Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Papilio glaucus





Photographs by Susan Leach Snyder

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail females lay their green eggs singly on the upper surface of larval host plants: wild cherry, white ash, tulip poplar, magnolia and other trees. As the eggs hatch, the odd looking caterpillars begin eating and molting.



As shown in this photo, the caterpillar has a huge bulbous anterior end with large eyespots. Its head is tucked under this enlarged area.







In the photograph at right, you can see the head facing down at an angle near its three walking legs. The 5-pair of bristled prolegs were used by this individual to clasp to the finger of the photographer.



In the photograph below, the caterpillar's head is facing the photographer.





Although the coloration of this individual was beige, some caterpillars of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail are green. The white slit opening above its head is the opening where an orange osmeterium is extruded when the caterpillar is disturbed. The osmeterium emits an unpleasant odor to ward off predators.


Caterpillars pupate, and later adults emerge.

Males and females have different coloration. The male has tiger-like stripes on its forewings and black along the margins of both forewings and hind wings. It also has a black stripe along the center of its yellow body. These characteristics can seen in the photograph below.

There are two different color forms of the female. One has four stripes of yellow like the male and an extensive area of blue scales along its hind wings. The abdomen is similar in color to that of the male.

The other color form has black wings with an extensive area of blue scales on its hind wings. Its abdomen is black. This form mimics the Pipevine Swallowtail. Since the Pipevine Swallowtail is avoided because it is distasteful to its predators, this female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is also avoided by predators.

Males often cluster in large populations on moist ground as shown below.







All photographs on this page were taken in Ohio. Although Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies have been seen in the gardens along the Lagoon Trail, they have not yet been photographed for this website.







Index to Butterfly and Moth Visitors to the Conservancy Ecotone Trail

Index To Photographs of Plants in the Gardens

Plant Lists by Garden

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Ecotone Home Page

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Home Page.

Please report errors to Susan Snyder at susanleachsnyder@gmail.com