Sunday, February 28, 2010

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

One of the larger butterflies that we see here in my little corner of the world is the eastern tiger swallowtail. It is so named because of its yellow color and the four black tiger stripes on each wing. I found this swallowtail at the Carpenter Nature Center in September.
In this area the range of the eastern swallowtail crosses that of the Canadian swallowtail this can sometimes make identification difficult. The Canadian swallowtail is smaller and has a continuous yellow band on the trailing edge of the forewing as compared to the eastern where the band is interrupted by black. Occasionally giant swallowtail come north making identification even trickier.
This is a male eastern tiger swallowtail. The female of the species has orange and blue spots mixed into the black border of the wings, particularly near the tail. Females can also come in a dark form that appears similar to a black swallowtail. This dark form is not very common, especially this far north, and I have yet to see a dark form female.

9 comments:

Randy Emmitt said...

Hey just so you know in September the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail would be long gone. It is a single brooded species and flies at the end of spring or early summer if I recall correctly.

Jama said...

Gorgeous little butterfly!

Regina said...

Amazing and captivating!

Kala said...

Lovely captures of this beautiful butterfly!

Greyscale Territory said...

Such pretty markings on this butterfly! Lovely photo!

Colleen said...

The first shot is my favorite. Beautiful!

jay said...

That's a very handsome butterfly! You have some gorgeous insects in your area!

Kathy said...

How does it ever stay still long enough for you to snap it?

Andree said...

What a beautiful job you did capturing this swallowtail. Incredible photos!