Eastern Tiger Swallowtail: # 7 of “23 Butterflies in 2023”

One of the largest, one of the most recognizable, one of most common butterflies in Eliza Howell Park is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Female on Purple Coneflower

This is a species with a small color difference between females and males. Females have blue on the hindwings.

Male on Wild Bergamot

About the name: a) “Swallowtail” comes from the two little “tails” on the hindwings, similar to some species in the swallow family of birds; b) “Tiger” relates to the yellow and black colors; c) “Eastern” is needed to distinguish it from other species of Tiger Swallowtails, such Western and Canadian. Only the Eastern is found here.

Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America

One characteristic of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is that it frequently visits flowers, whether garden flowers or wildflowers. In Eliza Howell, it is commonly found on pink-red-purple blooms.

On Thistle
On Red Clover
On Ironweed

The wingspan is about 5 inches.

There are two broods a year: roughly from mid-May to mid-June and from mid-July to mid-August. Most of my photos are from the second period.

Two on Purple Coneflowers in late July
On Purple Coneflower in August

The caterpillars feed on the leaves of a variety of common trees and enter the chrysalis stage before winter, completing development in the spring.

They can sometimes be seen flying high — and nectaring high on tall flowers.

On Joe Pye Weed

E. Tiger Swallowtail is large, lovely, and easily attracted to flowers. It is probably second only to the Monarch in recognizability. It is easy to find and photograph in the park, especially in late July and early August.

It is definitely one of the 23 species that visitors have an excellent chance seeing in Eliza Howell in season

2 responses to “Eastern Tiger Swallowtail: # 7 of “23 Butterflies in 2023””

  1. Swallowtails are so impressive aren’t they. We get one occasionally in the garden and it’s always a delight to see.

    Liked by 1 person

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