15 March 2012. Early... for me.
Vanessa annabella, West Coast Lady
Here in far-West Texas we are fortunate enough to find ourselves at the eastern leading edge of some excellent continental west fauna. Species that the rest of the Lone Star State does not normally play regular host to.
One such species, as we creep towards the gentle beginnings of the butterfly and moth diversity upswing, is the West Coast Lady.
I encountered this individual toward the end of a work day at the Gage Gardens, here in Marathon.
Towards the western portions of its range it is a multiple brood butterfly. Meaning it has upwards of 4 flights of adults during a calender year. Almost making it year-round.
Over here in the eastern edge of its range it flies Spring to Fall, but only 1 to 2 flights.
The 15th of March was an early surprise to see this fresh adult stage West Coast Lady.
I only hope to see it again. Chances are we will, perhaps only once later in the yr.
I wasn't able to get an upperside photo of this individual. So here is a photo from last year... in early November :
Save those beautiful native mallows, folks. That is a primary hostplant of this species and others.