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Friday, May 6, 2016

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly

Butterflies are part of a yard with biodiversity. An anise swallowtail butterfly (Papilo zelicaon) is one of the larger butterflies that we see in Southern California.


The solid black shoulders identify this as an anise rather than a tiger swallowtail. While the 'desert' black swallowtail looks very similar, it is typically not found in the Los Angeles area. 

This female anise swallowtail is laying eggs on lemon tree leaves. While anise swallowtails can be citrus pests, the large population of birds in our yard makes it a challenge for a caterpillar to reach butterfly-hood. California towhee parents. The Bewick's wrens are constantly hunting caterpillars this time of year.

Mourning cloaks, skippers, tiger swallowtails, painted ladies, even monarchs frequent an oasis in the city. 

For ideas on creating your own butterfly garden see the Hidden Gardens of Pierce College's Botanical Garden and Orcutt Ranch Park.

More butterflies - Mourning Cloak & Butterflies of Illinois

Tiny creatures are always creating Earth Minutes 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! A swallowtail laid a few eggs on Westlake Village, CA, lemon tree. Been trying to id kind. Why would Anise lay on fennel AND lemon - they seem different foods. I will ask tomorrow (7/23/16) at Pollinator Day at Pleasant Valley Historical Society in Camarillo.