Recent sightings…

On a recent evening walk in Sebastopol’s Laguna de Santa Rosa Preserve, my
family and I thought we were seeing grasshoppers in the wild roses lining one of the paths adjacent to a pond, but on closer inspection, the roses were thick with tiny brown and green Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla). No bigger than the tips of my fingers, they clung to the leaves and twigs, as well as occasionally dropping from the oak branches above the roses.

 

Anise swallowtail larva

My son called for us to come out to our yard to see something cool. On the fennel plant that he convinced us to let grow next to our strawberry bed, he pointed out several large and colorful caterpillars, which we later positively identified as anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) larvae. We’d certainly seen the adults many times, but had never spotted the larvae before. By the light green color and the use of fennel as a host plant, our caterpillars were evidently near the end of their larval stage (they are darker and prefer poison hemlock in earlier stages). We’ll keep watch for their cocoons.

 

 

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