Watch for snouts when you're out and about

Snout butterflies, the family Libytheidae, have been around a very long time. Snouts have been found in fossil shales along with hackberry leaf impressions some 30 million years old. There are two species of snouts in North America, the snout (Libytheana bachmanii), and the southern snout, (Libytheana carinenta). There are only a dozen species worldwide, but snouts are found on every continent "populated by butterflies," as my Audubon field guide words it. So my chance of correctly identifying this species is a lot better than my usual guess.

Snouts are so weird. They look like miniature pterodactyls.

Snouts have long beaklike palpi with no known function.

Snouts seemed to be everywhere at the Dallas Arboretum this morning.

And in every sunny spot at Oak Point this afternoon.

So, if you are craving a snout snack, now is the time to get one!

Praying mantis munching a snout, November 2012.
And, yes, palpi is the plural of palpus. A palpus is a palp. A palp is an elongated sensory organ, usually near the mouth, in invertebrate organisms such as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects. Thanks, big red American Heritage Dictionary.

© 2014-2018 Nancy L. Ruder


Fritillaries to remember

Neither of these shots were taken at Oak Point, but I want to remember the variegated fritillary spotted on a walk in my neighborhood at noon today for future IDs. It was the right shape for a fritillary, but a little smaller than the gulf fritillaries I usually see.

© 2014-2018 Nancy L. Ruder