Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

by Donna Lewis

This little beauty was traveling fast across our back pasture. It took me about 45 minutes to catch up with him to get a photo.  I am not fast anymore.

This is a male Tiger Swallowtail. All the males in this species are yellow.  The females can be yellow or black.  his second color form is called dimorphic  coloration.

These guys are fast. If you sneak up behind them while they are on a flower you can get a photo.

Right now, there is nothing flowering in my garden. He was on a Hen-bit in the pasture. Not much nectar anywhere right now. One of the flowers they like that is easy to grow are Coneflowers. I think the ones in my garden are still underground. I hope this guy can survive until more flowers are up.

The Swallowtail is known to gather at mud puddles sipping the salts and minerals they need for reproduction. When the caterpillar first appears, it looks like bird droppings. Icky, but helpful in evading predators. We will probably not see their chrysalis because they lay their eggs in treetops. I am just not tall enough… 

This butterfly is so beautiful as it flows across the pasture.

Right now, the butterflies of all kinds are waking up, so keep an eye out for them.

Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over…it became a butterfly.