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Papilio glaucus

(Eastern Tiger Swallowtail)

Overview

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Interesting Facts

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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in English:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail

Common Names in French:

Papillon glauque

Common Names in German:

Östlicher Tigerschwalbenschwanz

Common Names in Malayalam:

കിഴക്കൻ കടുവാവരയൻ

Common Names in Russian:

Парусник главк

Common Names in Welsh:

Glöyn cynffon gwennol rhesog

Description

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Family Papilionidae

'The Papilionidae belong to the Superfamily Papilionoidea, the true butterflies. Swallowtails are worldwide in distribution and comprise approximately 560 species. They are richest in the tropics, and their brilliant colors make them favorites of butterfly enthusiasts. Many swallowtail species, especially in the tropics, mimic other butterflies that are distasteful, while others are distasteful and cause birds and other vertebrate predators to regurgitate. Swallowtail adults are medium to large and may or may not have tails, while parnassian adults are medium, tailless, and have translucent wings . All adult parnassians and swallowtails have three pairs of walking legs , and adults of all species visit flowers for nectar.

'[1]

Subfamily Papilioninae

Swallowtails are members of the Family Papilionidae. They comprise about 560 species, have a worldwide distribution, and are richest in the tropics. Many are brilliantly colored and are favorites of butterfly enthusiasts. Many species, especially those in the tropics, mimic other butterflies that are distasteful, while others are distasteful and cause birds and other vertebrate predators to regurgitate. Adults are medium to large, may or may not have tails, and have three pairs of walking legs . Adults of all species visit flowers for nectar. Males of most species patrol for mates, while males of one group (Black, Old World, Anise, and Indra Swallowtails) perch on hilltops or ridges instead of patrolling . Swallowtails lay globular eggs and overwinter as pupae. Some species spend more than one year in the pupal stage, likely to survive drought years when little caterpillar food is available. In arid areas, the Black, Anise, and Indra Swallowtails often display this strategy.

Physical Description

Species Papilio glaucus

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 many iridescent blue scales and an orange marginal spot. On the underside of forewing of both female forms the row of marginal spots has merged into a continuous band . (ref. 105496)

Color:

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 many iridescent blue scales and an orange marginal spot. On the underside of forewing of both female forms the row of marginal spots has merged into a continuous band .

The black form female swallowtails look as if they are standard yellow and someone dusted them with black spray-paint. It is thought they are mimicking the distasteful Pipevine Swallowtail, and the presence of the black female form indicates the abundance of the species it mimics .

Size/Age/Growth

Wing span : 3 5/8 - 6 1/2 inches (9.2 - 16.5 cm).

Habitat

Deciduous woods , forest clearings and edges , open woodlands, gardens and parks.

Very widespread. Typically along edges of deciduous or mixed woods, old fields , and meadows, but also commonly seen in gardens and suburban habitats . Not usually seen in deep shade, but often found along openings in woods, wide trails , etc. (ref. 104717)

Deciduous broadleaf woods, forest edges, river valleys, parks, and suburbs. (ref. 105496)

Biology

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Diet

Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of various plants including wild cherry (Prunus), sweetbay (Magnolia), basswood (Tilia), tulip tree (Liriodendron), birch (Betula), ash (Fraxinus), cottonwood (Populus), mountain ash (Sorbus), and willow (Salix). Adult food: Nectar of flowers from a variety of plants including wild cherry and lilac (Syringa vulgaris).

Many tree and shrub species, but apparently tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and black cherry (Prunus serotina) are commonly used. Nectar plants are very widespread, but the species prefers tall herbs such as Joe-pye-weeds (Eupatorium spp. ), ironweeds (Vernonia spp.), and milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). In fact, this is by far the most commonly seen butterfly nectaring on Joe-pye-weed. (ref. 104717)

Reproduction

Males patrol for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on host leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves and rest on silken mats in shelters of curled leaves. Chrysalids overwinter . Large eggs are pale green, globular . Caterpillar starts out brown and white, mimics bird droppings. Mature caterpillar grows to 50mm (2"), is green with big orange and black eyespots at front. Chrysalis overwinters. host plants are mostly broadleaf trees such as cottonwood, willow, birch and ash, polar and cherry. One to three broods, depending on latitude .

Behavior

Flight: 3 flights from February-November in Deep South; 2 flights from May-September in north.

Flight period: Early March to early October (and exceptionally to November). At least two broods, and possibly three; the broods overlap, with no gaps . In the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, flight periods are apparently early March to late May, and early June to mid-September, with the "second" perhaps being composed of two broods. Mountain flights generally are from mid-March to mid- or late June, and late June into early October. (ref. 104717)

Taxonomy

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Synonyms

Papilio alcidamas Cramer • Papilio alexiares Hopffer • Papilio antilochus Linnaeus • Papilio turnus Linnaeus

Notes

Name Status: Accepted Name .

Comment: ST

Last scrutiny: 18-Oct-2004

Similar Species

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Western Tiger swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, Two-tailed swallowtail.

