THE EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL
Photo courtesy of Mark Lasko.
colourful female has an excess of irridescent blue scales. Males have no
or very few blue scales in the lower wings.
The Tiger Swallowtail, with a wingspan sometimes approaching six inches,
ranges throughout most of the eastern half of
States, but it is absent in Maine, where it is replaced by the smaller
For a more detailed distribution report visit
U.S. DISTRIBUTION MAPS.
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This species is triple-brooded in the South with adults flying from
February to November.
In New Jersey it is double-brooded. Adults appear
from May until September with a peak emergence in mid July when Joe Pie Weed
is in flower. I've often captured these butterflies by hand while they
were feeding on thistle or Joe Pie which freqently grows around stream and
Photo courtesy of
gather to drink up moisture and nutrients from puddles, especially those
mingled with animal excrement or urine.
I've often seen glaucus
and troilus sipping at stream side along the Black
River in New Jersey.
During a dry spell these butterflies are easily enticed by some sugar/honey/water in a
Rearing tigers is easy. Females in either the yellow or black form
(females only) will lay many small green eggs, usually singly, on either side of host plant
Use a four foot or six foot long sleeve over the branch of a Tulip
tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), an ash (Fraxinus), or chokecherry (Prunus
Feeding the females once a day with a 10% sugar/honey/water
solution prolongs life and results in more ova.
Photo courtesy of William T. Hark
Photo courtesy of David L. Wagner
The larvae, with their interesting false eyespots which become apparent
as larvae move into
green third instar, also feed on
Magnolia, Sweetbay, Birch, Cottonwood, Mountain ash and Willow.
like to make a slightly raised silk pad near the center of a leaf. They leave the pad to
feed at night and return to rest during the day.
are hung in typical swallowtail fashion often from the underside of a twig
or on a vertical surface. Eclosion from the first brood(s) is usually after
10-14 days. Fall broods overwinter in the chrysalid stage.
of Doug Malone
The male to the left is nectaring on thistle,
one of this species' favorite food plants.
Note the absence of blue scales
in the hind wings. This sexual dimorphism, i.e., females have blue scales in lower wings, males do not, is typical of asterius, glaucus,
and troilus in the North East.
Milbert's tortoise shell
Canadian Tiger swallowtail
American painted lady
Google is one of my favourite Search Engines and seems to offer the most
extensive listing of butterfly sites. Use your back arrow to return to this site after using the
Google search box to the left.
To use Google most effectively, type in either the complete Latin name for the butterfly or
the complete common name followed by the word butterfly. If I wanted additional information
about the red admiral, I would type in "Vanessa atalanta" or "red admiral butterfly" and then
click on the Google Go button to the left.
Here are some additonal northeastern North American butterflies of interest.
To my knowledge, these species do not fly on Prince Edward Island, but I have reared
most of them as a boy growing up in rural New Jersey.
Eastern Tiger swallowtail
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