies weak at best.

A Zebra Heliconian in yard in June was the 1st one since June 2012. Their occurrence here is an interesting roller-coaster. I saw none in 2011, in 2010 only one, and none in 2009. So three single sightings in the last 6 years since the drought started. The last year I saw Zebras here in multiple numbers daily was back in 08 when there were five you could see nearly at once in the woods at Utopia Park. 2007 was a minor invasion year, 2004 was the real big invasion year when they were everywhere locally. This Zebra in June 2014 was seen on and off in July (presumedly the same one around yard) but August and September no more showed up.

Northern (Common) Mestra showed this year in June and July, and up to a dozen in a mile in September. They do not occur every year. Excellent was a Cassius Blue in August, another less than anuual species for me. October was peak month of year with 55 sps. but all the most expected types and no rarities. There was a peak Monarch flight day of 700+ over a couple or few hours on October 24.

The butterfly of the year was Nov. 9, a SPOT-CELLED SISTER in the river habitat corridor moving north. It is the third that I have ID'd here, and Nov. 11 (2005) was the date of the first one I found (which was the first Uvalde Co. record - photo'd) several years back on Seco Ridge. Pics of that one on the "rare butterfly" photo page (and last pic of strip below). Looks like second week of November is when to look for them. I have had a few un-ID'd Adelpha sisters here in late fall besides the few I was able to positively ID, so likely a couple more have been here. One was a Band-celled once though. Arizona Sister barely fly into earliest October, if that, so any late fall season sister should set off bells and sirens.

And with that sighting the year flamed out. Slow overall, but a great super-mega rarity to save the day at the last moment as far as butterflies for the year were concerned. The key is to never stop looking.

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2013 Butterfly News

The year started in the throes of severe drought, we had a bit of rain in spring, enough for a good spring bloom, then dry again until August-September when we got enough rain for a good fall bloom, all things considered. Several species remain absent since the drought set in, as in Arizona Sister, Crimson Patch, Dusky-blue Groundstreak, Carolina Satyr, and others. No Longtailed Skippers of any sort all year as of late October!

There is a new page of just the rarity photos, linked at the butterfly photo main index page, the bird news page, butterfly list page, etc. It puts all the unusual stuff together in one spot.

Rare Butterflies

The spring highlight was finding a large number of Mourning Cloak caterpillars, with eventually many fresh mint individuals emerging in our (new) yard. Hackberries are the foodplant here no doubt. At least 20 were seen, which is more than I'd seen in prior 9 years here, right in the yard, though I did have a couple others locally.

There were a few good southerly origin invaders to show up this year, mostly after the rains came. Summer and fall is the peak butterfly season here, and that due to invaders from elsewhere. The big break in status in my view is: annual, or less than annual. Some of the less than annual species that showed up this year were 1 White, and 2-3 Yellow, Angled-Sulphurs, 2-3 Mexican Fritillary (photos - ph.), an Ornithyion Swallowtail, 1 White-patched Skipper (ph.), 4-5 White Peacock (ph.), a Ruddy Daggerwing (1 ph.) and a half-dozen Soldier. Mestra sometimes numbered 20-30 in a day, no Zebras though.

Here is the butterfly of the year.......

Purple-washed Skipper

Panoquina lucas - Purple-washed Skipper at Utopia Nov. 19, 2013
First Uvalde Co. record. I couldn't get the full monty
of purple iridescence to show well but you get a hint of it.
The band of white dots crossing ventral hind-wing is definitive.



The best thing is the rarest thing you found that you documented, so as to be irrefutable. The above Purple-washed Skipper was that for me this year. Second best documented (photos) beast was Great Southern White (Ascia monuste), which I have only seen a few years of 10 here, and only doc'd it once before. Both were on November 19. The best stuff is often late in the season.

The other best butterfly was undocumented (no photos), but was also "new to the local list" for me.  On July 26 a Polydamus Swallowtail was about yard for a while, not new for the county, but new for me here locally.  An Ornythion Swallowtail was seen-only as well in late June, I have photos of an Ornythion prior (2006) here locally.

