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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), is a species of swallowtail butterfly native to eastern North America. It is one of the most familiar butterflies in the eastern United States, where it is common in many different habitats.

It flies from spring to fall, during which time it produces up to three broods.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Wildflower in a Field

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Feeds On

Adults feed on the nectar of many species of flowers, mostly from those of the Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, and Fabaceae families. 

Identifying the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 

The male is yellow with four black “tiger stripes” on each forewing (thus giving the butterfly it’s name) . Females may be either yellow or black. 

The Eggs

The green eggs are laid one at a time on plants of the Magnoliaceae and Rosaceae families.

Eastern Swallow Tail Egg


Young caterpillars are brown and white; older ones are green with two black, yellow, and blue eyespots on the thorax.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

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Caterpillars Turn Brown Before Pupating

Tiger Swallowtail - Fifth instar caterpillar, shortly before pupating

Scott Robinson – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Chrysalis

The chrysalis varies from a whitish color to dark brown. They always blend into their surroundings and are well hidden.  Hibernation occurs in this stage in locations with cold winter months.


Eastern Swallow Tail Chrysalis

TheAlphaWolf – Attribution 2.5 Generic (CC BY 2.5)


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