Today when we checked on our California Pipevine Swallowtail newborns (Battus philenor hirsuta), we were devastated to discover what we believe is a mysterious disease has struck our caterpillars.
For over a week since we first obtained our first newborn Pipevine Swallowtail colonies they looked absolutely great. They would feed gregariously side by side in perfect parallel rows with their heads aligned in the same direction or rest together in little clumps. For such little guys, each colony ate and pooped a lot since there were so many of them in each one.
Starting on Thursday 6/28, we had witnessed disease spreading among our Cecropia (Hyalophora cecropia) and Ceanothus (Hyalophora euryalus) caterpillars. Whether or not the disease was related in any way or not between the two species, they were both hit at the same time, the Cecropia caterpillars right after the Ceanothus. Symptoms were similar in that the infected caterpillars would very abrubtly lose their appetite and wander aimlessly for days before becoming weak and starving to death. Molting caterpillars could be infected too and would mismolt due to weakness. With the potential annihilation of our entire stock of these caterpillars, we took some pretty serious measures to try to contain the disease. For one thing, we moved all of the Cecropia into outdoor rearing sleeves away from the site of the pathogen and sterilized all potentially contaminated rearing enclosures with bleach. All dead or sick caterpillars were removed immediately for both Cecropia and Ceanothus.
At first, we thought that these actions could contain whatever disease(s) was/were infecting our Cecropia and Ceanothus caterpillars and at very least stop it from spreading to another species since we are keeping so many caterpillars right now. However, just yesterday we realized that at least one of our Pipevine colonies was not acting right. The suspect colony was fairly large and consisted of all first instar caterpillars that were in apolysis for second instar. At first, it was impossibly difficult to tell whether they had been infected by any disease because during this state the caterpillars are fairly immobile, weak, and loose their appetite -- all of which are possible symptoms of disease -- anyway. But after two days without any of the caterpillars molting yet, it was pretty clear that something was up.
Today when we checked on these guys, they still had not molted and many of the caterpillars had seemed to become so weak that they had lost their grip. Their prolegs had begun to shrink in and they were unable to cling onto the leaf properly let alone perform the molt. It created a sort of scattered look with caterpillars lying around in random positions rather than clumped compactly as they should be. Within a few hours most of the caterpillars seemed dead and we threw the entire petri dish along with them into the trash. When we looked at our other colonies, it appeared that the dish directly under this one had also been infected and were very near death. That one also went into the trash.
Whether or not the disease from the Cecropia or Ceanothus caterpillars are related to each other or even related to what we were witnessing with our Pipevines is impossible to tell. But in any case, we were not willing to take the risk and decided that anything that had any contact with any of the three species was in high risk for contamination. We decided to completely evacuate all of our Pipevine newborns into a different room away from the site of the disease and then buy some new plastic rearing containers at night to replace the current ones.
When we came back from buying ten new containers that night we realized another Pipevine colony was in danger. Like the first colony, the caterpillars were all in apolysis for second instar and two of its members were already dead -- very limp, without a trace of life left in them. At this point, we were quite scared and decided to take measures even further. We decided to separate the rest of the presumably healthy colonies into groups of 4-6 in order to prevent total death of the colony should even one individual within it contracts the disease and spreads it within the dish. Each of the groups were moved into completely new, sterile petri dishes, putting on a new set of gloves for each dish we changed to prevent spread of the pathogen. Each dish was given new leaf cuttings from the middle of our leaf bag since the outer leaves had less of a chance of being contaminated through handling. Finally, we moved all petri dishes into yet another new room and spread them out so that none were touching. We bleached or threw away any potentially infected items in the trash can outside such as used petri dishes, containers, leaves, and gloves.
This is the first time we have encountered such a disease crisis and we hope that we are dealing with it appropriately. If there are more dead colonies by tomorrow, we will most likely have to destroy our entire stock and start over fresh in order to get rid of the disease.
The last installment of rearing notes for our European Mantis (M. religiosa) in the fifth instar . . . Rest in peace.
