Ed Golson Outdoor Education

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Order: Lepidoptera

Description: These butterflies are quite large- they have a wingspan of 3 to 6 ½ inches. They are easy to identify due to their yellow or yellow-orange color and black tiger stripes. Some females, however, are almost entirely bluish-black in color. The caterpillar of this butterfly looks pretty strange. It's green or orange with large two large white spots on its back that look like large eyes. When birds or other predators see these big "eyes" looking back at them, they get scared or confused and leave the caterpillar alone.

Habitat: This is a very common butterfly and can be found through most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains. They like to live in deciduous forests near lakes, streams, and swamps.


Food: As caterpillars, these insects eat the leaves off of many different types of woody plants. As adult butterflies, they eat the nectar from flowers.



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