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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) butterflies are found in all states east of the Continental Divide and in part of Canada. It and the Giant Swallowtail are the two largest butterflies in the United States.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail have several species that are alike in characteristics. They are Black
Swallowtail (female), Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail and Spicebush Swallowtail.
The size of this butterfly is about three and a half to four and a half inches.
The wingspan is about two and a half to five and a half inches (8 - 14 cm.) The females are slightly larger.
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lives in deciduous woods all along the streams, rivers, swamps, edges of forest, river valleys, parks and suburbs.
These butterflies are powerful and swift fliers.
They breed twice, especially those from the northern part while butterflies from the southern area breed three times.
Males watch out for females who are receptive. They patrol at tree top points and swoop at lower levels to stop in front of females and offer to mate. During courtship the male and female flap around each other before landing and mating. If they feel they are under danger during mating then the female carries the male away.
Male swallowtails have a scent like pheromone which is used in courtship.
Avg. Wingspan: 8 - 14 cm / 3 - 5.5 "
Diet: caterpillars eat the leaves of woody plants such as wild cherry, tulip, birch, ash, cottonwood and willow.
Diet: adults eat flower nectar including butterfly bush, milkweed, Japanese honeysuckle, phlox, lilac, ironweed and wild cherry.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera
* The Tiger Swallowtail is the official state butterfly of Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
* There are 4 distinct species of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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