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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Quick Facts

  • Their wingspan ranges from 7.5 to 14 cm with females being the larger

  • ​​Southern individuals are larger than northern ones
  • ​ Males are yellow with four black “tiger stripes” on each fore wing
  • It takes anywhere between 4 to 10 days for the egg to hatch laid by an adult

  • Adults are seen from spring to fall. In the south, they are seen from February to November; in the north, they are seen from May to September
  • ​The first known drawing of a North America butterfly was that of an Eastern tiger swallowtail. It was drawn by John White in 1587
  • ​Males seek females by patrolling habitats containing the larval host plants
  • ​Adults use a wide range of food sources, most preferring to nectar on sturdy plants with red or pink flowers
  • Males participate in a behavior called puddling, in which they congregate on mud, damp gravel, or puddles. They extract sodium ions and amino acids from these sources which aid in reproductio
  • Their range includes North America from central Alaska southeast across Canada and the northern Great Lakes states to northern New England.
  • Host plants include:
  1. Wild black cherry-Prunus serotina
  2. Ash-Fraxinus spp.
  3. Cottonwood-Populus spp.
  4. Wafer ash/hop tree-Ptelea trifoliata
  5. Common Lilac-Syinga vulgaris
  6. Sweet bay magnolia-Magnolia virginiana
  7. Tulip poplar/tulip tree-Liriodedron tulipifera
  8. Willow-Salix spp.
  • Life Cycle Stages Include:
  1. Egg – It takes 3–5 days for eggs to hatch.
  2. Larva – The caterpillar has five instars.
  3. Pupa – The chrysalis stage lasts 9–11 days, or over winter hibernation.
  4. Adult – Northern areas have 1-2 generations; southern areas may have three.
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