Live hissing cockroaches and scorpions big enough to filet comprise the insect exhibit at the Texas Experience Pavilion at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo this year. Butterflies are represented by dead mounts and paper cut-outs.
As disappointing as fake and dead butterflies are compared to live ones, the decision to avoid live butterfly stock this year may have been prescient, given the historic cold. Live butterflies cannot endure subfreezing temperatures and likely would have perished in the snow and ice storm that befell San Antonio this week, dropping temperatures into the 20s. The Texas Experience Pavilion is housed in an unheated metal building.
The crowd on Saturday night didn’t seem to mind. Many gathered to see the lepidoptera display. Beautiful specimens of butterflies and moths–from Monarchs and Swallowtails to Polyphemus and Luna moths–were perfectly pinned, touting their fully opened wings and bright colors.