Mariton: PA Natural Heritage Program

September 15, 2011

On Wednesday, biologists from Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program visisted Mariton to update records and look for any interesting flora and fauna that might not be documented. 

We started down at the base of the cliffs.  Looking for any interesting sedges or other plants that might be taking advantage of the rock face.  With all the recent rain, the water was oozing over the rock surfaces.  There were interesting mosses, lichens, and ferns, but nothing unexpected.

While not rare, we got a great look at this Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar.  I had never seen a yellow one.  I believe they turn yellow just before spinning their chrysalis to become an adult.    It was on the trunk of a Sassafras tree.  (Sassafras along with Spicebush are the main food plants of Spicebush Swallowtails.)

This is not rare or even uncommon, but I liked this White Snakeroot growing out of a knot hole.  It was about 12 feet above the ground, but at eye level because of the steepness of the bank.