Are these butterflies the same species, even though they look so different?
Sat, May 16, 2009 at 9:34 PM
Hi there; I was in the Smokey Mountains yesterday (May 2009) taking pictures and happened upon these little guys. At first I thought they were two different species and thought it was strange they were just kind of hanging out together in the gravel. Even when I walked up to them, they never moved more than a few inches from each other. I did a little digging around online tonight and now I think they may be Pipevine Swallowtails. One with its wings down and the other with its wings up. I was surprised at the difference in appearance from the top of the wings to the bottom of the wings, if in fact that is the case. Please let me know when you get a chance. Thank you so very much.
Cades Cove/Smokey Mountain National Park/Tennessee
You are correct that these are both Pipevine Swallowtails. You are also correct that the upper surface and underside (revealed when the wings are closed) are quite different. The Pipevine Swallowtails in your photo are puddling, or drinking moisture that contains minerals, a common practice of many swallowtail butterflies.