The big Monarch movement day was Oct. 21 when 500 went over yard in a half hour. The most amazing thing was a Black Swallowtail at 50 feet altitude moving south with them! About a week later a second Black Swallowtail female was seen flying SW 50' up.

As of Oct. 24 I count 84 species seen locally this year. Three of the last four years the total was in the upper 80's so normal for a drought regimen I guess. September saw 61 species in the month which is the highest monthly species diversity total going back all the way to October 2010 - three years, and besides that month going back further then to October 2008. So only one month in last 5 years (Oct. 2010) was better diversity since the drought started. Added two more on Nov. 19, so 86 species for the year now.

It's rough out there for butterflies in a drought cycle. Plant native butterfly flowers and or garden around the yard, and spray some water about regularly, it really brings them in. We water daily and it is an incredible magnet for butterflies, within a minute or two they start showing up. A little bit of wetted caliche puts out a nice calcium scent which seems to really attract them.


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2012 Butterfly News

We got some rains in spring and had a good bloom, but butterfly numbers remain obviously devastated from the exceptional drought. I saw no Arizona sister this year again, a few years ago seeing 4 in an hour at the park was normal, now absent, as are a number of species. No Carolina Satyr, Crimson Patch, Dusky-blue Groundstreak, etc., etc. Apparently some of the populations were far more tenuous that I'd have guessed based on the numbers present in 'good (wet) times' my first 4 years here.

A couple good things were seen, the best one not here but nearby, some Banded Peacock were in a couple places in Uvalde County including Sabinal, and in Bandera Co. at Love Creek. So they passed by us. Three White Peacock were the first of them I've seen locally in a couple years, as was a Zebra Longwing, but only one Zebra, in June, and no invasion followed here.

July had a 58 species month, the best since October 2010, and for the whole year. August through November were good though, all 50+ species months, 56 in Nov. second best. December had record high diversity, beating by highest prior species total for the month (31) on the 1st (33)!

The best thing was the July BROWN LONGTAIL (Urbanus procne), which was the first reported from Uvalde County ever, and #140 on our local list of species known around Utopia. Unfortunately I passed on the long distance docushot to get closer, and it bolted. I did get good views in my binocs at 10' and saw it at arms length and eye-level as it flew past me from a buttonbush.

My favorite doc'd find was a Black (Bordered) Patch, a different subspecies, and morph, of the common Bordered Patch without the color on upper wings. It is "hardly ever encountered east of the Pecos River" (C.Bordelon - pers. comm.) so a good find, besides being a stunning beauty.

Here it is.

Black Bordered Patch

The black morph of the western subspecies of Bordered Patch,
Chlosyne lacinia crocale, at Utopia Oct. 19, 2012.
Thanks to Charles Bordelon for the ID and info.



Late Oct. and early Nov. there was a Wallengrenia otho (Broken-Dash) skipper that looked like Tropical, not the normal expected Southern. It had a distinct C shaped line on ventral underwing, much more obvious than the low-contrast 3 on VHW of Southern. It was also smaller had a different stigma, surely it was a Tropical Broken-Dash. Two different days it flushed when I went in for pix. Actually I thought I had this subspecies in 2007 as well.

Early November had 40+ species in 40 minutes on best days, and at least a thousand butterflies at the 3 main gardens. The newly planted decorative gardens at the road curve at the north end of town, and the one at the park entrance are both very productive, as continues the library garden. Nov. 3 saw 49 species in less than 3 hours at these 3 sites.

One of the best finds of the year here was a Cerambycid (Long-horned beetle) found on Lantana while hunting for butterflies, which seems to be a rary, the only pic for Texas at BugGuide.com is a specimen from 1953! So actually the rarest thing I found this year was a beetle, and only because I was checking flowers for butterflies.

