Difference Between Eastern and Western Tiger Swallowtail: A Simple Guide for Butterfly Lovers

The Eastern and Western Tiger Swallowtails are two stunning butterfly species found in different regions of North America. Both are known for their beautiful colors and large size, making them a delightful sight in gardens and nature. While they share some similarities, each has distinct characteristics that set them apart.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, scientifically known as Papilio glaucus, is predominantly found east of the Mississippi River and into the Great Plains states, with additional populations in some Mexican states. In contrast, the Western Tiger Swallowtail, or Papilio rutulus, is typically found in the western United States and Canada.

Both species are known for their striking yellow and black patterned wings, but subtle variations in color, size, and habitat preferences exist. The Eastern species tend to have more blue accents on their wings, whereas the Western species have a more pronounced yellow hue. Additionally, Western Tiger Swallowtails are generally found in wetter areas across their range.

Overview of Eastern and Western Tiger Swallowtail

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Species

There are various species of tiger swallowtail butterflies, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis), and Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata).

Physical Characteristics

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail:

  • Adults are yellow with four black bands on the front wings1
  • Males have more yellow, while females can also have a dark form2

Western Tiger Swallowtail:

  • Adults are yellow with black banding and broad black edge on wings3
  • Similar to the Eastern species, but with slightly different banding pattern4

Here’s a comparison table of their physical characteristics:

Feature Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Western Tiger Swallowtail
Color Yellow with black bands Yellow with black bands
Dark form Only in females N/A
Wingspan 7.9 to 14.0 cm 7.0 to 10.0 cm

Geographical Distribution

  • The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is found east of the Mississippi River and into the Great Plains states5
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail is found mostly in western North America6

Key Differences Between Eastern and Western Tiger Swallowtail

Wing Patterns and Colors

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are predominantly yellow with four black bands on their front wings 3. In contrast, Western Tiger Swallowtails exhibit similar patterns, but with noticeable differences, such as more irregular and bolder black lines. Additionally, male Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have more conspicuous blue patterns on their hind wings, particularly on the edges.

Size and Wingspan

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail exhibits a wingspread range of 7.9 to 14.0 cm (approx. 3.12 to 5.5 inches)4. Although similar in size to their Eastern counterparts, Western Tiger Swallowtails are generally slightly smaller.

Tiger Swallowtail Species Wingspan Range
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 3.12 to 5.5 inches
Western Tiger Swallowtail Slightly smaller

Reproductive Behavior

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails lay their eggs on a specific family of plants, such as wild cherry, plums, and other fruit trees. While Western Tiger Swallowtails also have preferences for certain host plants, their larvae can consume a wider range of foliage from flowering species5.

To sum up:

  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are more yellow, with more distinct blue patterns on male hind wings.
  • Western Tiger Swallowtails have more irregular and bolder black lines on wings.
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtails on average have a larger wingspan.
  • Western Tiger Swallowtails have larvae with a wider range of host plants.

Life Cycle and Host Plants

Eggs and Caterpillars

Eastern and western tiger swallowtails both lay their eggs on host plants where their caterpillars will feed. Some common host plants for eastern tiger swallowtails include tulip trees, magnolia, and wild cherry. In contrast, western tiger swallowtails prefer cottonwood, willow, and ash.

Caterpillars of eastern tiger swallowtails feed primarily on leaves, while western tiger swallowtails show a preference for sweet bay and other wetland plants.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails:

  • Host plants: tulip trees, magnolia, wild cherry
  • Caterpillars feed on leaves

Western Tiger Swallowtails:

  • Host plants: cottonwood, willow, ash

  • Caterpillars feed on sweet bay and wetland plants

    Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Western Tiger Swallowtails
    Tulip trees, magnolia, wild cherry Cottonwood, willow, ash
    Leaves Sweet bay, wetland plants

Adult Butterflies and Nectar Sources

Eastern tiger swallowtails visit a wide variety of flowers to obtain nectar. A popular choice among gardeners wishing to attract these butterflies are zinnias, which are endorsed by the North American Butterfly Association.

