Mission TX Week 46

You know you’re seeing a rare butterfly when it’s not listed in the Kaufmann Field Guide.  Such was the case twice this week: first, a tiny, green Telea hairstreak, very difficult to see as it nestled snugly among small leaves in the upper branches of a Coma tree, along the “wall” just north of Bentsen SP; second, two Common melwhites (photo 3), nectaring avidly on crucita, one at the National Butterfly Center (NBC), the other at nearby Bentsen State Park.  

Cold fronts with rain and high winds limited field hours this week, but those same fronts may have brought in some of these great bugs.  In addition to the above, a Pavon emperor (photo 1) made multiple visits to a bait log along a trail at NBC, later that day a Four-spotted sailor (photo 2; found by Mike Rickard) perched on the edge of a large leaf in the front garden of Bentsen SP.    

The week ended with two more s. Texas specialties . . a Green-backed Ruby-eye briefly visited yellow Esperanza blossoms (photo 4) at NBC in the early morning for a few lucky lepsters, then returned in late afternoon; mid-day, the “wall” produced another goodie . . a Yojoa scrub-hairstreak, which nectared in the same flower bed for hours, for all to see.  Too bad the Aquamarine hairstreak, observed only by Tom Nix and Deb Marsh, didn’t perform as well. 

New Species:  Common Melwhite Melete lycimnia, Telea Hairstreak Chlorostrymon telea, Yojoa Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon yojoa, Four-spotted Sailor Dynamine postverta, Pavon Emperor Doxocopa pavon, Green-backed Ruby-eye Perichares philetes

New Species:  6    

Total Big Year species:   526 (Pelham catalogue)   

                                          531 (Opler/Warren checklist; Brock/Kaufmann field guide)   

                                          508 (NABA checklist; Jeffrey Glassberg)   

                                          533 (all sources)              

Species Photographed:  521

Doxocopa pavon

Pavon Emperor, National butterfly center, Mission, Texas

Dynamine postverta2

Four-spotted Sailor, Bentsen State Park, Mission, Texas

Melete lycimnia

Common Melwhite, National butterfly center, Mission, Texas

Perichares philetes2

Green-backed Ruby-eye, National butterfly center, Mission, Texas

Siproeta stelenes

Malachite, National butterfly center, Mission, Texas

© Chris Tenney 2014