Cerambycid

This Cerambycid (Long-horned Beetle) on Sept. 9 is
Tragidion coquus, and thanks to Mike Quinn for the ID!
Again I prove the blind acorn can find a squirrel.



Then December had the highest diversity ever for that month here, the newly planted deco gardens seem the biggest factor. Most interesting was this rare winter form of Phaon Crescent that lacks the orange color, and instead is a buff or ivory white as a base color above. I didn't know such a beast existed.

winter Phaon Crescent

A black and white (rare winter) form of the Phaon Crescent
(Phyciodes phaon) at Utopia on December 1, 2012.
Thanks to Charles Bordelon for the ID and info.


Then on Dec. 5 I saw (in binocs) in the front yard what I am sure was a Purple-washed Skipper (Panoquina lucas) which is the first sighting of that species for me here, and new for the hypothetical list.


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2011 Butterfly News

The exceptional drought continued and butterfly numbers were worse for it. Less than 70 species were seen over the whole year, the lowest diversity in 8 years of studying it here. We've had better single months. Most species numbers were way way down, some are just plain absent, like Crimson Patch, Carolina Satyr, and others. The only rare butterfly seen (and only new to the local species list for the year) was a Mexican Tropical (Florida) White (Appias drusilla) on the late date of December 3 at the library garden (photos).


florida white

The butterfly of the year in 2011 was late, on December 3, a
Mexican Tropical (Florida) White (Appias drusilla) at the butterfly
garden was maybe the second ever documented in Uvalde County.



Most notable was the absence of species in 2011. No Sister (Adelpha), whilst they were common at the park before. No Carolina Satyr, Crimson Patch, Dusky-blue Groundstreak. No Zebra, Mestra, or other southerly origin invaders. It was so dismal it was hard to pay attention to keep track. A little fall rain brought some flowers, which usually had just about nothing on them, until some south-born stuff finally got here in November whence the biggest diversity month of the year occurred. Odd, the first time the high month of the year was in November in 8 falls. That is how bad it was all year.

Nearly half of the 68 species seen were represented by only ONE individual.  The common stuff was scarce, the scarce stuff accidental, the rare stuff non-existant. Save the one new species for the local list the whole year, the Mexican Tropical White.

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2010 Butterfly News

The effects of the mid-2007 to mid-2009 exceptional
(per NOAA) drought remain devastating to local butterfly
populations with much reduced numbers of almost all
species, the only things in any numbers are generally
invaders from elsewhere.

For the 2nd second year now I did not see a Crimson Patch
locally whereas they were regular in low numbers the prior
five years. Such is the story for many species.
NO Carolina Satyr, Long-tailed Skipper or Soldier this year.
Only 3 Dusky-blue Groundstreak (was abundant), barely a
handful of Arizona Sister, and so it went for local residents.
A few Mestra were about from June on, one Zebra Longwing
showed up October 29 only at the butterfly garden, the
first in a couple years.

There was a Mourning Cloak this spring, and a mint pristine
Orange-barred Sulphur in March looked to be a local
emergence, and my only spring record ever here.
A Mexican Yellow in May was also likely a local
emergence and also my first spring record here
in 7 springs now.

We're going to have to call it a bombyliad garden at the
library if things don't get better soon.  I just counted
the year up: 87 species locally for the year as of Nov. 20.
Last years' total was 89 species.  I've yet to add a new
species for the year after Nov. 20, in 7 years.  So the
upper 80's for species diversity the last two years in a row.

UPDATE: On Oct 29 there was a wave of butterflies present,
which quickly diminished, but brought the first and only of
year, Zebra Heliconian, Dorantes Longtail, Brazillian Skipper,
and Sickle-winged Skipper (singles each). Brought the 2010
total to 87 by November.

In Nov. I saw a few good butterflies that I didn't photo, so
can't positively claim an ID on, but should mention for the
record. First a Roadside-Skipper of a flavor that was new,
whatever it was, I think possibly an Oslar's, which is known
from the county. I also saw an Adelpha (sister) fly by
that looked to not be an Arizona, but it got away and didn't
come back. Another one that got away was a Violet-clouded
Skipper (Lerodea arabus) probably my third sighting locally,
over the last 6 years, and no photos yet.

