Will We See Another Texan Crescent Butterfly in 2021?

Texan crescent butterfly (male) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

What a thrill to meet a Texan Crescent Butterfly at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas! She so brought to mind the hundreds (thousands?) of Pearl Crescents seen these decades, the 2 or 3 Northern Crescents too and the 8 or 9 Phaon Crescents sporting their cream-colored forewing bands.

Delicious were those red markings and the rows of white spots on the hindwing. Respectful was she, unlike my trail partners back East, the Pearl Crescents, who accompany you along trails, but become so difficult when you attempt to approach for a photograph.

2020 produced limited opportunity to get into the field, to travel to find butterflies. 2021? and beyond, OH! how I want to find and meet new! Canada, Georgia, Florida, southeast Arizona, my missed northwestern Pennsylvania, Texas (Oh! Texas) . . . I’ve read and reread Wild America and The Travels of William Bartram and they have only increased my desire to get out there, very there, and score images you will want to see.

Jeff

Who Knows the Harvester?

Harvester butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

What do I think? I think that 1 in 71,209 Americans know this butterfly. Critics probably argue that 1 in 94,456 Americans know of it.

True, my interests run to butterflies, but true again, when hikers come along trails I’m scouring for butterflies, trails rich with butterflies, I always stop them and ask, “Have you seen any butterflies along the trail?” The answer is alway, “No.” I smile, and they continue along their way. They are not attuned to looking for butterflies, and just don’t notice them as they work their way along trails.

Kind of the opposite situation exists when I work trails and habitat in the western United States (or on occasion in the eastern U.S., where farmer have told me they have seen Cougars, and park rangers and park office staff always defuse any possibility that Cougars live east of the Mississippi River). West of the Mississippi, I am a bit distracted, for there have been times that my sense of being watch rises to its highest . . . .

This Harvester butterfly, Feniseca tarquinius is “LR-LU” (Locally Rare-Locally Uncommon). It is found nowadays in Parks, Refuges & Habitat Reserves, where Alder trees/bushes grow and running streams are not far away.

The more I get deeper into pursuing butterflies, the more it tickles me that otherwise heavily university educated, expert so in their own interest or pursuit, know zero of butterflies, and the Harvester might as well be a John Deere!

Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, 8 hours by car, due west of New York, New York.

Jeff