Sunday, January 1, 2012

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

eastern tiger swallowtail The eastern tiger swallowtail is a large swallowtail butterfly that is found in the eastern half of the United States. Males are yellow in color with four stripes on their forewings which is how they got the name tiger swallowtail. Most females look similar to the males however some females are mostly black and often confused for a black swallowtail. At one time the eastern tiger swallowtails range extended up into Canada but in 1991 the Canada subspecies was divided out and became its own species.
eastern tiger swallowtail This tiger swallowtail has just recently emerged from its chrysalis. You can tell because its wings are in pristine shape. The butterfly in these pictures is drinking salt and amino acids from the wet sand. This is behavior that they typically only do right after emerging. Often groups of newly emerged males will congregate together to drink from the sand so that they have the necessary nutrients for mating. This behavior is called pooling.

15 comments:

KaHolly said...

Great info to accompany some beautiful photos!!

Teresa said...

These are my favorite butterfly! Your pictures are fabulous, and I am always amazed at your knowledge.

Genie said...

I love butterflies and this year was a season almost void of them for some reason. Though I do not know the names of the ones who do visit, this one looks like I have seen it more that the others here in Virginia. Your captures are lovely....so much nice color and detail. genie

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Wonderful photos and great info. Never knew butterflies used wet sand for salt and nutrients.

Linda Makiej said...

Beautiful!!

Jama said...

Fabulous photo! I didn't know about pooling, learn something new today.

Nature Rambles said...

I didn't know the term either. Your photos are beautiful!

FotoAnna said...

So beautiful Ecobirder!
We have them also here in Holland and they are so beautiful...
New Year greetings from Holland,
Anna :-)))

Wendy said...

That is gorgeous! I especially like that you give an explanation of the species and behavior. Nature is beautiful and fascinating!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

These photos make me long for Spring. Those bird photos above are wonderful. I hope you include them on World Bird Wednesday.

Ida said...

I love these Butterflies but can never seem to find one that has landed long enough to photograph it. - Yours is a great capture and it was interesting ready about "pooling".

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I guess I haven't heard the term
"pooling" either. Butterfly guides
I have refer to "puddling". Oh well. Nice shots.
Hap in New Hope

Donna said...

We just spotted our first Tiger Swallowtail of the year (we live in Central Mississippi) and this is the earliest we have ever seen one. We assume it is do to the moderate winter we are having. Any other suggestions? We provide host and nectar plants and have caterpillars throughout the summer and fall. There are not many flowers blooming now, but it has found the few that are.

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