Handsome Eastern!

Black Swallowtail photographed by Jeff Zablow in Traci Meadow, Fayette Township, PA

We were in Traci’s Meadow (Fayatte Township in southwestern Pennsylvania). At the top of the gentle rising land nearby, a new development of houses stood. Traces Meadow? You see it here, lush, vibrant and full of wildflowers. Traci shared that they developer of the nearby homes wanted to extend his building to this vulnerable meadow, but was for the moment blocked by environmental issues.

This male Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) few in, and he sports fresh, spectacular coloration. His yellow pm spot band is unusually extensive and bolder than most, and his sup apical yellow spots, at the front on that left forewing, are positioned somewhat differently. He is his own butterfly, adorned boldly to catch the eye of females.

I’ll need your help in ID’ing the wildflower he is on. It must be a fine nectar pump of a flowerhead, for he remains on it long enough for me to score an acceptable image.

At the time I told Traci that I soooo wished that some conservation group would jump at the opportunity to seize this meadow as a forever conserved refuge, for it was rich in butterflies and so much more.