Western tiger swallowtails, on the other hand, are known to feed on nectar from many flowering species. Adults of this species take flight from June through July and, in Pacific coastal areas, may be found throughout much of the year.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails:

  • Obtain nectar from various flowers
  • Attracted to zinnias

Western Tiger Swallowtails:

  • Feed on nectar from many flowering species

  • Active from June to July, year-round in Pacific coastal areas

    Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Western Tiger Swallowtails
    Various flowers, zinnias Many flowering species
    Throughout the year June to July, year-round in Pacific coastal areas

Additional Information and Resources

Identifying Swallowtail Species

There are several species of swallowtail butterflies, but two of the most common are the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Western Tiger Swallowtail. To help identify these species, consider their ranges and physical features:

Ranges

  • Eastern: East of the Mississippi River and into the Great Plains
  • Western: Pacific coastal areas

Physical Features

  • Two-tailed: Both species have two tails on each hindwing
  • Canadian Tiger: A closely related species to the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Comparing Eastern and Western Tiger Swallowtails:

Features Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Western Tiger Swallowtail
Range East of Mississippi & Great Plains Pacific coastal areas
Two-tailed presence Yes Yes
Canadian Tiger species Related Not related

Conservation and Gardening Tips

Swallowtail butterflies are an essential part of our ecosystem and can be supported by creating an attractive garden for them:

  • Plant host plants for caterpillars, like wild black cherry
  • Provide nectar-rich flowers for the adult butterflies
  • Offer a water source and a shallow dish filled with water and stones
  • Conserve sodium sources, like water with dissolved salts

To learn more about conserving swallowtail species and creating an ideal habitat, explore resources like this one.

Footnotes

  1. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN218

  2. https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/TigerSwallowtail.shtml

  3. https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-rutulus 2

  4. https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/western-tiger-swallowtail/ 2

  5. https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/TigerSwallowtail.shtml 2

  6. https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-rutulus

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Western Tiger Swallowtail and Giant Swallowtail and Praise

 

Hi Daniel and Lisa Anne!
JAW DROP!!!!!
WOW!!!!!!!!!!
I just had to write you two, your site is the best bug site I have ever seen! Your main page helped me identify a bug that was posted at our forum, and I must admit that some of the pictures submitted to your site are so absolutely beautiful that I had to capture them for my screen saver! In exchange I wish to offer some photos of my own, taken in my yard in Santa Ana California. I have included 10 photos that I took with my digital camera, you may use them as you see fit I would also like to reply to Rebecca from Southern California who wishes to know how to get rid of all of her bugs, if a reply is allowed.
Hi Rebecca!
I live in Southern California too, and I have all the things you described in my yard as well. If they are getting into your house, then you probably have openings around windows and doors that should be attended to. You do not want to kill the bugs in your yard, they provide very necessary functions to keep your yard healthy. Ants are your cleaning crew, they dispose of dead things. Earthworms are what make the earth that your garden grows in, and their castings contain an enzyme that repels white flies. Wasps are your predators, they eat the caterpillars that eat your plants. Caterpillars are your butterflies and moths, and they pollinate your flowers so they bloom again next year. Robber flies are your wasp controllers, they keep wasp populations down. Potato bugs, pill bugs, earwigs and click beetles are your compost engineers, they recycle leaf litter and break it down so the earthworms can turn it into healthy soil. Possums are your snail controllers. Garden snails are not native and have no other predator than possums here in California. Spiders are your general insect controllers, you should capture and take outside any that wander into your house. There are many other insects that you will find in your yard as well, but they are all pretty harmless and will avoid you if you just give them time to move out of your way. Your yard is its own ecosystem, with its own checks and balances. Learn to love your bugs, explore them, research them, discover the benefits they give to you and the beauty of your yard. If you get stung by a wasp or bee, or bitten by a mosquito, simply dissolve a real aspirin in your hand with a few drops of water and apply directly to the site, the pain and itch will be gone within a matter of seconds. If you want to help control your mosquitoes, simply place a container of water under a bush which is easily accessible to you and leave it there, check it every day, when you see the larvae swimming around just dump the entire container of water on the ground. The larvae will die. Refill the container. Insure that there is no other standing water on your property. Keep an eye out for Black Widows, they are the only bugs in your yard that can actually harm you. Hope this helps 🙂
Sincerely,
Cathy 🙂
Thank you Daniel and Lisa, for such a wonderful site! I have it bookmarked and will be back here often!

Giant Swallowtail Tiger Swallowtail


Hi Cathy,
What a wonderful letter you have written. You have sent in so many images, we really cannot post them all, but we will take the opportunity to make one little identification for you.l You identified two butterflies as a Dark Barred Tiger Swallowtail and a Light Barred Tiger Swallowtail. Only the light one is a Western Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus. The other is a Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes. I would also like to comment on two of your comments to Rebecca. First, the ants that plague most Southern Californians are Argentine Ants, Iridomyrmex humilis, an introduced invasive species. They are undesireable aliens that tend to aphids, scales and other plant pests. They are invasive and competitive, and often exterminates native ants when it moves into a new territory. If I could, I would send them all back to Argentina where they must have a natural predator. Also, when you mention that snails have no natural predators in California, you have ingored a wonderful species of Rove Beetle introduced from Europe, the Devil’s Coach Horse. Thank you again for your awesome letter.
Lisa Anne and Daniel

Letter 2 – Western Tiger Swallowtail

 

western tiger swallowtail
Dear bugman,
Thanks for identifying my cricket hunter. I’m pretty sure this is a western tiger swallowtail, and I noticed you didn’t have a picture of one with its wings spread out – it’s so pretty! Thanks for your website!
Erika

Hi Erika,
What a lovely addition to our site.

