Rare butterfly spotted twice in a week at National Butterfly Center

Local News

MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The National Butterfly Center in Mission flutters this time of year with different colored butterflies. This season the extremely rare Emerald Aguna was spotted not once but twice in one week.

“It gets everyone very excited!” said Marianna Treviño-Wright, the executive director of the National Butterfly Center.

Wright said that the resident photographer was able to snap a photo of this rare sighting and posted it to their Facebook page where she said enthusiasts were amazed.

Wright said there are a few reasons why these rare sightings occur more during this time of the year.

“This time of year rarities tend to show up, one thing is, they arrive because of our winds,” she said.

Plus something else, Wright said, is the Patagonia effect that happens when there are a lot of people in one head.

“That is when lots of people get together, lots of eyeballs looking for things, rarities show up just because you have a lot more people out there looking,” said Wright.

The Emerald Aguna is a neotropical species that ranges from Venezuela to Mexico and is extremely rare, according to Wright.

“Three times now it’s been found at the National Butterfly Center over the last 20 years. That’s how rare this butterfly is, and it’s showed up twice in the last two weeks right ahead of the Texas Butterfly Festival,” said Wright.

Wright said the Texas Butterfly Festival will take place Saturday through Sunday and on average 2,000 people come.

“People from all over the country come. Some people spend a week here, some spend a month or even the entire winter here!” she said.

Though Wright said some are worried about COVID-19, she said because it is outside it is safer.

“The outdoors is the safest place to be if you’re going to gather, according to the CDC,” she added.

The Texas Butterfly Festival Family Event begins on Oct. 30. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Texas Butterfly Festival is from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2. Click here for registration.

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