Giant Swallowtail Record
be496 at lafn.org
Wed Nov 11 19:48:52 EST 1998
Eleanor Samuels of Canoga Park, Calif. found a Giant Swallowtail gasping
it last breath on her clothesline yesterday and felt very bad about it
dying. This is the first known record for Canoga Park and San Fernando
Valley (Los Angeles County, Calif.). This butterfly has been expanding
its range northward particularly along the coast of San Diego and Orange
Counties for several years. 1998 has been a particulary good year,
perhaps because of the El Nino phenomenon, with a few earlier reports
within Los Angeles County.
Eleanor has tended her beautiful garden of 45 years and knew this black
Swallowtail was different from her usual Western Tiger Swallowtails (P.
rutulus). After obtaining a Mattoni Butterfly Guide from our L.A. NABA
Leader, Margaret Huffman, a recent speaker at her Garden Club, she
thought perhaps it was an 'Edward's' Indra Swallowtail (P. indra
pergamus), the only black ground-colored swallowtail pictured, also a
rarity. Eleanor's interest in her garden, life and always learning, has
obviously contributed to her longevity.
Eleanor had a few other butterflies carefully preserved that she had
found dead in her garden over the years: a couple of Variable
Checkerspots (Euphydryas chalcedona chalcedona), a Gulf Fritillary
(Agraulis vanillae incarnata) and 3 or 4 Western Tiger Swallowtails, the
color of one as gold as a Two-Tailed Swallowtail(P. multicaudata). The
Samuels' lamented the loss of habitat by the inevitable housing
developments, where previously hundreds of many species formerly flew
but were pleased to be contribute to this latest record.
LANABA, Lorquin, Xerces, Lep Soc.
Flutterby Press (BF materials)
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