Tuesday, November 13, 2007

ENV: New Leps at Big Springs

Spent some time doing film and photo work at the ranch today, and while waiting got a few pics of leps. It's been a great year for bugs down south, and i've been hoping to get some of that bonanza up here. However, there are virtually no wildflowers in bloom, and out in the wilds gardens are scarce. Nevertheless, today i managed to scare up a decent diversity of things though numbers were low. Among the things i found were a handful of real nice critters, two new for the ranch, one new for the county i think.

TX: Real County, Big Springs Ranch, 9 mi. N of Leakey, 13 November 2007

I encountered about six or seven of these moths over the course of a couple of hours, all flying north. They were in amongst dense Plateau Live Oaks (Quercus fusiformis). I found this one flopping around on the ground and got film and a few pics, enough i think to identify it as a long-sought target, Peigler's Buckmoth, Hemileuca peigleri. You can click on any picture to see a larger hi-res version.

Among the rarer Texas bugs on the move are a melange of species of long-tailed skipper. A month and a half ago i photographed the first Long-tailed Skipper (Ubanus proteus) for the Ranch, and today on seeing a dark bug flitting around some Purple Spires Sage, thought i was going to have another. Instead it turned out to be a Dorantes Longtail (Urbanus dorantes), which may be new for Real County.

Here's a nice fresh Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak that was on some of the few native flowers in bloom today.


Finally, for the public record, here's a pic of the first Ranch Long-tailed Skipper, which may also be a county record. The date on this bug was 16 September 2007.

And finally, on a Nature Quest trip to the ranch, 15 September 2007, we found a Sickle-winged Skipper. It was photographed by Bob Rasa, who has posted a picture here:


This too appears to be a new county record.

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