Rearing Notes 6/29:
It was certainly a notable feat to be the last survivor of the wild-caught newborns. It was a very long run. Farewell and rest in peace, old friend.
A mysterious egg we found has hatched into what clearly appears to be a sphinx moth larvae. Could it be the One-eyed Sphinx (Smerinthus cerisyi)?
Yesterday we found a very large egg on Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum) at the Eastside Permaculture Garden near Memorial Park in Albany. It was a mottled brown color when we found it and pretty oval and flat, with a thick shell similar to, say, the eggs of the Giant Silkmoths we have reared. However, there are no established Giant Silkmoth populations in Albany and it clearly wasn't a Polyphemus (Antheraea polyphemus) or Ceanothus Silkmoth (Hyalophora euryalus) egg anyway, especially because it wasn't laid in a cluster. So even though the egg did seem characteristic of a Saturniid, we thought that it was most likely some sort of sphinx moth.
As the egg reached the end of its development, it became a pearly white color because the shell became clear and the pale (whitish) caterpillar underneath was beginning to become exposed. When it finally hatched sometime this morning, we suppose that we had guessed correctly that it would be some kind of Sphingadae since it has the distinguishing horn on its last segment (think hornworms). The overall shape of the body was a pretty big giveaway too -- long and slender with no hair or tubercles. However, actually identifying the exact species can be difficult and our best guess is that we now possess a larvae of the One-eyed Sphinx (Smerinthus cerisyi), a fairly common sphinx moth who's range should extend to our region. Though daisies are not at all related to any of the host plants listed for S. cerisyi, the daisy that it was laid on was growing directly underneath a willow (Salix), so perhaps the moth intended to lay it on that instead which would make much more sense since it and a number of other species eat willow.
We shall see for sure once our little guy grows a little bigger, but for now the descriptions and identification pictures of the first instar caterpillar sure do match what we have. But until then. . .
UPDATE: The caterpillars has accepted the willow leaf we put in its petri dish.
We have officially begun trials for our upcoming report on inducing an extra instar in Anise Swallowtails (Papilio zelicaon) through nutritional deficiency.
We have already written multiple posts hinting at our upcoming experiment such as this one and this one, but now it has officially begun! The experiment is pretty basic. First we must find a method of creating a state of severe malnutrition in young caterpillars so that they grow to be undersized and then we can see whether or not it will induce an additional instar after the fifth instar instead of pupation. If it works, we can find the mass of each of the fifth instar caterpillars to determine the critical mass threshold required for the sixth molt.
So, now that you know what's up, here is a draft or sketch or design -- or whatever you want to call it -- of the experiment:
Our Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) have begun to hatch and in this post we briefly go over how we are rearing them in lieu of a full set of rearing notes since we have reared this species so many times.
The 18 Monarch eggs (Danaus plexippus) we collected on 6/24 started to hatch yesterday and now we have a total of seven little newborns. Despite it being such a popular species, especially among beginners, most people who have reared Monarchs probably know that this species is quite prone to diseases and is often infected by the protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE), as well as tachinid flies (family Tachinidae). In the past, we have had some serious issues with both OE and tachinid flies in wild-caught caterpillars. This time, however, we have found the Monarchs in the form of egg, a rare find in the summer months here, so pretty much the only thing that they could potentially be infected with is OE (transmitted by their mother butterfly onto their eggs shells while are ingested along with the spores upon hatching) which is extremely common among our western populations.
Sometimes we have used standard sterilizing protocols to get rid of the stuff, but it is a lot of work. Since we are currently dealing with a myriad of rearing projects right now, we just didn't have the time or energy to perform any sterilization procedures and are just raising them without special treatment.
Anyway, we have set up a pretty simple rearing apparatus for our newborns since there are so few of them and they are still young and won't eat much. Basically, we used a small rectangular scientific flask filled with water to hold cuttings of Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassaciva). The milkweed is a pretty hardy plant and can easily be grown and transplanted from cuttings, hence the fact that the cuttings generally do well when simply placed in some water. We thought that this was the best and most natural alternative to rearing them outside since we do not currently have any proper outdoor rearing sleeves.
