Thursday, June 28, 2007

Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

We are in awe at what chooses to occupy this space in which we live and enjoy.

While walking around the garden and assessing what needed to be done, this charming creature was enjoying the yellow 6' high Cephalaria gigantea (giant scabiosa).

Exquisite! It is difficult for me to comprehend the beauty, the intricate design and color and the intensity of the iridescent blue on the lower side of the black and yellow wings. There are bright orange spots on the tail end which give the appearance of eyes. Should a predator go after this end, the butterfly escapes with only part of the wing missing. This Anise Swallowtail
flits about from place to place as I stand captivated.

Do you think it is attracted to this delicate fennel (anise)? You bet...its main source for food. And it is also fond of our elevation.

The following website illustrates the fascinating stages from caterpillar to adult.