Sunday, March 17, 2013

NABA Butterfly Garden

The North American Butterfly Association has their National Butterfly Center near Mission Texas.  They have a wide variety of plantings that attract various butterflies, with an emphasis on tropical species that come up from Mexico.

We recently visited the Center with our friends Rick and Sharon and enjoyed walking the gardens.

The Gulf Fritillary is common throughout much of Texas, but the Mexican Fritillary barely makes it into the southern tip of Texas.
Gulf Fritillary
Mexican Fritillary
The Brown Longtail is another that just makes it into the southern tip of Texas.
Brown Longtail
The Fiery Skipper is more widespread, but still very much of a southern butterfly.
Fiery Skipper
The Question Mark is widespread throughout the eastern US.  It is well camouflaged with its wings closed, but much brighter with them open.  The third picture is an interesting shot just as it is taking off.  They flex their wings a very long way!
Question Mark
Question Mark
Question Mark taking off
We also saw a Praying Mantis waiting for something to eat.  A butterfly, perhaps??
Praying Mantis


  1. I'm assuming that their plantings attract the most southern species, and that the area is not enclosed?

  2. Guess that's another place we'll have to visit the next time we're in the Valley....

  3. Judy-

    The area is completely open, with gardens of "favorite" native plants. No tricks here, just a great location! It is right next to the Rio Grande River, so it is about as far south as you can get. Their web page says that there are nearly 150 species of North American Butterflies that can be found only in Mexico and the Lower Rio Grande Valley, so it is a hotspot.

    Sharon- Come on down and check it out!