A very colorful caterpillar.

Allan Hogle found this caterpillar feeding on a flowering fennel head. He wondered just what it was.

Anise Swallowtail caterpillar by Allen HogleIt's an Anise Swallowtail caterpillar. Their host plants are dill, parsley...and fennel!  Here is what it will turn into, a Anise Swallowtail butterfly. Such a beautiful butterfly. This photo taken by Drew Fagan,An Anise Swallowtail nectaring on Lavender by Drew FaganI just acquired an excellent booklet for identifying butterflies and caterpillars, titled “Butterflies of Central and Northern California” by Jim Brock. The Four-eyed Frog Bookstore in Gualala will be carrying it. http://www.foureyedfrog.com/

Thanks to Allan and Drew for allowing me to share their photos with you here.

 

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