Members of the genus Papilio

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 134 species and subspecies in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:

P. aegeus (Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly) · P. aegus (Citrus Swallowtail) · P. agestor (Tawny Mime) · P. alcmenor (Redbreast) · P. alexanor (Southern Swallowtail) · P. amynthor (Norfolk Swallowtail) · P. anchisiades (Ruby-Spotted Swallowtail) · P. andraemon (Bahaman Swallowtail) · P. androgeus (Androgeus Swallowtail) · P. antimachus (African Giant Swallowtail) · P. appalachiensis (Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail) · P. arcturus (Blue Peacock) · P. argiolus (Spring Azure) · P. aristodemus (Schaus' Swallowtail) · P. aristodemus ponceanus (Papilio Aristodemus) · P. aristor (Scarce Haitian Swallowtail) · P. astyalus (Broad-Banded Swallowtail) · P. bianor (Chinese Peacock) · P. boeticus (Bean Butterfly) · P. bootes (Tailed Redbreast) · P. brevicauda (Short-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. brevicauda bretonensis (Short-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. brevicauda brevicauda (Short-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. brevicauda gaspeensis (Short-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. buddha (Malabar Banded Peacock) · P. caiguanabus (Poey's Black Swallowtail) · P. canadensis (Canadian Tiger Swallowtail) · P. castor (Common Raven) · P. chikae (Luzon Peacock Swallowtail) · P. constantinus (Constantine S Swallowtail) · P. cresphontes (Giant Swallowtail) · P. crino (Common Banded Peacock) · P. cyproeofila (Common White-Banded Swallowtail) · P. dardanus (African Swallowtail) · P. demodocus (Citrus Swallowtail) · P. demodocus demodocus (Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly) · P. demoleus (Common Lime Butterfly) · P. demolion (Banded Swallowtail) · P. desmondi (Taita Blue Banded Papilio) · P. dialis (Southern Chinese Peacock) · P. dravidarum (Malabar Raven) · P. echerioides (White-Banded Swallowtail) · P. elephenor (Yellow Crested Spangle) · P. epycides (Lesser Mime) · P. euphranor (Forest Swallowtail) · P. eurymedon (Pale Swallowtail) · P. garamas (Magnificent Swallowtail) · P. garamas abderus (Abderus Swallowtail) · P. garamus (Magnificent Swallowtail) · P. glaucus (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail) · P. glaucus australis (Tiger Swallowtail) · P. glaucus canadensis (Canadian Tiger Swallowtail) · P. glaucus garcia (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail) · P. glaucus glaucus (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail) · P. glycerion (Chestnut Heath) · P. helenus (Red Helen) · P. hero (Scarce Heath Butterfly) · P. homerus (Homerus Swallowtail) · P. hospiton (Corsican Swallowtail) · P. hyppason (Hyppason Swallowtail) · P. indra (Indra Swallowtail) · P. indra calcicola (Indra Swallowtail) · P. indra fordi (Ford's Swallowtail) · P. indra kaibabensis (Grand Canyon Swallowtail) · P. indra martini (Martin's Swallowtail) · P. indra minori (Minor's Swallowtail) · P. indra panamintensis (Panamint Swallowtail) · P. indra pergamus (Edwards' Swallowtail) · P. indra phyllisae (Indra Swallowtail) · P. indra pygmaeus (Indra Swallowtail) · P. janaka (Tailed Redbreast) · P. jasius (Two-Tailed Pasha) · P. joanae (Ozark Swallowtail) · P. jordani (Jordan's Swallowtail) · P. krishna (Krishna Peacock) · P. leucotaenia (Cream-Banded Swallowtail) · P. levana (Map Butterfly) · P. liomedon (Malabar Banded Swallowtail) · P. lowi (Great Yellow Mormon) · P. machaon (Old World Swallowtail) · P. machaonides (Machaonides Swallowtail) · P. machaon aliaska (Alaskan Old World Swallowtail) · P. machaon bairdii (Baird's Swallowtail) · P. machaon hudsonianus (Hudsonian Old World Swallowtail) · P. machaon oregonius (Oregon Swallowtail) · P. mayo (Andaman Mormon) · P. memnon (Great Mormon Butterfly) · P. memnon agenor (Great Mormon) · P. menatius (Menatius Swallowtail) · P. morondavana (Madagascan Emperor Swallowtail) · P. multicaudata (Two-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. multicaudata multicaudata (Two-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. multicaudatus (Two-Tailed Swallowtail) · P. nephelus (Yellow Helen) · P. nireus (Green-Banded Swallowtail) · P. ophidicephalus (Emperor Swallowtail) · P. ornythion (Ornythion Swallowtail) · P. palamedes (Palamedes Swallowtail) · P. palinurus (Emerald Swallowtail) · P. pamphilus (Small Heath Butterfly)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Notes

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Contributors

Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 07, 2007:

Identifiers

Footnotes

  1. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/taxonomy?f=14&sci=Papilionidae&com=Parnassians and Swallowtails [back]
Last Revised: 2014-11-29