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Friday, March 10, 2017

Interesting butterfly species

Desha Melton visited recently and found a rare butterfly in Big Bend National Park, a Big Bend Scrub-Hairstreak.

Photo by Desha Melton
It would certainly be a lifer for me if I ever get to see one. The host plant for it is Hechtia texansis of the pineapple family, also known as Texas False Agave. Until around 2012 this butterfly was thought to be the Bromeliad Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon serapio), when it was determined through DNA to be a new species, subsequently named Big Bend Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon solitario). It occurs only in the Big Bend area and possibly adjacent areas of Mexico.

I'm in Alpine still trying to recover from my flu. Apparently there's a bad strain of it going around that isn't protected from by this year's flu shot. But because I had the vaccine, I have a milder case. My daughter-in-law is much sicker with it.

Walking out by our ponds for a while I saw this Variegated Meadowhawk, one of my least favorite dragonflies. But it's the only species I've seen this year, so I condescended to photographing it. It's amazing what a person will do if desperate enough.

One of these days I'm going to sort out the various species of Locoweed (Astragalus), but for now just documenting.

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