Subject: Papilio glaucus
Location: Nathaniel Boone Forest State Park
March 19, 2014 11:01 am
These pics of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails were taken along a trail in the Nathaniel Boone Forest State Park outside of Camden TN. It was late June I believe when I took the pic. They were feeding on dung or rotting fruit.
Hi again Swampyy82,
Thanks for sending us this gorgeous image of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails congregating at a moisture spot, an activity that is commonly called mud-puddling or just puddling. More information can be found in an Ecological Entomology article written in 1991 by Carol L. Boggs and Lee Ann Jackson called Mud puddling by butterflies is not a simple matter. They wrote: “Adult Lepidoptera of many families feed from puddles, carrion and excreta (Norris, 1936; Downes, 1973; Adler, 1982). Such behavior is termed ‘puddling’, and may involve aggregations of individuals feeding at a location which is used repeatedly. the participants are usually male and often young (e.g. Collenette, 1934; Adler, 1982; Adler & Pearson, 1982). … Sodium, which may be an otherwise scarce nutrient in the adult diet, triggers puddling behavior, at least in “Papilio (Arms et al., 1974).”