Arizona to Texas Week 40


Well, actually, California - I crossed the Colorado River near Parker for Macneill’s sootywing, a few of which flew low in the quailbush along the highway south of Vidal.  Thanks again to Jim Brock for this location.  Back in Arizona, another delightful romp in Sycamore Canyon yielded 42 species, including Arizona giant-skipper, Elf, and Mexican fritillary, but nothing new.


Six months ago I left s. Texas with a little over 100 species.  Now, upon my return, as my year aggregate approaches 500, recent reports raise some concern that this total may be more difficult to achieve than expected: species counts from the National Butterfly Center (in Mission, TX, along the Rio Grande) show few species new to my list, and the fall influx of rarities has yet to begin.  On the first hour of my first morning at the Butterfly Center garden, an Olive-clouded skipper played tag with its close relative, the Eufala skipper, allowing good comparison photos.  Common mellanas, though uncommon, nectared in scattered flowers throughout the garden.  Upriver, Coyote cloudywing and Zilpa longtail greeted me in the Falcon State Park garden.  

The next day I joined Mike Rickard’s weekly walk at Santa Ana NWR.  We quickly ticked off both Rounded and Red-bordered metalmarks, and soon patches of blue-flowered crucita were alive with skippers, notably Mimosa skipper, Potrillo skipper, and a relatively rare Tailed Aguna.  All right!! . .  now I can relax . . .  at this rate I should top 500 species some time next week!

New Species:  Rounded Metalmark Calephelis perditalis, Red-bordered Metalmark Caria ino, Zilpa Longtail Chioides zilpa, Tailed Aguna Aguna metophis, Coyote Cloudywing Achalarus toxeus, Potrillo Skipper Cabares potrillo, Mimosa Skipper Cogia calchas, MacNeill's Sootywing Hesperopsis gracielae, Common Mellana Quasimellana eulogius, Olive-clouded Skipper Lerodea dysaules

New Species:  10    Total trip species:  495   Species Photographed:  483

common mellana

Common mellana, National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

mimosa skipper

Mimosa skipper, Santa Ana NWR, near McAllen, Texas

rounded metalmark

Rounded metalmark, Santa Ana NWR, near McAllen, Texas

tailed aguna

Tailed Aguna, Santa Ana NWR, near McAllen, Texas

zilpa longtail

Zilpa Longtail, Falcon State Park, near Roma, Texas

© Chris Tenney 2014