Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis)
Wing span: 2 5/8 - 3 1/8 inches (6.7 - 8 cm).
Identification: Smaller than Eastern or Western Tiger Swallowtails. Upperside of forewing with relatively broad black stripes; underside with marginal yellow spots merged into continuous band. Hindwing with numerous orange scales. Extremely rare black female form.
Life history: Males patrol to locate receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on surface of host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves and rest on silken mats in shelters of curled leaves. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from May to mid-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of birch (Betula), aspen (Populus), and black cherry (Prunus).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers.
Habitat: Northern deciduous and evergreen-deciduous woods and forest edges.
Range: North America from central Alaska southeast across Canada and the northern Great Lakes states to northern New England.
Conservation: Not required.
Management needs: None noted.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp.