Loving Radish

Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

Thanks to Parks management’s restraint with the mowing machines, a thick stand of Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) remains on the northwest hilltop that harbors the Peace Symbol. Among the diversity of bugs that appreciate this vegetarian bounty is this beautiful butterfly. It inserted its proboscis deep into the radish flower to suck up the nectar at its base.

It’s a native butterfly of the West Coast from British Columbia to Baja California. This one very probably just emerged from its pupa a few days ago. Its mother laid an egg last fall, and this went through five stages of caterpillar development before turning into a pupa, where it survived the winter. Females will lay about 200 eggs, singly, on the underside of the leaves of dozens of different plant species.

Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

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