National Butterfly Center

National Butterfly CenterSouthern Texas is home to the greatest diversity of butterflies in the U.S., and the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, is in the thick of the action down there. November is the time to visit, but we didn’t do too badly. As a bonus, we flushed a pair of Bobwhite.

It was evidently emperor butterfly day the day were were there, with Asterocampa clytonTawny Emperors (Asterocampa clyton) galore.
Asterocampa clyton

Libytheana carinentaAlso associated with hackberries are American Snouts (Libytheana carinenta). They usually perch with wings closed, and so I was lucky to get this shot.

We saw various swallowtails, Red Admiral, Monarch, Gulf Fritillary, Mexican Blue-wing (wow!), American Lady, Pontia protodiceCheckered White (Pontia protodice)Danaus gilippusand one of the other milkweed butterflies, a Queen (Danaus gilippus). Actually, we saw a lot of these, a magical realist amount of them (pace, Gabo!) flying about the milkweed in bloom.Gymnetis caseyiSome Harlequin Flower Beetles (Gymnetis caseyi) was also attracted to the center’s butterfly “traps,” gooey-baited areas. As big as my thumb fingernail. Spectacular and scarab-y! Stenelytrana gigasAlso seen, these beetles, Stenelytrana gigas, intimately involved in making more of themselves; they are mimics of Tarantula Hawk wasps.

larvaI don’t know what caterpillar this is; didn’t want to trample the lovely wildflowers to get a shot from the other end. huskAnd this empty pupa was found elsewhere, but this seems like a good place to post it.

nbcI really liked their building and surrounds.

2 Responses to “National Butterfly Center”

  1. 1 Tom Bland May 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I wrote a blog post recently about the plight of the monarchs, milkweed, and the need to raise awareness. Would be great if you could share it with anyone who might want to get a hold of some milkweed seeds and go for it!

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