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!
(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
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).