Sunday, August 16, 2015

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail- Female




Butterflies are beautiful creatures, are they not?  Recently, I had to take a day off from work due to illness. On that morning, on a day that I am not usually home, I was very happy to see a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding on our hummingbird feeder in our back yard.

The Tiger Swallowtail..."tiger" because of the black and yellow colors and "swallowtail" because....it has a tail like a swallow!


Swallows
(In my photo above, the swallowtail might be hard to see. Hey, I had to hurry and take the photo!)

Now, how do I know that this was a female that visited me?  Look closely at the blue, the female has much more blue on the hind wing than the male.  Very often, the female will not be yellow but black. I was happy to see the yellow!

Yaya's blog -  If you click on that particular post, you will see a photo of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.  Yaya wondered if the butterfly was male or female...and now, Yaya, you will know what to look for! 

So, be sure to look for this blue coloring at the bottom part of this butterfly and you will know if it is male or female.  The world will be thrilled with your knowledge on this subject, it will make the top news item on TV that night! 
Oh okay, maybe not but hey, it is just a tiny bit of nature knowledge that you now have and isn't that a good thing?

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio glaucus Linnaeus, 1758


Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Identification: Male is yellow with dark tiger stripes. Female has 2 forms: one yellow like the male and the other black with shadows of dark stripes. Hindwing of both female forms has a row of striking blue chevrons and an iridescent blue wash over parts of the interior hindwing. The upperside hindwing has a prominent orange marginal spot that is generally larger than the row of pale marginal spots. On the underside of forewing of spring individuals the row of marginal spots may be merged into a continuous band, thus appearing similar to the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail.
Wing Span: 2 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches (6.2 - 11.4 cm).

There, now you can see the tail like a swallow!
Beautiful butterfly!  There is no telling what I miss out on nature when I am having to work all day long!

I have lots more nature news to share with you, so stay tuned.
Same BAT station! (Inside joke for any American who can remember TV shows from the 1960's).

34 comments:

  1. Same Bat channel! :D

    Thanks for the great post - I've seen swallowtails feeding on roadside flowers but never knew how to tell boy from girl.

    Hope you're feeling better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know that someone appreciates my humor!
      When you notice that blue on a tiger swallowtail, you will say, "YOU GO GIRL". Think of me!
      Thanks, Sue, I hope I am getting better!

      Delete
  2. Such a precious and beautiful butterfly, Kay! Aren't they adorable? Such a great capture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Martha! You could have taken a better photo I am sure, but I was tickled to get the shots that I did! They are beautiful butterflies, either feeding or in flight!

      Delete
  3. What a great picture, Kay! I love swallowtail butterflies (my parents have a lot on their flowers outside, right now) but I had no idea how to tell the males from the females. Thanks for sharing that!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Audrey! So happy to see your comment here! I love the thought of you telling your girls how to tell the difference between male and female Tiger Swallowtails! That makes me smile! :-)

      Delete
  4. Great catch! Thanks also for the shout out to my blog! I now know that I had a male visiting that day...maybe we should hook those two up since you have the female! I took a bunch of pics that day and I have one that I'm entering in the fair. You never know..it could be a winner! Thanks for the info! When I was home this past winter recouping I saw a ton of wildlife that visited the Pines during the day. Those are things that you miss when working!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, we are butterfly matchmakers!! I was sure that you would have taken more photos, so I was hoping you could tell me if yours was male or female! Let me know if your photo of your MALE butterfly is a winner!

      Delete
  5. What a beautiful butterfly, and so pretty on the hummingbird feeder. You do have pretty butterflies in Georgia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do have pretty butterflies! They really like our Georgia heat!

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful photograph!!! A real treat for you when you were off sick. I hope that you are all better now. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a treat and I was very happy to see it! :-)
      The whole month of August has been tough. Gotta work even when you don't feel like it!

      Delete
  7. A child once told me that butterflies are flying flowers. I love the description.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flying flowers, they are so beautiful, that is a good description.

      Delete
  8. Thanks Kay, for this info, I have seen many on my flowers! Now I know how to tell if it is male or female.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are very beautiful. And I love to see them either flying or feeding on a flower (or hummingbird feeder!)

      Delete
  9. I do love butterflies and we've had a lot visiting our flowers here this summer. I only got a picture of one up close, but didn't notice any blue...my visitor must have been a male.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Male or female, BOTH are beautiful!!!

      Delete
  10. I think swallowtails are so beautiful - good job capturing this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Most of them were out of focus, but you don't want to know how shaky I am, do you? :-)

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Hey, thank you! And Richard didn't take these! He was at work!

      Delete
  12. Such a beautiful butterfly, Kay! I love swallowtails! Twice yesterday I got interrupted trying to write a comment to you. I really enjoyed the Dire Straits song, and I have seen those buskers in the tube stations in London! I am going to get caught up on your posts that I missed! Can't wait to see your nature news! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Louise! And I know that you are like me, and that you loved those buskers in the tube stations just like me!!
      Hugs to you, my friend! xx

      Delete
  13. And if you have info on bats, to boot, i will be all ears! Bats are a favorite of mine.

    Lovely butterfly, and if i ever see one like it, i'll know if it's a boy or a girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love bats too! I love to see them just after sunset, and they are eating all the mosquitoes! :-)

      Delete
  14. I didn't realize that butterflies would feed from a hummingbird feeder! And the black swallowtail is the swallowtail butterfly. How do you tell it from a black female tiger swallowtail, I wonder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might guess that I am not a butterfly expert! I am a complete amateur naturalist, you can tell! We think we saw a black female swallowtail just this past Sunday, look out for it on a future post! :-)
      And butterflies will feed on my hummingbird feeder, I think my sugar water has a SWEET reputation! HA!

      Delete
  15. Such beautiful creatures...they exude a feeling of calmness; of peace...to me, anyway. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Calmness and peace of a butterfly...that is wished for you, dear Lee! xx

      Delete
  16. As I recall you and I came together over identifying butterflies so these tiny bits of nature knowledge can turn out to be very important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! John, you are so right! You identified a newly emerged buckeye butterfly for me! We came together because of butterflies, that is such a nice way to meet!

      Delete
  17. Comprehensive info on that butterfly. I'm impressed. I've seen swallowtails in the South East around Kent but not for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not an expert about butterflies but I am happy to share the few things that I do know!
      And I have to tell you, I love KENT. I only know Eastbourne in East Sussex, but I have been to a few towns and villages in Kent , and I love it!
      The countryside is just gorgeous, I need to do a post about it!

      Delete