Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillars

Yesterday, I visited the Botanical Garden in SF's Golden Gate Park.  The garden is free for SF residents, but it costs eight bucks for everyone else to visit. That being said, the joint was jumping during my poke around.

Maybe it had something to do with this:


One of many...

Hanging out on his host plant, the California Pipevine.

Possibly the world's oldest Pipevine Swallowtail. :D

I spied the 'old dude' above just chilling on some greenery. He wasn't moving, so I thought he might have been dead. Nope. I small gust of wind came along and, while he didn't lose his perch, his wings fluttered slightly.

Although this butterfly is found in many spots around No. America, the SF population is a finicky eater and, by about five years ago, its numbers had dwindled to very few. A local scientist by the name of Tim Wong set about to turn the tide on these lovely butterflies. Armed with a bunch of California pipevine plant obtained from the SF Botanical Garden and a bunch of caterpillars, Wong was able to create a back yard environment in which this butterfly could thrive. Indeed, the abundance of caterpillars I saw at the Botanical Gardens is due to Tim Wong's conservation efforts. To read a bit about Mr. Wong's butterfly project, go here.


  1. Oh wow. It's amazing how much of an impact one person can make.

    1. Yes, it's very cool. His tenacity probably saved the SF contingent of this species.

  2. Hooray for single minded individuals who change the world in a positive way. We need more Tim Wongs.

  3. Dear Bea, I wish I could have visited the Botanical Gardens with you. What a treat to see all that must be there.

    And thanks so much for that link. It surely shows what one person can do to effect change. Peace.

    1. Hi, Dee! If you could just 'pop over', then we'd go. The caterpillars may still be in abundance or they may be transforming into their chrysalis form as I type!

      Tim Wong has done a very good thing.


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