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Butterflies of Virginia -- Papilio glaucus

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Butterflies of Virginia

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus Linnaeus)

Wing span: 3 5/8 - 6 1/2 inches (9.2 - 16.5 cm).

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 many iridescent blue scales and an orange marginal spot. On the underside of forewing of both female forms the row of marginal spots has merged into a continuous band.

Life history: Males patrol for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on host leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves and rest on silken mats in shelters of curled 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).

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.

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.

References:

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains.
     Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

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.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co.,
     Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Glassberg,  J.  1993.  Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to 
     Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region.  Oxford Univ. Press, 
     New York, N.Y.  160 pp.    

Clark, A.H. and Clark, L.F. 1951.  The Butterflies of Virginia.  Smithsonian
     Miscellaneous collection No. 116:1-239.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 
     
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     

Woodbury, E.N.  1994.  Butterflies of Delmarva.  Delaware Nature Society, Inc., 
     Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD.  138 pp.  [NOTE: this book only 
     treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea).  It does not treat Skippers 
     (Hesperioidea).]
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
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