Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies Identification

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies-eastern-swallowtail-butterfly-collecting-nectar
Yellow eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly collecting nectar

Papilio glaucus the eastern swallowtail butterfly is native to eastern North America and is said to be the largest butterfly in this region. Their habitat includes meadows, nearby streams, deciduous woods, forest edges, open sunny upland fields, woodlands, river valleys, waterways, parks, and residential gardens.

The male eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly can be identified by its light yellow and black colored pattern, the female is of a deeper yellow color with black patterns. The female also has blue and orange color markings near the tail end.

Are eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies rare?

Their population besides North America can be found in several Mexican states and east of the Mississippi River and a bit farther west into the Great Plane state.

What flowers do eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies likes?

To encourage the eastern swallowtail butterfly to your garden include plants such as Lilac, Pentas, Echinacea (coneflower), Butterfly bush, Verbena, Buddleia, Asclepias, lantanas, sedum, phlox, Joe Pye weed, Milkweed, Ironweed,  Wild cherry, Japanese honeysuckle, flowers that produce nectar and are purple or pink is perfect.

Where do eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs?

The female lays her eggs singly on different host plants, each egg is laid atop or on the undersides of the plant’s leaves.

What do the eastern tiger swallowtail eggs look like?

The eggs of the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly are shiny and dark green.

How long do swallowtail eggs take to hatch?

The eggs hatch in 3-5 days, after molting 2 or 3 times the caterpillar turns apple-green with 2 fake eyespots and a horizontal yellow band over its enlarged headlike thorax. These fake eyespots protect the caterpillars from their predators, when the predators see the spots they are tricked into believing that the caterpillar is larger than them. Their predators include birds, praying mantids, spiders, and predatory arthropods.

What does the eastern swallowtail butterfly caterpillar eat?

These plants should be installed in your garden as a food source for the larva, some of these plants include Cherry, Willow, Ash, Tulip, and cottonwood.

How do you know when the swallowtail butterfly caterpillar is ready to cocoon?

When the time comes for the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly to pupate it will spin silk and hang in a J shape or formation until it’s ready to create a chrysalis.

How long does it take for a swallowtail butterfly caterpillar to turn into a chrysalis?

The time frame for the eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar to turn to a chrysalis is 10-20 days.

How long before a cocoon turns into a butterfly?

In about 21 days a beautiful butterfly will emerge from the cocoon.

How long to eastern tiger swallowtail lives?

As beautiful as the eastern tiger swallowtail is their life span is about two weeks which is short for such a beautiful butterfly.

The final word on the eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies

The eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly is simply beautiful bringing much beauty to a garden area and is one of the most popular in its region. If your desire is to attract them to your garden then follow this guide as you make your landscape and garden area irresistible and inviting. You will be happy with the results as your garden is teaming and buzzing with their presence.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

4 thoughts on “Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies”

  1. They are so beautiful! Thank you so much for this article, I would love to have them in my garden.

    We’ve had a lot of swallowtails this last week and we live in the woods. We found a beautiful specimen lying in the driveway with it’s wing sections intact but no body. Think birds are a predator but what species ?

  2. You certainly shared a great deal of pertinent information on the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. It looks very beautiful in the pictures. People usually think that bees only pollinate flowers. Butterflies also do that. And they look much more attractive. Plus they don’t sting. 

    Knowing what kind of flowers attract this kind of butterfly is a great help if one wants to enjoy the sight of these beautiful creatures. 

    Thanks for sharing.


    • These butterflies are really amazing and can add so much beauty to your garden. I am so happy to help and yes butterflies are pollinators also which is an added benefit.


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