Cat, you get all the cool butterflies down there. If I ever thought I'd move again, the Valley is where I'd move to. You could also find Red Rim larvae on your Tragia/Noseburn. It always amazes me how well the Common Mestra larvae blend in to the plant. Have you ever raised them before? Here's a pic of the caterpillar.
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
Dale, you've been here before so I know you'd be a happy camper! We need a lep farmer down here!!! Can you imagine raising crackers, sailors and exotic leafwings...OH MY!!! Hey, the Malachites, Bluewings and hairstreaks too! I assume you've been keeping up with all the new species that have shown up this month.
I've had Common Mestras in my yard but have not sighted a Red Rim. I think Jan or Berry raised them though. NBC is 22 miles from where I live as is Santa Ana Wildlfe Refuge. Edinburg World Birding is about I've miles east of me.
Never raised either one...yet...but eventually I will if they or a Sailor would lay eggs on the Tragia!!! I have a nice sized Dale Champia vine - am waiting or a Cracker to find it! Same goes for green shrimp plant and Malachites. Might have to put out a neon sign in my back yard to show them the way?!
Unfortunately work keeps me busy and out of town trips don't help. I don't like leaving caterpillars alone for more than a day or two so haven't didn't do much raising this year.
I came across a mating pair of Forbes silkmoths at the ranch a few months ago and brought them back to Edinburg. The female laid about 200 eggs before I turned her loose. Had gobs of caterpillars but then I had to work out of own for several days so I took them to the ranch and put them on the Colima bush I found mama on. When I went back to check on them a weekend later couldn't find a single cat! UGH!!!
I love raising those big beautys - every now and then I'll find cocoons on the neighbors ash tree but haven't made time to look...dratted trees are too tall! All I get is cat frass on my roof!