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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.


 Updated: 3/2/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail  
Picture of Eastern-Tiger-Swallowtail


The popular Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a large butterfly that bears a proud honor in a variety of American states.





Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are huge, bright butterflies that are commonly seen east of the Mississippi River. They are a variety of forms, varying in color by age and gender. The most popular form has black, tiger-like striping on yellow wings. Males are mostly yellow with black edges, but females have waves of blue and orange at the edges of their wings. Young females hardly resemble their more mature selves. They are mostly black with blue along the bottom edges of the wings. This darker coloring is more common in the southern U.S. whereas the classic yellow coloring is more typical in northern states. All Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have a long tail-like extension at the bottom of each hindwing.

This species has the honor of being the state butterfly of five eastern states: Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. As a member of the Swallowtail family, it joins its relatives in being the largest group of butterflies on the continent. They are extremely easy to attract, flocking to gardens that have an abundance of flowers. They are good pollinators and worth attracting for aesthetic reasons as well. They can also be seen flying on open roads, in woods, meadows, fields and parks.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar is a smooth bright green or brown color with a yellow band near the front of its body, just after a pair of 'eyes' on the head. The head is rounded and large for a caterpillar, and looks somewhat like a helmet. These caterpillars feed on a variety of trees including tuliptree, sweetbay, cottonwood and cherry, but not enough to hurt the host plant. They are not considered pests.
Basic Information
Common Name: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Other Name(s): Tiger Swallowtail
Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus
Category: Butterfly or Moth


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 79mm to 140mm (3.08in to 5.46in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: black; yellow; brown; orange; blue
Additional Descriptors: stripes, large, flying, helpful




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Papilio
Species: glaucus


Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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