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Galleries Menu Guests Casa Santa Ana Butterflies/Moths Critters John McClung Steve Baranoff John Jones Alan Murphy
Butterflies and Moths

This, too, is a MOTH, but many a birder has momentarily missed a few heartbeats upon seeing this guy at a distance. The reason is the white dorsal band, which clearly mimics the band across the back of certain coquette species of humming birds—species that have never been seen in the U.S. Question is, whose mimicking whom? This is one of a half dozen or more sphinx moths that, collectively, are called “hummingbird moths” because they look, and often feed, much like the birds. This is a Clavipes Sphinx, Aellopos clavipes, but you have to be careful because there are a couple of near relatives that look almost identical. Notice the “feet” at the base of the abdomen—another detail added to fool you. These moths frequent the butterfly gardens and Balloon Vines at CSA.

This little beauty is a RED-BORDERED PIXIE. One of several metalmark butterflies, it is found in the U.S. only in the Rio Grande Valley , and it is uncommon here. We do see them quite often at CSA, however, thanks to a stand of Guamuchil trees we planted along a fence line when we first moved in. Guamuchil is host to larval Pixies of this species. The truth is, we didn't know anything about Guamuchil or pixies when we arrived, but got a deep deal on a bunch of plants from a fellow who did some yard work for us—his wife grew them in coffee cans. We thought they were vines, and planted one at each fence post along the west side of the property. Turns out they were trees. Oh, well.



Casa Santa Ana
3239 South Tower Road
Alamo, Texas 78516
(956) 783-5540