Note below for 2007 there is an comprehensive account of
a good year for butterflies around Utopia, with photos of
many rarities after the end of the notes.


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2009 Butterfly News

~ OK now that we've covered that...
the drought was devastating to butterfly populations
and though the drought ended in late summer 2009 and we
had the best fall bloom in 6 years here, there were few
butterflies on it. I never saw so many flowers
with so few butterflies. That was the story of the
year.  I recorded 89 species in the area in 2009.

There were two good butterflies this year, good being
defined as new to my local area list of species recorded.
Both were at the butterfly garden at the Utopia Library,
1500 square feet of heaven on a good day.

On June 24 I found a Clytie Ministreak (Ministrymon clytie)
there, which got a way without photos, but I got great
looks at the orange rock candy on the ventral hind wing.
The other rarity was a Dingy Purplewing (Eunica monima)
on July 1.  It also got away without photos!  Some
times you just have to take your views and be happy.

Neither is new to the county, known prior from Concan,
but are very rare vagrants here, and I've heard of no
local reports of either in my 6 years bumbling about,
and are my first local sightings of both species.
No Zebra Longwing or Northern Mestra this year.

Tropical Least Skippers were at Utopia Park below
the dam in September, far far less than annual here.
A White Peacock showed in November, also not annual.

Butterfly sightings, like dragonfly and other bug or beast
reports and notes are all on one page, the Bird News page
now, it was too much to keep up seperate pages. So you
have to read the Bird News page and you will get any
and all form of life reported on in one place there.
Birds, bugs, beasts, and even what flowers are blooming.

Check out the 2007 notes below for it chronicles a
good butterfly year here often with notes for all
the unusual stuff, and photos after the text.


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2008 Utopia Area Butterfly News

The year has pretty well stunk for butterflies most
most of spring and summer due to the drought.  I only
recorded 70 species January through June, the most expected
predictable, nothing in great numbers, scarcity the theme.

The first significant rains for much of south TX
were from Hurricane Dolly and then T.S. Edouard in July.
Shortly thereafter butterflies began popping, especially
down in the lower Rio Grande valley (LRGV), but as
usual we get their leftovers, and overshoots here.

The big (literally and figuratively) invader so far
is White Angled-Sulphur (Anteos clorinde). I have
seen about 5 in the valley, both around Utopia, and
in Bandera Co. up to Lost Maples. It is a spectacular
butterfly that does not occur here every year.
There are pix on the Whites, Yellows and Sulphurs
butterfly photos page. Watch the Red Turks Cap for them.

The other real excitement that reminds us of what
rare possibilities might occur, was in the form of a
RUDDY DAGGERWING Marpesia petreus at Lost Maples SNA

Ruddy Daggerwing

Ruddy Daggerwing at Lost Maples, August 16, 2008.
(Marpesia petreus)


Ruddy Daggerwing

same Ruddy Daggerwing (Marpesia petreus),
the first Bandera County record



In October things picked up quite a bit and I found a very good total of 83 species locally in the month. Keep in mind lots of the diversity, and much of the extra stuff is invaders from elsewhere, which is what makes fall the most exciting time for butterflies here, but there were no real rare species, though some Zebra Longwing were about, 5 one day at Utopia Park.

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2007 Utopia Area Butterfly Highlights

Now, regular notes about current butterfly sightings (and Odes) are put on the Bird News page.

The following summary highlights and discusses some of the interesting aspects of a season, or year (2007) mostly in the Sabinal River Valley around Utopia. It was fairly anomolous compared to the few before it.

rubyspotted swallowtail

Ruby-spotted Swallowtail at Utopia, November 20, 2007.
(Papilio anchisiades)




2007 Butterfly News

Here is a summary of Butterfly highlights for 2007, mostly from
around the Utopia area, with a little Concan and misc. Uvalde Co..
For the unaware, Utopia is in latilong 99 x 29, in NE Uvalde. Co.,
at 1350' altitude (the town) on the southern escarpment of the
Edwards Plateau.   At north end of town is south border of Bandera Co..