On a completely different note, we took note of something we have noted for a while with Brush-foots (Nymphalidae) like Monarchs, West Coast Ladies (Vanessa annabella), and Gulf Fritillaries (Augraulis vanillae): the caterpillars are mildly cannibalistic of other eggs. From the 18 eggs, we were only able to get seven of them to hatch and the other eggs have seemed to have dissapeared into thin air. Because we did not remove the newborn caterpillars immediately after they hatched, they must have had the chance to walk around and eat up some of the other eggs that hadn't hatched yet (though we could be wrong). As for the evolutionary benefit, this is normally to avoid overcrowding, but to be honest it just seems illogical in many cases.
Over the past ten days since we found our
We first found the California or Hairy Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor hirsuta) last Saturday on 6/18 at Tilden Regional Park and it was a pretty amazing day -- to not only really see this amazing species for the first time but also to collect so many of them. To kick it off, we had found a total of 14 caterpillars and three clusters of eggs (for a total of 53 eggs) -- more than enough to ensure success in rearing them and probably even enough for a healthy breeding stock in the future. We thought for sure we had drained the place of its stock, at least for a while. . .
But the following week (last week) and this week, we proved ourselves wrong and completely outdid ourselves. From being completely nonexistent among our collection of insects, the Pipevine Swallowtail now firmly stands as one the species with the most individuals we have reared at a particular time, a close second to the more common Anise Swallowtails (we have raised thousands of the latter over the years, believe me!). And all of this in less than two weeks.
You see, we don't have actually any pipevine plants available at home for us to feed our caterpillars. So, every 2-3 days we have to head all the way back up to Tilden Park to pick a few leaves. We could also pick leaves at the Botanic Gardens (part of Tilden), but that would just be a downright violation of the hard work the gardeners have put into planting it and would also destroy the appearance of the plant for visitors. Anyway, because we have to visit the pipevine so often, we have every opportunity to nab any more caterpillars, eggs, or even butterflies that may show up (I doubt we are the only ones looking for them!!). And that's exactly what we did.
On Tuesday 6/21 when we went to pick leaves, we found two more pipevine plants that we had not seen before and reaped another 14 caterpillars -- almost all of which were fifth instars -- and doubled the number of caterpillars we had. In addition we found not three, but four more clusters of eggs for a total of 71 more eggs -- more than doubling the number of eggs we had. And to top it off we found two chrysalises off to the side of one the vines.
By the time we returned on 6/23, we didn't expect to find many more unless we discovered yet another new vine. Plus, almost all of the caterpillars we had found had been fifth instars with a whole bunch of them already wandering around and ready to pupate at home so we expected that any of the ones we missed were probably also wandering and/or already chrysalises. This would make them a pain to find them. However, on the same pipevine we found the majority of our caterpillars on 6/18, we won another 10 caterpillars. Not to shabby . . .
On 6/25, we wanted to try something different. California Pipevine (Aristolochia californica), of course, is native to the region so in theory one should be able to find it growing in the wild in the appropriate habitats. While it is true that the vast majority of natives are becoming increasingly scarce and can no longer be easily found in their natural habitat, we thought it would definitely still be worth a shot to try to find more of the stuff in other natural areas or parks. After all, we found it growing in the wild at Tilden. So, after some time, we decided to head out to Canyon Trail Park in El Cerrito.
What led us to Canyon Trail was pretty simple. Pipevine Swallowtail populations are very unstable to say the least, because they are limited to a single host plant. In Albany, where there is not a single pipevine, they are no where to be seen -- not even a stray butterfly taking a visit. In Berkeley, the swallowtails don't exist either except in rare places with pipevine such as Tilden. So, the fact that there have been sightings of Pipevine Swallowtails in El Cerrito (we believe that we even saw one there ourselves) is a strong indicator that there is pipevine. And, unless it was simply growing in someone's backyard, the best place to look would be in its natural habitat and we thought Canyon Trail was a decent contender. As an overview, Canyon Trail Park is a very small, out-of-nowhere (isolated) park with only a few short hiking trails. It actually even has a playground and picnic area and a school next to it with tennis courts and such so it's not completely a nature area. But we still were willing to give the place a chance.
