It’ s 42 degrees F here in the Georgia Piedmont region (central Georgia). Linda and Debra and others have been posting exciting images of butterflies they saw in the Lower Rio Grande Valley these last few days. Oh, how that brought back memories of my trip to the National Butterfly Center and the “Butterfly Wall” in late December 2017!
I’ve posted some dozens of those images here, and this one remains a favorite. The very rare, and very exciting! Erato Heliconian butterfly, seen at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas near the border wall.
We saw it in a heavily wooded area, and I followed it as it lazily moved from one place to another. Jet black with with screaming! red flashes and the equally loud! yellow stripes.
I returned some minutes later, and it was still in the same shaded area. I shot away, and then, it flew, along a narrow poorly lit trail.
I was treated to a revelation! As it flew straight ahead on that trail, a straight run of some 200 feet or so, unrushed, those red flashes were constantly in view, not seen and hidden, but the blasting red color never disappeared from view.
The Biology major in me concluded that this Erato heliconian must be toxic to the taste buds of any predator, and that uninterrupted double red surely warns, ‘Stay Away, Or You Will Regret It.’
Texans have much to be Thankful for, butterflies for one, Joanne.
One thought on “The Very Rare Erato Heliconian Butterfly”
Yes, we Texans are very proud of our butterflies!! Especially in South Texas where the more tropical species reside. The Monarch is our Texas state insect!!
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