Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Their are over 600 species of swallowtails in the world but only about 30 that are found in North America. Out of those aproximately 30 species we only see four hear in Minnesota, the eastern tiger swallowtail, Canadian tiger swallowtail, the black swallowtail and in the southeastern part of the state we have begun to see giant swallowtail. Must swallowtails are found in the tropical areas of the world.
Swallowtails are large colorful butterflies, the ones we have here in Minnesota are mostly yellow and black. All of their legs are full sized and fully functional, unlike butterflies in the brushfoot family, and most have tails, including all four that we have in Minnesota.
The easter tiger swallowtail is the most common found here in Minnesota. There are typically two broods of eastern tigers here per year, the first is from the middle of May to mid June and the second in from mid July to mid August. So far with our cold spring I have yet to see a swallowtail this year but it is still early. The first brood are swallowtails that over winter in their pupae or chysalis stage. In these photos the butterfly is sticking its proboscis, the tube it uses to drink nectar, into the sand looking for moisture.


9 comments:

Jane said...

Lovely photos - my favorite being the first, such beautiful yet delicate colors.

GrandmaK said...

Oh my!! Just exquisite! Beautiful! Cathy

Jama said...

Lovely picture. love the last shot.

Amila said...

Gorgeous butterfly! I've got a beautiful Swallowtail for this Macro Monday on my blog too.

Karen said...

Oh, I just had to enlarge each one. Gorgeous captures.

ladyfi said...

Oh, what delicate beauties!

Michelle said...

Oh wow...love your photos!!! I'm your newest follower. :)

Teresa said...

The swallowtails are my favorite butterflies, and your pictures are just beautiful.

srp said...

The tiger swallowtail is the first seen flitting around in spring... their host plant is the tulip poplar tree which grows wild here in Virginia. I am going to plant a compact variety in our yard after discovering that the regular tulip poplar can grow six ft a year and thus does not have such a great root system. They can get to 100 feet and with a poor root system are prone to the wind... can we tempt the fate with tropical storms, hurricanes and nor'easters here on the coast? No, a compact form is fine. They lay their eggs on the leaves, the caterpillars (cutest things ever) eat them and then wrap in them with the chrysalis.

I raised black swallowtail and monarchs last summer. Six black swallowtail chrysalides stayed in my sunroom over winter. Four made it and have flown away. I grow fennel and parsley for them and already have several caterpillars and eggs on the plants.