If you bear through the text, there will be some of the
documentation photos of the highlights below. Or you can
just scroll there now and skip the boring text.  :)

It was the best year in the four I've been here for species diversity,
and unusual southerly origin vagrants, with noticeable incursions of
several species from Mexico. There were 44 to 48 inches of rain around Utopia,
and the Sabinal Valley Jan.- Sept., depending on where you were.   The spring
and summer averaged 3-5 degrees F. cooler than normal.  It seemed many of the
normal regular species were WAY WAY down in numbers all spring and summer,
due to too much rain.  We have a feast or famine, boom and bust
hydrologic cycle here.

It finally dried out, warmed and flowered up in fall. The frostweed was so tall you
only saw ventrals of anything "up top." The Ragweed was like Jack and the Beanstalk.

In September, just around Utopia, I saw 93 species of butterflies, despite not
doing more than a couple hours a day, a few days a week. This is not
the LRGV, it is the hill country, so I think a reasonable one month total.
D. Gaskin over 8 years of extended collecting visits, and some 28,000 specimens,
from Tarpley to Lost Maples to Leakey to Garner found 100 (One hundred) species.
(Journal of the Lepidopterists Society, 52(3), 1998, 229-261)

His area was roughly a thousand square miles compared to my 8 mile diameter circle
of less than 100 sq. miles, around Utopia). The biggest difference in coverage probably
being the presence of a "butterfly garden" now in Utopia, coupled with rather
sustained coverage at this one site, so as to record more dispersant turnover,
as well as more even coverage thoughout the year.

Surely an expert could have gone a bit over a hundred species around here in
Sept. '07 alone with some effort! Nearby, in a Sept. week at fall Nature Quest
in Concan, Derek Muschalek found about 90 species, with 8 species not in my 93
species around Utopia in Sept., so, Utopia-to-Concan recorded over 100 species
in September '07.   Significant, for literally in a small pocket of the county.
A few spots along the Frio River corridor around Concan, and a couple spots,
mostly in and around Utopia, along the Sabinal River corridor. Respectable me thinks.

There were a number of NCR's - new county records - amongst the 108 species I saw
around the Utopia area in 2007. Perhaps most exciting was the
RUBY-SPOTTED SWALLOWTAIL (Papilio anchisiades), beat and worn as it was,
on Nov. 20, a NCR for Uvalde Co..! There are still not very many (a dozen?)
that have been found away from the Rio Grande Valley.

In Bandera Co., at Cypress Hollow, the male BLUE-EYED SAILOR (Dynamine dyonis) was the
"best bug," and another very interesting NCR, quite northwardly.   That dull mustard-olive
color dorsally in the books, iridesces brilliant neon metallic gold-lime in the sun!

Then there was the spectacular RED RIM (Byblis hyperia) invasion, with 15 in a day,
easily, at Uvalde.   I saw 3 at least in my yard near Utopia, and saw a number
of others around town, (including one flying across Main. St.!), and finally after
much searching I saw one in Bandera Co. (NCR), on Jones Cmty. Rd.. Derek Muschalek
had Red Rims at Estrella Ranch during fall Nature Quest. He also had a
MALACHITE (Siproeta stelenes) at Concan during fall NQ, and Terry Doyle saw another
Malachite at Concan in October.