Letter 3 – Western Tiger Swallowtail

 

Subject: Tiger Swallowtail
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
August 21, 2012 6:42 pm
Hello,
Just saw your plea for tiger swallowtail photos, and I just happened to snap these at Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks this past Sunday. I tried to submit them via the form, but I am wondering if the files are too large, since it did not seem to work. Can I email them to you?
I also got some of a giant swallowtail in my yard (in Highland Park) the other day, which are posted on my blog, AlmostGrownLA.blogspot.com.
Signature: Katherine

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Hi Katherine,
Thank you so much for responding to our request to submit photos of a Western Tiger Swallowtail.  They are positively gorgeous and they fill a noticeable gap in our archive.  We cannot believe that we have that exact color of Buddleia or Butterfly Bush, yet we have never seen any of the Western Tiger Swallowtails, Anise Swallowtails or Giant Swallowtails that frequent our garden nectaring from it.  We did just photograph a Monarch on the butterfly bush, and Gulf Fritillaries, Red Admirals and Painted Ladies all visit is for nectar as do the Skippers.  The Giant Swallowtails like our Lantana, but as we stated in our previous post, the Tiger Swallowtails are present on a daily basis, yet they never alight on any plants.  It is so nice to get a submission from nearby Highland Park.  Perhaps one day we will see you at Cafe de Leche or another of the wonderful businesses on York Boulevard.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Hi Daniel,
I am so glad they were useful photos!  I am a huge fan of all bugs, but my mother raised me with an extra strong appreciation for butterflies, and we always planted a butterfly garden where ever we lived.  I hope you’ll click on the “bug” label on my blog and see my many posts about spiders, crickets, praying mantids, etc.  — all from local HP!
I’ll be sure to say “HI” if we ever cross paths in the hood.
Best,
Katherine

Letter 4 – Western Tiger Swallowtail

 

Subject: Butterfly
Location: San Marcos, CA
September 27, 2012 1:28 am
These seem to come around every spring and I always enjoy them especially when they visit my Bouganvilla or, in this case, my Pride of Madeira. I’m assuming some kind of swallowtail?
Signature: redfive

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Dear redfive,
This is a Western Tiger Swallowtail.  We spent several days this summer trying to photograph the Western Tiger Swallowtails that flit about our garden but never seem to land.  Then we put out a call for images of Western Tiger Swallowtails and then we made Tiger Swallowtails the Bug of the Month for September, so you letter and identification request are quite timely.

Letter 5 – Western Tiger Swallowtail

 

Location: Los Padres Nat’l Forest north of Ojai at a campground
july 15, 2013
the swallowtail butterfly was seen in the Los Padres Nat’l Forest north of Ojai at a campground on july 15.
c.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

Ed. Note:  Our editorial staff was on the phone with Clare discussing some local land use issues when we spotted a Western Tiger Swallowtail landing on the shrubs in the garden.  We quickly ended the call since we wanted to try to get some photos.  A few minutes later when we were downloading the images, we found this email from Clare as well as several other insect images from her recent excursion north.  As we have stated in the past, there are always Western Tiger Swallowtails present in our garden during the summer months, but they are not cooperative models as they never seem to land, preferring to soar over the garden in a lazy manner.

Letter 6 – Western Tiger Swallowtail

 

Subject: Furry Western Tiger Swallowtail
Location: Red Car Property, Silver Lake (Los Angeles)
March 9, 2015 12:28 am
Hi Daniel,
As you may have heard, we’re having a butterfly bonanza in Silver Lake this year. Today’s question is more about function than ID. Why do the Western Tiger Swallowtails have so much fur? It would seem not so aerodynamic . Photo attached was taken on the Red Car Property March 5, 2015. It was supper furry, as was the one I the week before in my backyard:
http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/2015/02/corralitas-drive-western-tiger.html
Both seemed to be sunning themselves in the morning sun on very warm days on broad leafed, non-native plants (wild geranium & nasturtium).
Signature: Diane E

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

Good Morning Diane,
The physical feature of “fur” on butterflies is not confined to Swallowtails, but since Swallowtails are so large, it is more easily noticed.  Alas, we don’t know why this trait has developed, nor do we know what purpose it serves.  We will post your image and hope one of our readers is able to enlighten us.

