Playful, beautiful, delicate….all are words to describe the fairytale-like insect that we know as the butterfly. Flitting from petals to leaves, seemingly dancing across the blooming flora with the lightness of…well, a butterfly.
Texas has more butterfly species and sub-species than any other state and understandably so considering the sheer size of Texas and the diversity of its ecological regions. With the unique habitat offerings found around the state, millions of butterflies of various shapes, sizes and species thrive annually. A few species you'll likely spot while butterflying in the Coastal Bend include Great Southern Whites, Sulphurs (also known as Little Yellows), Queens, Monarchs (during migration), Pygmy Blues and Swallowtails.
For many, the sighting of a butterfly signals the coming of springtime! Enjoying butterflies during the spring is a must for most in our country, as you may not have the opportunity during any other season…but not in South Texas! These mystical members of the insect class can be found nearly year-round in the Coastal Bend.
Enjoying a sub-tropical climate with temperatures that range between comfortably mild and tropically warm, butterflies can be found drifting playfully around the Corpus Christi area just about any time. However, there are certain times of the year where these little beauties greatly increase in volume: spring and fall.
Spring isn’t any surprise but fall in the Coastal Bend of Texas is just as good, if not better, for butterflying. Many plants that are butterfly attractors, such as milkweed, are still thriving due to the mild climate and this keeps the butterfly population fairly consistent. An added bonus is having the logistical advantage of being located within the Coastal Flyway, making Corpus Christi a primary stopping point for monarch butterflies during the fall migration from Canada to the winter home in Mexico.
If you’re wondering where you can enjoy these delightful insects during your visit to Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend, just head outdoors and explore some of the region’s numerous open, undeveloped areas such as parks and nature preserves.
A local favorite for butterflying is the Butterfly Garden at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. You’ll also find nature trails, birding spots, beautiful flora and wildlife on your visit there, as well as an incredible butterfly collection donated by the Prentiss Family. These butterflies were collected from over 50 years of world-wide travel, now on display for the enjoyment of all.
Peak times for butterflying in Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend:
- Mid-March through Mid-April
- Mid-October through Mid-November