There were small numbers of ZEBRA LONGWING (Heliconius charithonia) (multiple in a day,
on best days) present, the first since the big invasion in 2004. There were at least
three local JULIA LONGWING, (Dryas iulia) including the first photos I've been able to get of
this beautiful rarity. Besides the Red Rim, Jones Cemetary Rd. in Bandera Co also produced
the first Bandera Co. photos of DORANTES Longtail (Urbanus dorantes) (NCR), and my
4th sighting of YELLOW ANGLED-SULPHUR (Anteos maerula) in that Co., plus a male
ORANGE-BARRED SULPHUR, (Phoebis philea), which was more numerous this year than
the prior 3.   I saw way over a dozen, instead of one or two, or none.

While not a NCR, the TWO-BARRED FLASHER (Astraptes fulgerator) at the Utopia Library
Butterfly Garden (UL hereafter) one afternoon that stopped for photos was as visually
spectacular a vagrant as one could see. Derek Muschalek had at least one at
September Nature Quest, and I saw another at the Uvalde Fish Hatchery in April.

Some species that were only seen once or twice a year the prior three years,
were common, like White-striped Longtail (Chiodes albofasciatus) (dozens),
Coyote Cloudywing (Archalarus toxeus) (many many dozens), Zilpa Longtail (Chiodes zilpa)
(half dozen plus), Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) (dozens), Sickle-winged Skipper
(Eantis tamenund) (10), and so on. Mestras (Mestra amymone) were present
in the hundreds (in a day) and surely many many thousands cumulatively over the season.

Whirlabout (Polites vibex), nearly unlocateable the prior three years was numerous
Sept.-Nov. Same for Tropical Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus oileus) which for a while
outnumbered the regular more expected Common/White Checkered-Skipper
(Pyrgus communis/albescens). Desert Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus philetas) was
far more common than ever, as was Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius), which was
abundant with over 100 at once at UL.

It was amazing in sum, both the numbers of species, and individuals of them,
that were common or regular, that were nearly absent three prior seasons here.
It certainly felt like an invasion. Was it a response to the 4' of rain?
We were covered in things we couldn't find for three prior seasons of looking hard.
It well illustrates how any given year may be not representitive, and that even
3 years of coverage is but a tiny corner of the big picture. Do these events
occur once a decade, more or less often, whenever there is 4' of rain, etc., etc.?

Mimosa Yellow (Pyrisitia nise) was more obvious than ever too, with finally one being
hungry enough to let me get a picture in Nov. It is typical of species that are
not altogether impossible to find, or even field ID when you can get some yellows
puddling for instance, but getting a picture is infinitely harder than netting one.
In other words, if I was netting I could have proven their existence or presence much sooner.
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargryeus clarus) is a similar dilema: easy to see, but even
harder to net or photo. I saw a couple of them this year, and only one
Brazillian Skipper (Calpoedes ethlius) locally.

Interesting in their absence I guess was the lack of any unusual rare vagrant
Metalmark, Blue, or Hairstreak. Mallow Scrub-HS was more common than ever though.
Fatal and Rounded MM's (Calephelis nemesis and perditalis, respectively) were common
at times, instead of uncommon. Large Orange and Cloudless Sulphurs (Phoebis agarithe
and sennae, respectively) never got numerous this year.   We only had a few Snouts
(Libytheana carinenta), fine after last years' zillions, and I only saw about two
Soldiers (Danaus eresimus) all fall. Last years'big invader, the White Peacock
(Anartia jatrophae) went unseen locally this year.

In the spring there was a Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) "hatch" or flight.
First in April at Concan during spring Nature Quest a remarkable four were seen.
Then I saw a couple here at Utopia for a half-dozen total, whereas there were zero
in 3 prior years. In May I took a Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) voucher,
a NCR for Uvalde Co., off my back porch! Yes it was a weedy micro patch of habitat
it was at, about 4' x 8', but it was at 1500' on a rocky juniper slope!

In the big fancy moth department, a few are always noteworthy.   There were a number
of Black Witch moths reported around the area this fall, perhaps 5 or so.
Kathy and I had three: just south of town (Utopia), one on our porch, and one at
Cypress Hollow in Bandera Co.. A few Polyphemus and Imperial Moths,
were seen, but always THE fanciest moth, the LUNA, was at Lost Maples in spring.
You can tell someone must be living right, when they get to see a LUNA around here !!
:)   (Obviously it wasn't me!)   :)
Only a very few each of Texas Wasp Moths and White-tipped Blacks were seen this fall.
And a few Ctenucas, but very cool was the Sisiid (voucher by Terry Doyle in Bandera Co.).