However, immediately when we got on the trails at 7:30 PM that day we realized with sinking hearts that the place might not have been the natural habitat we had hoped for since there were massive amounts of invasive ivy (Hedera) vines growing rampant. Not to mention invasive wild fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) in some areas. After searching the trails for half an hour to no avail, we were almost ready to give up. It seemed that the only vines there were were ivy and bramble (Rubus ursinus), growing along literally every part of the trails and dominating the entire ecosystem of the park.
By the end of the half hour, the one place that we hadn't looked was a small elevated clearing off the very end of the main trail. The bottom portion of the area is covered in dried grasses and occasionally dotted with little shrubs and trees like Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia). Near the top, there are some tall trees like California native Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and what appeared to be more vines. Looking up from the trail, they looked a lot like bramble, but we took a chance and painstakingly climbed our way up to take a closer look. Here, to our incredible delight, there was California Pipevine mixed in with what was indeed a lot more bramble and ivy. The pipevine was everywhere along the ground, a much larger plant than any of the ones at Tilden though it was in a lot worse condition. Nonetheless, we found three more caterpillars here to add to our collection. While this was less than we had expected for how much of the vine there was and how many of the leaves appeared to have caterpillar holes bitten into them, it was a whole lot better than coming back empty handed after such a long trip. The next day when we came back here during the day (2:00 PM) we even found a female butterfly as well as some nice looking grasshoppers.
By today, we were back to Tilden. Even though the chances of finding any more caterpillars was even lower than before (almost all of the fifth instars we have at home are beginning to pupate), it had been a week and a half since our first visit on 6/18 so we still had a good shot for finding some freshly laid eggs. After searching for well over an hour, we gathered our biggest and most insane find yet in terms of numbers: a total of 5 more egg clusters for a total of 67 eggs, 2 clusters (of 14 and 21) of young caterpillars that must have hatched from eggs we missed previously, a lone second instar caterpillar, and another chrysalis.
So, the question we all want answered now is: What in the world is our total?
In total (discluding any that may have later died) we found twelve egg clusters for 191 eggs, two clusters of gregarious (young) caterpillars for 35 caterpillars, 43 solitary caterpillars, and 3 chrysalises. A grand total of 272 individuals we are or will be rearing this summer, and all in just ten short days. I guess, the final moral of the story is "if you want something, get out there and look!"
Over the years, we noticed some interesting differences in color morphs in Mediterranean Katydids (Phaneroptera nana) and Mexican Bush Katydids (Scuderria mexicana) we have found.
Color variation is extremely common among insects just like humans exhibit an endless array of unique skin tones. In cryptic species, the most common major color groups are green and brown, for obvious reasons. Through the years we have encountered both of these color forms in both Mediterranean (Phaneroptera nana) and Mexican Bush (Scudderia mexicana) katydids though it is not quite the same between the species.
In P. nana, we have found the brown morph to be relatively more common, perhaps making about about 10% of the population based on our sample size of ~40 katydids collected from the same area (passion flower and bramble at El Cerrito's Ohlone Greenway at Lincoln Ave., an area in direct sunlight with both green and brown backgrounds). On the other hand, the brown form is much more rare in S. mexicana, having only found 3-4 of them since we first encountered them in 2008.
