“R” according to Jeffrey Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America (Princeton University Press, 2017). Rarely seen in the United States. December 2017, and there we were in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Mission, Texas near the border wall. We were working a trail in the National Butterfly Center, and I think it was John who spotted it on a bait log (banana and beer mashed and ‘painted’ on a log suspended inches above the ground). A Red Rim Butterfly (Biblis hyperia).
It was spectacular. The upper surface was jet. black, and that band of rich red across the hindwings jumped out at you, it did. It tolerated a few shutter clicks, and then flew to this nearby tree. I continued shooting it, even with my Macro- lens at considerable disadvantage.
I finally make it to this southern tip of Texas, now me in my majority, and I make the acquaintance of this Red Rim, and that Erato Heliconian and Tropical Greenstreaks and Mexican Fritillaries and that regal Malachite.
My internal debate, should I share this image, was brief, for most of us cannot find a Red Rim in our image bank, and this is one, a slight bit of eye strain aside.
She was one of many Texan Crescent Butterflies that we met in the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas near the border wall. Most of the other folks had seen these Texans many times before. Not me. Every one I saw, I approached, looking to see if he or she were fresh and complete.
I might have seen Texans before, in Mississippi or in the Florida Panhandle, but those encounters were brief and earned not a single exposure. This time I met them with certainty, and I can say that I was very excited to finally 100% meet these wingedbeauties.
Jeff, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in December 2017, having FUN.
Another dividend collected from my late December 2017 trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. When I was shown this tiny metalmark, I was really Happy, so Happy. I met a Little Metalmark butterfly in Shellman Bluff, Georgia in 2016. In June of 2017 I met dozens and dozens of Northern Metalmarks in Adams County, Ohio, just miles from the Kentucky border.
This Fatal Metalmark butterfly is now my 3rd metalmark from Texas, and the southern reaches of New Mexico, Arizona and California.
All the metalmarks I’ve seen are especially small. They all move, fly and rest with much conviction and self-assurance. Have I completed my metalmark campaign? Uh, no. There remain 22 metalmarks found in the 48 U.S. states that I’ve not yet been introduced to.