Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

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).
Life History: Two broods in the north, three in the south. Males patrol for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on host leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves and rest on silken mats on the upper surface of leaves. Chrysalids overwinter.
Flight: 3 flights from February-November in Deep South; 2 flights from May-September in north.
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). Milkweed (Asclepias) and Joe-Pye Weed [Eupatorium] are favorites in summer.
Habitat: Deciduous broadleaf woods, forest edges, river valleys, parks, and suburbs.
Range: Eastern North America from Ontario south to Gulf coast, west to Colorado plains and central Texas.
Conservation: Not required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None noted.
Comments: NULL