Eastern tiger swallowtail

pair of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails nectaring on blazing star flowers in a meadow. Photographed at Cox Arboretum. 

This is a male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, also photographed at Cox Arboretum. He is nectaring on Bottlebrush Buckeye flowers (a large and beautiful flowering shrub).  

Speaking of weeds, this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is sipping nectar from a field thistle. Field thistles are a fantastic nectar source for butterflies in late summer and early autumn. 

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have two forms, a light and a dark form. This is the dark form, nectaring on Brazilian Verbena flowers. Dark-form females are thought to mimic the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail.

This is a ventral view of a dark-form female, nectaring on Wild Bergamot flowers. The faint pattern of "tiger stripes" is visible beneath a dusting of black scales.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are common and widespread throughout our area. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including suburban parks and gardens. They fly from April through October.

This is a light-form female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a cosmos flower. Light-form females are similar to males, except they have more blue at the base of their wings. 

Another pair of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, nectaring on common teasel flowers. Teasels are non-native, weedy plants, but they serve as a good nectar source for swallowtail butterflies. Photographed at the Caesar Creek prairie.