The next book in the Color & Learn series, Coloring Southern California Butterflies and Caterpillars, is currently in production. During this pandemic, we need your help producing this book that will support the San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM). Your donations would help assure that this book will be published this year. Donations of $50 or more will be rewarded with a signed copy of the book.
Educator Bill Howell, author of this new book, has trained hundreds of SDNHM Canyoneers and Mission Trails Regional Park Trail Guides so that they can better interpret the natural world to the general public. His fondness for butterflies and their kin is apparent in this new book. Bill is donating all of his author royalties to the SDNHM. We need your help to produce this book. Donations may be mailed directly to Sunbelt Publications, indicating that the funds are to be used to publish the latest in the Color & Learn series. Our address is 1250 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.
To show our gratitude to our fans, please enjoy a free coloring page from this upcoming title and the interpretive text that accompanies the image. This page features the Anise Swallowtail, a commonly seen resident of southern California backyards. Have you seen them visiting your neighborhood?
Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)
The Anise Swallowtail butterfly may be the most extensively seen swallowtail in southern California. It extends into southern Canada and is common in the western United States, except in desert areas. Like most (but, not all) swallowtail butterflies it has a swallow-like tail on each hindwing. The naked caterpillar has no hairs or filaments and has bands of green and black stripes with pale yellow spots. All swallowtail caterpillars, if disturbed, extend a stinky, orange bifurcated protrusion from the back of their head to allegedly deter predators. The forked projection is called an osmeterium. The food plant for the caterpillar includes members of the carrot family with fennel being a favorite. The chrysalis is held upright with a necklace of silk and ranges in color from bark-brown to leaf-green and suggests a camouflage strategy.