Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Displaying Her Stunning Splashes of Blue

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

The magic of Butterflyweed flowers! When their flowers open in July the morning sun brings a steady procession of butterflies. Swallowtails, Fritillaries, Orange sulphurs, Coral hairstreaks and Monarchs.

Here our heroine is hungrily nectaring and displaying her stunning blue splashes!

After some 2 hours or so of morning sunlight, butterflies do not fly to the Butterflyweed. The last visitors to these flowers are usually very worn and sport heavily damaged wings.

When was the last time that you saw Butterflyweed? Is is a native or an alien wildflower?

What may explain the complete drop-off of butterfly activity at Butterflyweed flowers at mid-morning?


Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly with Blue Splashes on Her Hindwings

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Real time this Tiger Swallowtail female is working furiously to take up the nectar of these Butterflyweed flowers.

Her blue splashes on her hindwings are what sold me on this photograph. It’s a great challenge to capture them, considering how much the subject is moving.

Papilio glaucus is the species name of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. It’s one of our largest butterflies.