However, the age of the katydid must be accounted for. We have observed that all of the brown morph S. mexicana katydids we have encountered have always been very young nymphs, never larger than the fourth instar. When we have reared these katydids, they have consistently turned green by the time they have reached adulthood and therefore some of the larger green morph katydids we have found may have been brown in younger instars. It is also important to note that in both species, the first and second instars are very dark in color. At the same time the change to green could actually be due to various differences in the captive environment as compared to the environment in which they have been found such as light intensity, humidity, or background color (all common stimuli for color change in insects). However, this is somewhat unlikely since our captive enclosure was located outside in a clear tank with a screening lid and live plants and should have had a similar amount of sunlight exposure and humidity as other outdoor environments. In addition, background color probably does not play a role in determining color because we have found brown morphs on green backgrounds and vice versa and as well as both color forms on the same color background at the same time in both species. We have also never observed a green morph katydid turn into a brown one.
On the other hand, we have not witnessed as dramatic of a change in color between nymphs and adults in P. nana. Although we have yet to see the adult form of the brown morph nymphs we are currently keeping, over the instars they have not yet completely shown any signs of turning green (the change should be gradual over several instars). Our largest brown morphs are already in 6th instar, two instars greater than we have ever found brown morph S. mexicana nymphs and one instar away from adult. However, when we did raise a brown morph nymph to adulthood in 2014 in the same outdoor enclosure as the color-changing S. mexicana, it resulted in a green-brown intermediate which does suggest that it would have turned completely green had it had the chance to molt a few more times. This year, we are rearing them indoors, so if our current brown morphs do eventually result in completely brown adults perhaps it will suggest that the color change was actually related in some way to light intensity or humidity.
In addition to the brown and green color forms in S. mexicana and P. nana, there are also variations in secondary colors such as in the red stripes. In S. mexicana, red stripes and coloration are always present but vary greatly in intensity with some being almost nonexistent (creating an almost completely green look) while in others it is very pronounced (creating a dark purplish, almost black undertone). There is a correlation between this intensity of red and overall darkness in shade of the individual; for example, darker green individuals tend to have more and darker red (most noticeable on the wings and genitals in adults). This may very well be correlated with light intensity because we have often found that individuals that have already been reared indoors for a large portion of the lives tend to be darker than the ones we encounter in sunny locations. On the other hand, the red abdominal stripe are uncommon in P. nana during younger instars and virtually all of our younger nymphs are a mostly solid colored. However, it seems that only green individuals will have the red stripe in later instars, though brown morphs with the red stripe could still exist since we have a small sample size of brown morphs. We have yet to make any correlations between this and light intensity. At the same time, the red in both species is most definitely controlled in part by genetics, though we also have not tested this.
In conclusion, the color differences within these two species of katydids is somewhat mysterious, to say the least. Unlike many other insects, it has been very hard for us to pinpoint the exact mechanism controlling these phenotypes but perhaps we will find the answer soon now that we are rearing more katydids than we ever had in the past this year.
The top row shows the green and brown forms of the Mexican Bush Katydid; the bottom shows the same for the Mediterranean Katydid.
Today when we checked on our Ceanothus (Hyalophora euryalus) and Cecropia (Hyalophora cecropia) caterpillars, we were absolutely devastated to discover that several caterpillars from both species appeared to be sick with a disease, the first major caterpillar disease outbreak we have had in years.
For the past few weeks up until now, both our Cecropia and Ceanothus caterpillars looked healthy and strong, with only three accidental deaths since hatching. The Cecropias are just now molting into fourth instar while the Ceanothus are now molting in third; so far, so good. However, today when we checked on them in the morning, we found two Ceanothus caterpillars dead and a very sick looking Cecropia caterpillar as there was no evidence of feeding from it (no hole in the leaf in its immediate vicinity) and its body looked limp and weak. In addition, several other Cecropia and maybe a few Ceanothus caterpillars didn't seem quite right either and seemed to have eaten less than usual.
We quickly removed all sick looking individuals from their containers and disinfected all six Ceanothus containers and the Cecropia container that contained the sick individual with bleach. We then gave all the healthy looking Ceanothus caterpillars new leaves and made sure to wear a new set of gloves for each container to minimize cross contamination. For the sick individuals, we put them each in a different plastic cup with a petri dish lid and gave them a fresh leaf, though it is unlikely they will eat it.
