(Mission, TX) The 'Stinky Leafwing' or Orion Cecropian, as it is properly named, was photographed at the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas, on Sunday, September 10, 2012. This is only the fourth documented sighting of this species in the United States—and the second occurrence at the Center.
This tropical butterfly is a strong and solitary flier, with a large wingspan of approximately 11 centimeters. Common to the West Indies, South & Central America, the Orion Cecropian prefers forested habitats such as the deciduous woodlands of Costa Rica, the rainforests of the Amazonian jungle, and the cloud forests near the base of the Andes Mountains. 'Stinky' in the Orion's nickname most likely refers to the putrid or rotting fruit on which it feeds. In fact, both times the Orion Cecropian has been seen at the National Butterfly Center, we have had fermenting bait, known as "butterfly brew", at stations throughout the gardens and along the humid, sheltering Hackberry Trail.
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Dr. Robert Michael Pyle, Texas Butterfly Festival Keynote Speaker. Photo by Benjamin Drummon and Sara Joy Steele
Dr. Robert Michael Pyle, Texas Butterfly Festival Keynote Speaker.
Photo by Benjamin Drummon and Sara Joy Steele
Creative minds are increasingly turning to nature—banyan tree leaves, butterfly wings, a bird's beak— for fresh design solutions
By Tom Vanderbilt
Smithsonian magazine, September 2012,
The first thing you notice about the entomology collections department, Lepidoptera division, at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History is a faint, elusively familiar odor. Mothballs. I briefly contemplated the cosmic irony of mothballs in a room full of moths (and butterflies, a lineage of moths evolved to fly during the day) before turning to Bob Robbins, a research entomologist. “There are many insects that will eat dried insects,” he said, “so traditionally you kept those pests out using naphthalene, or mothballs.”
The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) is pleased to announce Marianna Trevino Wright has joined the organization as Executive Director of the National Butterfly Center. The National Butterfly Center is a flagship project of NABA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of wild butterflies in their native habitats.
Ms. Wright brings extensive experience in organizational development, operations, marketing, and fundraising to the National Butterfly Center. Prior to becoming the Center's Executive Director, Ms. Wright was the Executive Director of The Foundation at Mission Regional Medical Center, and the Texas Project Manager for the worldwide Christian Children's Fund.