pipevine swallowtail caterpillar

How one man repopulated a rare butterfly species in his backyard
We can all contribute to conservation efforts — sometimes even from our own backyards.
By Zachary Crockett

via http://www.vox.com/2016/7/6/12098122/california-pipevine-swallowtail-butterfly-population 

Tim Wong (Instagram: timtasti1c) <– go follow him, he has lots of beautiful photos including butterfly photos~!


Yesterday’s caterpillars.
1-4) The three pipevine swallowtail caterpillars I saw in McDade
5) My second batch of io moth caterpillars molted for the second time
6-8) My first batch of io moth caterpillars also molted, for the third time
9) When I got back from McDade, I found a few tawny emperor escapees. I was gone too long and their leaves dried up. They always start escaping when they’re hungry.

June 3, 2017


An army of colorful California Pipevine swallowtail butterfly caterpillars have started to make an appearance in the California Native Garden where they can be observed feeding on their only native host plant - California Pipevine (Aristolochia californica)- growing in Bed 40B. Their bright coloration is a warming to predators that these caterpillars are poisonous if eaten! Please watch your step on the path and avoid stepping off path where caterpillars are often hiding under leaves and vines along the ground! 🌱🐛🦋☀️👍🏻
🎥&✏️from the one and only @timtast1c (at San Francisco Botanical Garden)

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Look at them! They are glorious, ravenous monsters!

They are Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars, and they are chewing through my Woolly Dutchman’s Pipe at a truly shocking rate. If you stand beside the vine, you hear this steady feeding sound, which is both cool and deeply, deeply creepy.

I re-located a couple to another pipevine a few yards away which hadn’t gotten colonized, to try and spread the carnage out a bit. This is the first year that I’ve ever had them and they are magnificent and I am extremely honored.