Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
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The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) is a species of swallowtail butterfly native to North America. It is one of the most familiar butterflies in the eastern United States.
Two species, the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) and the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio appalachiensis), are very similar to P. glaucus, and are hard to tell apart. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has a wingspan of 7.9 to 14 centimeters (3 to 5.5 in). The adult male is yellow, with black “tiger stripes”. There are two morphs of adult females, a yellow one and a dark one. The yellow one is similar to the male, except there is a patch of blue on the hind wing. In the dark morph, the yellow areas are replaced by dark gray or black.
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail can be found in much of the eastern United States. It is generally common throughout its range, and can be found in various habitats, such as woodlands, woodland openings, woodland edges, fields, open areas, rivers, creeks, roadsides, gardens, urban parks, and city yards.
The female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lays her green eggs singly on host plant leaves. Young caterpillars are brown and white, mimicking bird droppings. Older caterpillars are green, with two black, yellow, and blue eyespots on the thorax. It is also spotted with light blue on the abdomen. The caterpillar will turn brown just before pupating. It will reach a length of 5.5 centimeters (2.2 in). The chrysalis varies from a whitish color to dark brown. It is usually patched with green and other dark markings.
Learn more from Butterflies and Moths of North America.
Photographed by Craig Glenn
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