Four full seasons now, and I still haven't found a Buckeye I wouldn't call Common.
I've looked at and photo'd so many, when I close my eyes I see ocelli.   :)

In the "ones that got away" department, which I will put
on my local hypothetical list based on sightings this year,
there were two new butterflies for me for the area that I
missed getting photos of, or a net on. Both were in November
at the UL. First a Statira Sulphur (Phoebis (Aphrissa) statira) circled
me several times before bolting, and then a Violet-clouded Skipper (Lerodea arabus)
was amongst the throngs of Cloudeds. Both were seen well, closely, briefly,
but neither liked the looks of me apparently.

93 species for September was a monthly record total for me here by around
15 species. I'm sure the 108 is a yearly total record for me here.
I am as often looking at birds, dragonflies, fish, or anything that moved,
or did within the last, say, hundred million years, give or take a few.
A hot-rod expert might be able to find 125 or more locally in a good flight year.
My complete Utopia area 4-year list (within 4 miles) is now 129 species.
121 of those are irrefutably photographed. The rarities have of course been
reviewed for determination by an expert, usually Charles Bordelon
and or Mike Overton. To both of them I am grateful for cheerfully putting
up with all my dumb questions, and graciously helping a greenhorn get it.
Check out the new Butterfly List page to see the whole list.

Now here's the eye candy to reward you if you found the above drivel interesting.
Poor photos of good bugs, but importantly constitute documentation of the records.
....a 2007 hit parade so to speak, with a couple "oldies but goodies" at the end.



twobarredfglasher

Two-barred Flasher (Astraptes fulgerator) Nov. 4, 2007 at Library, Utopia.



julialongwing

Julia Longwing (Dryas iulia) at a lantana in Utopia, Nov. 3. 2007.



rubyspottedswallowtail

Ruby-spotted Swallowtail (Papilio anchisiades) at a lantana in Utopia.
The first Uvalde Co. Record, on November 20, 2007.
Often rarities that have travelled hundreds of miles are quite torn up.



blueeyedsailor

Blue-eyed Sailor (Dynamine dyonis) at Cypress Hollow,
Sept. 23, 2007, the first Bandera County record.
This image is a digiscope (old Mavica up to telescope)




redrim

Red Rim (Biblis hyperia) staged its biggest most northerly invasion
known. Dozens were in Uvalde Co.



redrim

Red Rim (Biblis hyperia) at Uvalde.



coyotecloudywing

Coyote Cloudywing (Archalarus toxeus) were common this fall.



lavianawhiteskipper

Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana) finally stopped for a picture.



greatpurplehairstreak

Male Great purple Hairstreak (Atlides halseus) is always a stunner.



least skipper

Least Skipper near Utopia, May 10, 2007.
(Ancyloxypha numitor) Uvalde Co. NCR



dorantes longtail

Dorantes Longtail, Bandera Co. NCR, Sept. 30, 2007.
(Urbanus dorantes)



Best of 2006


ornythionswallowtail

Ornythion Swallowtail (Papilio ornythion) Sept. 2006 in Utopia.
At the Senior Center lantana... ANY patch can have the butterfly
of the month, or year !! :) Only a few have ever been found in Uvalde Co..



goldspottedaguna

Gold-spotted Aguna (Aguna asander) Sept. 2006 near Utopia.
I only saw one for sure in 2007, in Concan.



Best of 2005


Spot-celled Sister

Spot-celled Sister - Adelpha basiloides ~ a "mega-rarity" even in
extreme south Texas, this one photo'd 11/11/05 in our yard 2+ mi.
W. of Utopia, Uvalde Co.

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