Insects thrive throughout the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, in the water, on land and in the air. In
stagnant water, Dragonflies and Damselflies lay their eggs, hatch, and emerge looking entirely different
than their water form, having metamorphosed into the brilliant and colorful creatures familiar to us.
The Pipevine Caterpillar and Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly are other insects found throughout the park.
In late spring/early summer you will begin to see the black and orange butterflies emerging from their
chrysalis, and they begin laying eggs on the California Pipevine Plant exclusively. Shortly thereafter the
pipevine plants and trails are inundated with black and red caterpillars. In early July, the leaves of the
pipevine plant become too toxic for the caterpillars, so they find a safe place to pupate, starting the life
cycle of this very interesting species all over again.
The Valley Longhorn Elderberry Beetle lives exclusively on the Elderberry bush (Sambucus) and is
considered an insect of Special Status as their habitat is in constant danger of development.
Spiders such as the Funnel-web Spider and various other species spin their webs into intricate forms in
the best location to catch their favorite prey.