This Pipevine Swallowtail was released yesterday at the UC Botanical Garden. Andy raised it from an egg at his house and it emerged on April 17, 2013. Several people who happened to be at the entrance were able to observe the butterfly up close. I think the shiny turquoise structural color is so beautiful! This is a male. The females have more of a chocolatey brown color in the hind-wings.
As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I studied Conservation of Natural Resources. I took a couple of entomology classes and became very interested in insects. After I graduated, I held several jobs working with bugs: in the fields of central California, the forests of Connecticut and Idaho, and the labs of Berkeley. Then I went to grad school and studied entomology at UC Riverside and UC Berkeley (back in the olden days when UCB had an entomology department). When my kids were little, I wanted to share my love of insects with them, so I started a butterfly garden before butterfly gardens were popular. Then of course, their teachers asked me to bring caterpillars into the classroom and I started doing classroom presentations. I do presentations in elementary schools, provide teacher trainings, teach adult school classes, and bring live insect specimens to garden fairs. My book is perfect for helping elementary school kids learn about butterflies.