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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly 

The eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), is a species of swallowtail butterfly native to eastern North America. It is one of the most familiar butterflies in the eastern United States, where it is common in many different habitats.

It is found is found in the Midwest as well.  I love seeing them, but do not seem to have them around my city. I have to travel to Door County, Wisconsin and also, they tend to be more plentiful in the southern part of Wisconsin.

The butterfly flies from spring to fall, during which time it produces up to three broods.
Eastern Swallowtail

Feeds On

Adults feed on the nectar of many species of flowers, mostly from those of the Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, and Fabaceae families. 

Identifying the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 

The male is yellow with four black “tiger stripes” on each forewing (thus giving the butterfly its name).
Females may be either yellow or black.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Wildflower in a Field


The Eggs

The green eggs are laid one at a time on plants of the Magnoliaceae and Rosaceae families.

Eastern Swallow Tail Egg

Young caterpillars are brown and white; older ones are green with two black, yellow, and blue eyespots on the thorax.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Caterpillars Turn Brown Before Pupating

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio glaucus) above is at the Fifth instar, shortly before pupating.  The caterpillar takes on different appearances as it grows, each time shedding its skin.

The Chrysalis

The chrysalis varies from a whitish color to dark brown. They always blend into their surroundings and are well hidden.  Hibernation occurs in this stage in locations with cold winter months.

Eastern Swallow Tail Chrysalis

Thank you to TheAlphaWolf for allowing by to share this picture – Attribution 2.5 Generic (CC BY 2.5)

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