Friday, July 10, 2009

Galveston, TX 6/9/2009 - 6/12/2009

In June we visited Galveston Island, TX. We expected widespread devastation from Hurricane Ike, but at least at the west end of the island, rebuilding was proceeding along. Certainly, the butterfly population was not suffering!

The state park was closed for "rebuilding" -- as a friendly ranger informed me after an hour of photography. Oops. It was a little unclear what needed to be rebuilt, though. The butterfly habitat was doing quite well.

The island has an impressive sulphur diversity. I saw Orange, Large Orange, Little Yellow, Dainty, and Dogface Sulphurs (surely I saw a Cloudless also?! My memory fails here).

Interestingly, there were many Queens on the island, but I could not find any obvious milkweeds there.

Sulphurs:

Orange Colias eurytheme
Little Yellow Eurema lisa -- these were ubiquitous; we saw over 100 of them.
Click for shots


Galveston
Galveston

Dainty Nathalis iole -- this individual narrowly missed death by Robber Fly.
Click for shot

Galveston

Large Orange Phoebis agarithe (perhaps philea?)
Dogface Colias cesonia

Whites:
Checkered White Pontia protodice -- these entirely replaced the Cabbage White.
Click for shots
Male with pollen on his face. The male is extremely white, even more so than P. rapae.
Galveston
The female is more strongly marked. This one was laying eggs on what appears to be Lepidium, Pepperweed.
Galveston
Galveston

Blues:
Reakirt's Blue Hemiargus isola
Click for shot
Galveston


Hairstreaks:
Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus -- everywhere I go!

Brushfoots:
Buckeye Junonia coenia
American Lady Vanessa virginiensis
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Click for shot
Galveston


Queen Danaus gilippus -- I saw no milkweeds, but the Queens were common enough!
Click for shots
Galveston
Galveston

Phaon Crescent Phyciodes phaon -- these limited themselves to the edges of ponds. Update: it turns out that they were hanging out near their hostplant, Frogfruit Lippia nodiflora
Click for shots
Galveston
Galveston
Frogfruit, Lippia nodiflora
mystery plant


Swallowtails:
Black Papilio polyxenes

Skippers:
Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus
Southern Skipperling Copaeodes minima

JRC

1 comment:

thepensters said...

Good to know that the island is rebuilding so quickly and thank god the butterflies aren't threatened by all the destruction! Love all of your photos as well!