A Black Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Left Its Nightime Hiding Place

Tiger swallowtail butterfly (black form) photographed at Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

Years have gone by without my having seen a Tiger swallowtail butterfly (black form). That happily changed in 2010 and 2011.

They vary in size and this one was quite large. It was early in the morning and it had just left its nighttime hiding place in the trees, seeking the warmth of early sunshine. Wings spread and intent on raising its body temperature (the woods are cool at night) she presented her beautiful finery for me to photograph. I wanted to capture the field of exquisite blue dots that she displayed. She remained still for several minutes, enabling me to earn this image. Yellows, black, blue, red…antennae, tongue, abdomen, all were on view.

Beauty and grace.