Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pipevine Swallowtail

pipevine swallowtail butterfly
Last week, I had a chance to go to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and see their Butterfly Pavilion. Inside the large screened-tent enclosure were lots of local butterflies. One in particular, the Pipevine Swallowtail, is more localized than local. They manage to keep a small population going with a few Aristolochia californica, California pipevine plants.

pipevine swallowtail caterpillar

This is a very cool-looking caterpillar, and it was the first time I had seen them in person.  We have Aristolochia at the arboretum, but not A. californica. I have occasionally looked on the vines, hoping that a wayward butterfly might have found them, but I haven't seen any of them, or their caterpillars.

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