This past Thursday night I checked out the Texas Butterfly listserve to see if anything interesting had been seen locally. There was a post from Barry Nall up at Falcon Heights saying he had found a Tailed Cecropian in his yard that afternoon. This was the third U.S. record for this neotropical species. I thought about going up there on Friday morning but just didn't feel like making the long drive for a bug that might not even be there so I just headed over to the NABA Butterfly Center to see what was about.
Well the morning was pretty slow and David and Jan Dauphin were on their way out when I find this big leafwing-looking butterfly sitting in the shade on a baited post. The pattern on the underwing looked strangely familiar. Then I see these little spikes on the hindwing. Holy moly, it's the Tailed Cecropian! I had just been looking at pics of it the night before. I called to David and Jan as they were getting in their car and they came a running. It hung aroud for a half hour or so and we got some great photos of this first park record. My best bug find ever!