Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
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.
The butterfly flies from spring to fall, during which time it produces up to three broods.
|Common Name||Eastern Tiger Swallowtail|
|Scientific Name||Papilio glaucus|
|Common Places Found||New England to the Great Lakes & south to Florida & into Texas|
Woodlands, meadows, suburbs, cities
|Plants & Trees||Butterfly – nectar; love pink & purple flowers like phlox & milkweed|
Caterpillar – tree leaves
Identifying the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
The male is always yellow with some blue coloring and four black “tiger stripes” on each forewing (thus giving the butterfly its name.)
Female Black Morph
Females come in two varieties. The black morph is a shiny black with blue and white speckling and flecking.
A similar look-alike is the Black Swallowtail.
The female yellows can be the same bright coloring as the males or a dull yellow boarding a dirty brown. They will have more blue coloring on their wings than males.
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Females butterflies lay one single egg on leaves and it takes 5-7 days for the caterpillars to hatch.
The caterpillars go through five growth stages. In the first stage, the caterpillars are brown and white and look like bird droppings. The coloring helps the caterpillars hide from the birds that love to eat them.
As the caterpillar ages, they grow up to two inches in length and become a pale green with false eyespots, appearing like a green snake.
The osmeteria are displayed when the caterpillar is threatened. They are scent organs that emit a foul odor to repel ants, mantids, spiders.
In at the Fifth instar, shortly before pupating.
The caterpillar takes on different appearances as it grows, each time shedding its skin.
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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 month
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