The snout butterfly has taken over San Antonio. Scientists say that late summer rains lead to population explosions in South Texas.
Terri Matiella, a lecturer at UTSA’s Department of Environmental Science and Ecology, says the butterflies have a brownish yellow color.
“They also have a long snout, which is why they get their name,” said Matiella, who added that their population booms are annual, but recent rains make conditions just right. “When we get the summer droughts and then heavy rains, it increases their food source, which are hackberry plants and shrubby-looking trees. The caterpillars feed off those shrubs, then turn into butterflies, and then you have massive populations of butterflies everywhere.”