Photo Credit: www.marinopenspace.org

Marin County observers have identified 76 species of butterflies in various areas throughout the county. The Pipevine Swallowtail inhabits Cascade Canyon; the Acmon Blue is found on Mt. Burdell and at Old St. Hilary’s; and the Western Pygmy-blue can be seen at Bolinas Lagoon. Spotters have found the Anise Swallowtail and the Western Tiger Swallowtail on San Pedro Ridge.

The Marin County Open Space District’s Website identifies all 76 species. It also lists the county’s 33 open space preserves and the species of birds, butterflies, mammals and reptiles found in each preserve. Please visit www.marinopenspace.org and click on Open Space, Field Guides and then Butterflies.

Every fall Monarch Butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains move to coastal California. Marin County has its share of Monarch Butterfly overwintering sites. To reach the Muir Beach site take Highway 101 to Highway 1. From Highway 1 turn at the Pacific Way (at the Pelican Inn). Continue past the Inn and look for steps leading up into the pine grove on the hill. It is safest to park at Muir Beach and walk to the site. Butterflies are best seen near the top of the stairs. This spot is known as Terwilliger Grove. At Stinson Beach the Monarchs can be seen in the eucalyptus trees around the bank of Highway 1 at the north end of town. In Bolinas they can be found in trees at Park Drive and Terrace Avenue.