Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn
San Antonio Express, TX - Jul 21, 2006
Express-News Staff Writer
If it seems the tiny winged creatures meeting a messy demise on your windshield are a bit more striking than the usual bug carcasses, you're not alone.
The prolonged drought, interrupted by a few days of heavy rains, has spawned an explosion of American snout butterflies across Central and South Texas, experts say.
[The Associated Press picked up this article and it ran in numerous papers around the state]
KWTX, TX - Jul 21, 2006 [Waco-Temple-Killeen]
Wildlife experts say the weather's been just right to create an abundance of butterflies in parts of Central and South Texas.
The swarms of American snout butterflies took flight about a week ago.
They've been spotted across the region in places such as Eagle Pass, Hondo, San Antonio and Kerr County.
KRGV, TX - Jul 26, 2006
Millions of butterflies on the move
BROWNSVILLE -- Swarms of butterflies are causing big problems for drivers in the Valley. The snout butterfly or what's left of the them are on car windshields throughout the area. Many folks are filling up carwashes to clean up the mess.
Experts say the snout butterflies are moving around due to the recent rains. It is estimated millions of the butterflies are on the move in South Texas.
San Antonio Express, TX - Jul 27, 2006
Express-News Staff Writer
As he stood near the scoreboard area at the Brackenridge Municipal clubhouse Thursday, Isaac Idstein looked as if he had swallowed one of the American snout butterflies swarming the area.
The golfer was sick to his stomach.
New York Times, United States - Jul 27, 2006
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL (NYT); National Desk
Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 18, Column 1, 818 words
For a moment, Carol Cullar thought she was seeing fall leaves gusting down the highway south of Quemado, Tex., on the Mexican border. But it is blistering midsummer, Ms. Cullar, director of the Rio Bravo Nature Center in Eagle Pass, realized. And leaves would not all be flying north...
Kerrville Daily Times, TX - Jul 29, 2006
Kerrville has been inundated with tiny winged visitors in
American snout butterflies are fluttering all around, an unusual phenomenon that local naturalists attribute to the drought. While a lack of rainfall is unfavorable for most species, it has created favorable conditions for snouts this summer.
Master Naturalist Priscilla Stanley, who volunteers at the Riverside Nature Center, said the snouts feed on hackberries. The environmental conditions this year reduced the number of parasites, which gave the snout a greater opportunity to survive the larva stage.
Odessa American, TX - Aug 2, 2006
40 species of butterflies are migrating through the Permian Basin
By Heather Nolan
Photo by Mark Sterkel
Odessa has a large number of unexpected guests in town. Jeanette Driver, a Southwest Bank teller, said she sees swarms of butterflies every day outside the bank. She first noticed a bevy of butterflies outside her house almost a week ago. She thought they were moths and that it was “weird” that there were so many of them flying in the daytime. “I thought something was invading us,” she said. “There were jillions of them in my yard.”
Fredericksburg Standard, TX - Aug 2, 2006
The remarkable swarms of small brown butterflies that have moved in upon Fredericksburg recently are American Snout butterflies.
“Absolutely extraordinary numbers” of the butterflies have been reported not only in Gillespie County but around the state, from Brownsville to Oklahoma, according to Mike Quinn, invertebrate biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. A unique combination of natural conditions have led to the butterfly’s “population explosion,” he said.
MyWestTexas.com, TX - Aug 2, 2006
Burr Williams-MRT Correspondent
During the last week of July, a butterfly invasion occurred.
Dozens of people called the Sibley Nature Center to ask a variety of questions: "Are they a pest? What do they eat? Where did they come from? Are they moths or butterflies? Just what is the dang deal?"
A similar invasion of the same butterfly, the snout, occurred in 1983. Exponential population explosions of arthropods are memorable, but irregular. Some Midlanders may remember the Midland Cubs baseball game interrupted by migrating grasshoppers in 1973. Others may remember the mesquite twig girdler invasion of 1996 that left millions of the beetles dead at the doors of brightly lit business and schools over the span of a few days.
MSNBC - Aug 3, 2006
But even enthusiasts aren't enthused by these ‘Snouts.’ Why?
NBC Nightly News
MISSION, Texas - Along the Mexico-Texas border, there is an abundance of spectacular butterflies.
But this isn't about them. This is about a dull, little brown butterfly which you'd quickly forget — except for its preposterously huge nose.
"Looks almost like a leaf, the way that snout comes off the head of the butterfly," says one butterfly enthusiast. [David Dauphin]
And its unreal ability to reproduce.
Due to perfect breeding conditions here, billions — not millions — billions of brown "American snouts" are migrating across Texas in historic numbers.
"I wouldn't call the snout spectacular," says another observer. [Gil Quintanillo]
You'd think butterfly lovers would be ecstatic, but no. The problem is, these parts have more than 300 exotic, beautifully colored butterflies, and the snouts are, well, just snouts.
"They're not a calendar butterfly, no," says Professor Lawrence Gilbert of the University of Texas-Austin about the brown American snout.
WOAI, TX - Aug 6, 2006 (San Antonio)
By Molly Keck, Texas Cooperative Extension Program Specialist
It's hard not to notice them. They're everywhere and they're called snout butterflies. They've also been referred to as hackberry butterflies because they lay their eggs on hackberry trees. They are swarming - or migrating - right now because of the weather. They are pretty common in the south and west and also in San Antonio every year, but during drought conditions like these, they have a massive bloom and migrate northward.
They aren't like Monarchs, which migrate from a specific place to another specific place. These guys are just kind of meeting up around the San Antonio area, mating, and laying their eggs. Back in 1996 we had a massive migration and the skies literally turned black in the middle of the day south of San Antonio.
Kerrville Daily Times, TX -
By Gerard MacCrossan
Millions of butterflies swarmed through Kerr County this week signaling a second 2007 <sic> outbreak of the American Snout.
This week’s arrival follows July’s large snout butterfly outbreak.
“They are on a tear east from San Antonio, out to Kerrville and (covering) a wide swath down to Uvalde County,” Quinn said. “Some people are reporting it is greater than the previous numbers.”
The Bandera Bulletin, TX - Oct 10, 2006
A second round of the American Snout Butterfly has swarmed the Hill Country, leaving plenty of questions and residue behind. Many experts have speculated why the migratory mini-monarchs are freely flying through the area once again, but most agree that the wave may indicate a pattern of regular visitation.
The American Snout first arrived in Bandera in late July. Texas Cooperative Extension Agent Warren Thigpen said that the butterflies were attracted to the county's indigenous hackberry trees, and otherwise posed no threat to the environment.
He was unable to pinpoint where the snouts were headed, but they seemed to be traveling north. They disappeared for about a month before coming back in droves.
12 Oct 2009 © Mike Quinn / email@example.com / Texas Entomology