The tiger swallowtail, or eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) is a species of the papilionid butterfly family native to North America. It is large butterfly (wingspan 7.9 – 14 cms), and one of the most familiar butterflies in the eastern United States, where it is common in many different habitats. It flies from spring to fall, during which time it produces two to three broods. Adults feed on the nectar of many species of flowers. Males are yellow with four black "tiger stripes" on each fore wing. Females are dimorphic in coloration, and can be found in as either a yellow or black morph. The yellow morph is similar to the male, while the dark form, which has long been thought to mimic the poisonous pipevine (blue) swallowtail, (Battus philenor), is almost completely black.
The eastern tiger swallowtail lays her green eggs singly on hostplants in many woody plant families, most commonly on Magnoliaceae and Rosaceae (for example, poplars, mountain ash, birch, cherry, tulip tree, ash, basswood, apple, maple, willow, magnolia, and occasionally sassafras). Young caterpillars (first three instars) are brown and white, with a coloration pattern that mimics bird droppings to help protect it from predators. In later instars, caterpillars are green with two black, yellow, and blue eyespots on the thorax, thought to deter birds. Caterpillars reach a length of 5.5 cm.
(Brower 1958; Roof 1999; Hall and Butler 2011; Wikipedia 2011)
- Brower, J.V.Z., 1958. Experimental studies of mimicry in some North American butterflies. Part II. Battus philenor and Papilio troilus, P. polyxenes, and P. glaucus. Evolution. 12, 123–136. doi:10.2307/2406023.
- Roof, Jennifer (1999). "Papilio glaucus". Animal Diversity Website. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Papilio_glaucus.html
- Hall, D. W.; Butler, J. F. 2011. "Eastern Tiger Swallowtail". Featured Creatures, publication EENY-61, University of Florida. Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/tiger_swallowtail.htm
- Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 1 November, 2011. “Papilio glaucus”. Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Papilio_glaucus&oldid=458439074
No one has provided updates yet.