We are now very worried for both our Ceanothus and Cecropia caterpillars because we had small cultures of both to begin with (36 Cecropias and 24 Ceanothus), and we can not obtain more of either of them in the wild here in Albany. For years we have never had a serious disease problem with our caterpillars, except for the year of 2013 with the Anise Swallowtail caterpillars.
To admit, however, over the years we have primarily reared butterfly species and only dabbled with Saturniidae because there are very few species from this family hear in Albany (and Western North America in general; the vast majority reside in Eastern North America), and the few species that are apparently here are rare. Thus, this disease outbreak is likely a result of our inexperience with rearing Saturniidae species. Most guides for rearing Saturniidae recommend sleaving tree branches for outdoor rearing or closed (air-tight) containers for indoor rearing. As we do not have Ceanothus caterpillar host plants in our yard and were afraid that outdoor rearing would dehydrate the Cecropia caterpillars because the California summer climate is much drier than most of their natural range, we chose indoor rearing for both species. However, indoor rearing has a much higher risk of disease than outdoor rearing, especially with air-tight containers because there is no ventilation. The purpose of closed containers is to keep the humidity high so that the caterpillars won't desiccate, but this sacrifices ventilation and increases the chance for disease greatly (high humidity + no ventilation = perfect environment for pathogens). We are almost certain that these factors played at least some part in creating the disease outbreak, and air-tight containers was our biggest mistake. Nothing else could have played a very significant role in instigating disease because the food was always kept very fresh (water tubes and changed everyday), and the frass was changed everyday which should be adequate enough in maintaining good sanitation. We do not even know if the disease started in the Ceanothus caterpillars or the Cecropias, or if the two outbreaks are even related, but we suspect it began with the Ceanothus since two were already dead when we checked compared to one sick Cecropia. Also, Ceanothus caterpillars are native to California which has a much drier summer climate than the habitat of most other Saturniids, so an air-tight container with high humidity may have been a serious mistake (we did not know if this was the right thing to do because there's almost no information out there at all on rearing this specific species). Species that normally reside in drier environments generally would have the highest disease risk in a humid one because they are not accustomed to it.
In either case, we have learned our lesson now and will try to get all the healthy Cecropias onto live host plants as soon as we figure out how to create rearing sleaves from mesh screening. For the Ceanothus we might consider buying a live plant from a nursery or simply take them out of the closed containers and raise them on cuttings in the open room.
Update: Here of some pictures of the sick caterpillars that eventually died on 6/30. The left shows a third instar Cecropia caterpillar in apolysis that turned brown and flaccid, unable to carry through with its molt. The right photo is of a second instar Ceanothus caterpillar that lost its appetite and eventually shriveled up and died in a pool of orange-brown fluid. Several other caterpillars have died since as will.
Our oldest second instar Ceanothus caterpillar (Hyalophora euryalus) has ecdysed into third instar.
When we checked on our Ceanothus caterpillars at around 5:30 PM today, neither of the two caterpillars that had entered apolysis yesterday had molted, but they looked extremely close as seen above. The cuticle looked more swollen than before and the head capsule looked looser as well. We were starting to think they would molt over the night , but at around 9:20 or so the older of the two in apolysis ecdysed. We caught it mid-act and quickly took plently of time lapse photos compiled below with the time labeled. When it just finished molting at 9:36 PM, the tubercles were all sort of squashed at wet looking, but by 2:13 AM, they were firm and erect, including the hairs at the tips.
There are a lot of changes from second to third instar, primarily in color. The body is now a yellowish green on the lateral sides and blue on the dorsal side. The dorsal tubercles are now all orange and the lateral ones are light blue. This differs from the third instar Cecropias which are green all around (no blue dorsal strip) and have red and yellow dorsal tubercles. The third instar Ceanothus caterpillar has also lost its black markings on each segment as well, giving the body a much smoother look compared to the third instar Cecropias that still have the markings. Actually, if you think about it, the third instar Ceanothus resembles the fourth instar Cecropia quite a bit which is also blue on the dorsal side and lacks the black markings. Another interesting difference between the third instar Ceanothus and the third instar Cecropia caterpillars is the body and tubercle shape difference. The Ceanothus body shape has more of a squarish cross section rather than a circular one, which is especially well defined at the thorax where the four large dorsal tubercles are. Viewed laterally, there is even a slight angle were the large dorsal thoracic tubercles are. The Ceanothus tubercles are also much slimmer and longer, especially the large dorsal thoracic ones as well s the large middorsal one on A9.
