eyeless in gaza

Patrick Foley patfoley at csus.edu
Sat Apr 13 20:58:37 EDT 2002

Dear lepsters,

Along the American River in Sacramento, the Pipevine Swallowtails,
Battus philenor, are flying in numbers, at least the males. They are
mating with the few evident females, and their cute little
orange-spotted caterpillars are showing up on the

I saw my first spring Anise Swallowtail, Papilio zelicaon, close up
today, and while his tails were pristine, both hw eyespots had been
cleanly removed with no other damage. I guess it is springtime for the
birds also. What will be this bird's next mistake?

Also seen recently here are the western Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio
rutulus, the Spring Azure, Celestrina ladon, the Eastern tailed blue,
Everes comyntas, and of course the Orange Sulfur, Colias eurytheme and
the Cabbage White, Pieris rapae.

Oddly, I have seen few bees along the American river this spring so far:
a few carpenter bees, Xylocopa , and a few bumble bees, Bombus. Usually
by now, more small native bees are in evidence. This may be due to
observer bias; my right eye, while retinally sound, is still plagued by
unphagocytized red blood cells, so that rapid movements give much the
same effect as a little shaken snow scene. When the phagocytes have
finished their work, it will be harder for the bees to hide among the

Patrick Foley
patfoley at csus.edu


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