Eastern Tiger Swallowtail , Papilio glauca
Papilionidae or Swallowtail Family

Female, yellow form
Female, dark form
Female, yellow form,  under

Large butterfly, with broad forewings, about 5 inches in span. Hindwings with scalloped edges, and a long tail on each. Female (left) comes in two forms or morphs. The yellow morph is bright yellow with black tiger stripes on the forewings. Both fore- and hindwings are edged with black, ornamented with yellow spots, a row of blue spots on the hindwings, and a bit of orange at the inner edge of the hindwings. Below, she is similar to above, but with more orange decoration and less blue. The dark morph has black forewings with yellow spots on the edge, and black hindwings with blue iridiscence, yellow spots, and a bit of orange. Below, she is black with yellow and orange markings on the wing edges. The male (right) is like the yellow morph of the female, but lacks the blue spots on the hindwing.

Young caterpillar looks like a bird dropping. Older caterpillar is fat, pale green, with two big, beseeching eyespots, and a collar around the "neck." Actually the eyespots and collar are just decoration and the real face is hidden under a hood in the front. Caterpillar turns brown just before pupating. Feeds on a variety of trees, including tulip tree and black cherries, both in the Park.

Group of butterflies "puddling"

The yellow form is similar to the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail,which is much larger, has a continuous yellow band at the edge of the forewing on the underside, instead of yellow half-moons, and has forewing and hindwing that line up to form a straighter edge; it is also found west of our area.. The black female morph is easily confused with several other black swallowtails, but is less decorative below.

More Information

caterpillar, "face"

Caterpillar, side

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