Letter 7 – Western Tiger Swallowtail: Call for images

 

Photographing the elusive Western Tiger Swallowtail
August 20, 2012
We have a noticeable dearth of images of Western Tiger Swallowtails on our website, and we recently needed a good photograph of a Western Tiger Swallowtail to accompany a local article we are writing.  We have this low resolution image submitted by Cathy in 2005 and this image from Erika also from 2005.  There are no shortage of Western Tiger Swallowtails at our Mount Washington WTB? offices, but it seems they only ever soar through the garden and they never alight on any of the nectar producing flowers growing there, including zinnias, butterfly bush and lantana.  We spent about two hours today with the camera pre-focused at fifteen feet, the shutter set at 1/250 to stop movement and the aperture at f/16 to maximize depth of field.  We even used the motor drive function and the best we could do was this slightly blurry action photo despite taking about 100 photos.  We will continue to try to get a sharp, high resolution image of a Western Tiger Swallowtail, but if any of our readers has an image of their own they would like to submit, we would be greatly appreciative.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Letter 8 – Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

 

what is this?
We found this in a tree next to our house, in cool, rainy Washington state. What is it???? We have never seen anything like it. Thanks,
The Dennis family

Dear Dennis Family,
This is a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar. You might have seen the adult butterflies which are showy large black and yellow striped butterflies.

Letter 9 – Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

 

Subject: Orange caterpillar
Location: Wyoming
May 13, 2017 9:31 am
Hi Bugman,
A few years ago, my daughter found this neat looking caterpillar. We were fascinated by its colors. We were hoping you could tell us what kind of caterpillar it is and what it turns into? We don’t see many colorful caterpillars here in Wyoming. Thank you!
Signature: Anneka & Samantha

Pre-Pupal Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Anneka & Samantha,
This is a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar,
Papilio rutulus, and for most of its life it was green to camouflage itself on the leaves upon which it had been feeding.  Its orange color is based on its pre-pupal state as it was likely searching for an ideal location to transform into a chrysalis.  According to BugGuide:  “Males patrol canyons and hilltops. Larvae feed on foliage of deciduous trees, including cottonwood, birch, elms, willow, alder, sycamore, and aspen. They rest in shelters made of silk and curled leaves. Overwinters as pupa (chrysalis).”  BugGuide also notes the habitat is:  “Woodlands and more open areas, often near streams. Also common in cities and suburbs due to the popularity of sycamores in landscaping.”  We were able to distinguish your Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar from the numerous other North American Tiger Swallowtail species because of your location and this BugGuide statement:  “Larvae very similar to those of Pale Tiger Swallowtail, but black pupil of false eye-spot larger, and yellow spot inside eyespot entirely separated from it, not just notched.”  The adult Western Tiger Swallowtail is a gorgeous butterfly.

Letter 10 – Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

 

Subject:  False-eyed caterpillar in San Diego County, California
Geographic location of the bug:  Oceanside, San Diego County, California
August 25, 2017  4:27 PM
Hi! I found this little critter outside my front door after I was away for a while. (There’s a large tree beyond the sidewalk, so it could’ve easily fallen there.) It didn’t want to move, so I had plenty of time to get a good shot.
It had green/grayish skin. It seemed that it was trying to change its skin color to match the pavement below it. I left and came back to find no trace of it. I wonder if a bird spotted it…
Anyway, what kind of caterpillar is this? I haven’t seen it before and it has false eyes that extend further inward than the ones I’ve seen pictured on this site. I’m on USA’s west coast, in Southern California. (We also have green jewel-scarab beetles that fly around in the daytime here. Not sure if that helps.)
Signature:  Lightwulf

Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Lightwulf,
Based on your location, we are leaning towards this being a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, because of this BugGuide image.  BugGuide states:  “Larvae very similar to those of Pale Tiger Swallowtail, but black pupil of false eye-spot larger, and yellow spot inside eyespot entirely separated from it, not just notched.”  BugGuide also states:  “Larvae feed on foliage of deciduous trees, including cottonwood, birch, elms, willow, alder, sycamore, and aspen.”  When it was still feeding, this Western Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar was green, but as the time for transformation into a chrysalis approached, it darkened to the brown color your images depict, though some individuals turn orange.  Caterpillars often travel away from the food source to find an appropriate place to undergo metamorphosis.  The similar looking Two Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar is another possibility for your critter’s identity.

Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Letter 11 – Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar begins pupation

 

Subject:  Swallowtail?
Geographic location of the bug:  North Central Washington (Brewster)
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 12:17 AM EDT
We have found a caterpillar which is new to us! It was apparently in a hurry to pupate, as soon as we housed it, it went to work. I think Mom is having the most fun here! 🙂
We are in the north central (Brewster) part of Washington State. This is a darker bluish green caterpillar with white and black eye spots and white and black collar. It turned to brown very soon after we found and housed it.
How you want your letter signed:  Elizabeth Brown

Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Elizabeth,
We believe this is a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar, but we would not rule out that it might be a related species like a Two Tailed Swallowtail Caterpillar.

Pre-pupal Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

 

Letter 12 – Western Tiger Swallowtail in Mount Washington

 

Western Tiger Swallowtail poses for photographs
July 20, 2013, 1:06 PM
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

The editorial staff of What’s That Bug? has been trying for years to get a decent photograph of a Western Tiger Swallowtail, and though there is no shortage of this large and gorgeous butterfly in our office garden and the nearby areas, it seems that all they ever want to do in our garden is to soar back and forth without ever landing.  That changed today.  We were on the telephone with Clare when we spotted this beauty on the lilac, and then it flew to the camellia.  By the time we hung up the phone and got the camera, it flew to the oak tree and posed for a few shots before sailing away.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

Letter 13 – Western Tiger Swallowtail in Mount Washington

 

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
August 25, 2013
After lamenting for years that we are unable to photograph the Western Tiger Swallowtails that visit our garden, but rarely land, we got lucky for the second time this year.  This somewhat tattered individual repeatedly landed on the California Black Walnut as well as a Lilac.  Last month we photographed a Western Tiger Swallowtail, possibly the same individual, on a Live Oak.  There was a second individual soaring in the yard today, and this individual, the more aggressive of the two, chased the other away.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

Letter 14 – Western Tiger Swallowtail in Mount Washington

 

Subject:  Western Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 16, 2014 11:59 AM

We had to stop pulling weeds long enough to clean our hands and grab the camera.  Several Western Tiger Swallowtails were flying about the garden and nectaring from the plumbago on the neighbor’s hill.  It wasn’t so long ago that we lamented that we couldn’t get a decent image of the large Swallowtails sailing about as they never seemed to alight.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

We even managed to get shots showing both ventral and dorsal surfaces.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

Letter 15 – Western Tiger Swallowtail visits WTB?

 

Subject:  Western Tiger Swallowtail
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 31, 2015 9:46 AM
Several years ago we lamented that we were not able to capture any images of the Western Tiger Swallowtails that fly around the garden.  Today we got some early morning images of this individual.  The morning haze cleared and the sun had just begun to shine.  The Swallowtail was warming in the sun on the cypress, and it appears that it had narrowly escaped at least one predator since not only the swallowtail, but fully half of each of the hind wings is missing.

Western Tiger Swallowtail
Western Tiger Swallowtail

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

6 thoughts on “Difference Between Eastern and Western Tiger Swallowtail: A Simple Guide for Butterfly Lovers”

  1. Beautiful photos of a stunning butterfly! And although this is slightly off topic, I too, have that same color buddleia in my yard. It volunteered the year after I planted a Black Knight and a Pink Delight in close proximity to each other. I have always wondered how it came to be, as I’ve never had any other unintended buddleia. It is an absolute MAGNET for butterflies and bees of all kinds, wasps, skippers, flower flies, spiders, clearwing moths, as well as ruby-throated hummingbirds. Have a lovely evening! -Dori Eldridge

    Reply
    • This has been a good year for Swallowtails Diane. The Western Tiger Swallowtails appeared a bit earlier than usual and we have been getting sightings of Giant Swallowtails the past few weeks. Sadly, the Anise Swallowtails have not been plentiful even though we grow carrots in the garden.

      Reply
  2. Today I found a Western Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar. It was crawling across a concrete patio in our residence in Santa Fe, NM.
    It is quite ugly in its Pupa stage but photos I see of it in it’s adult state is is very attractive. I believe that I will release it from the small glass vial in which I captured it to prevent being killed by our two curious dogs. I wasn’t successful in getting a photo of it. It’s approximately 2 inches long rust colored body with a thin red,(apprx 1/64th inch wide, closest to the head and farthest from any feet or legs, next to a yellow band perhaps 3 times that width and then near a black band perhaps 1/16th inch wide. The body has several bublous bands with feet on the underside.
    I find several references to these being from Mexico and Canada.
    Really ugly

    Reply

Leave a Comment