In order to see some of the differences and similarities between the species, below are side by side dorsal and lateral view photos of a recently molted third instar Cecropia, third instar Ceanothus, and fourth instar Cecropia caterpillar.
Today marks the end of second instar for the oldest caterpillar that lasted for approximately 5 days and 8 hours from 6/23-6/28. First instar for the oldest Ceanothus caterpillar lasted for approximately 5 days and 2 hours from 6/18-6/23.
Count: L3: 1; L2+: 8; L2: 11; dead: 3 (1 missing, 2 disease); suspected sick: 1
Rearing notes for our European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) in the fourth instar, the last survivor from our wild-caught newborns.
Rearing Notes 6/3-6/28:
6/11: Nothing significant worth noting.
This timeline is a series of daily posts recording our observations on and experiences with various insects around our residence in Albany California, from 2012-2017. Starting in August 2017, we moved to Ithaca, New York; posts from there on can be viewed at Timeline 2017-present: Ithaca, New York.
August 2017 (49)
July 2017 (121)
June 2017 (79)
May 2017 (77)
April 2017 (91)
March 2017 (35)
February 2017 (12)
January 2017 (10)
December 2016 (12)
November 2016 (26)
October 2016 (49)
September 2016 (84)
August 2016 (94)
July 2016 (99)
June 2016 (53)
May 2016 (21)
April 2016 (4)
January 2016 (1)
August 2015 (3)
July 2015 (3)
June 2015 (2)
June 2014 (3)
May 2014 (1)
April 2014 (3)
March 2014 (3)
December 2013 (2)
November 2013 (2)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (11)
August 2013 (15)
July 2013 (9)
June 2013 (5)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (2)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (2)
December 2012 (2)
November 2012 (1)
October 2012 (2)
September 2012 (2)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (1)
June 2012 (1)
Full Species List
(Alphabetical by scientific name)
Battus philenor hirsuta
Coenonympha tullia california
Langia zenzeroides formosana
Orthosia hibisci quenquefasciata
Papilio machaon oregonius
Papilio polyxenes asterius
Samia cynthia advena
Papilio glaucus × Papilio rutulus
Papilio polyxenes asterius × Papilio zelicaon
Araneae (Class: Arachnida)
Full Species List
(Alphabetical by common name)
Butterflies & Moths
African moon moth
Cabbage looper moth
"California" pipevine swallowtail
Common checkerspot skipper
Eastern giant swallowtail
Eastern tiger swallowtail
Genista broom moth
Gray furcula moth
Indian tussar moth
Peleides blue morpho
Salt marsh moth
Speckled green fruitworm moth
Spotted tussock moth
"Taiwan" Saw-winged sphinx
Yellow-edged giant owl
West coast lady
Western giant swallowtail
Western tiger swallowtail
Western tussock moth
Butterfly & Moth Hybrids
Black swallowtail × anise swallowtail
Eastern tiger swallowtail× western tiger swallowtail
Grasshoppers, Katydids, & Crickets
Mexican bush katydid
Stick & Leaf Insects
Giant leaf insect
Indian walking stick
Ants, Bees, Wasps, & Sawflies
Black and white chalcid wasp
European paper wasp
Pediobius chalcid wasp
Valley carpenter bee
Western honey bee
Yellow-faced bumble bee
Common green bottle fly
Rough Stink Bug
Southern green stink bug
Dragonflies & Damselflies
Convergent lady beetle
Seven-spotted lady beetle
Spotted cucumber beetle
Western blood-red lady beetle
European garden spider
Red-backed jumping spider