Brand new and beautiful

Swallowtail butterflies seem to be doing well in the upper midwest this year.  Newly emerged butterflies, with their brightly colored scales still intact, show up every couple of weeks in the backyard garden.

male black swallowtail butterfly on coneflowers

A male Black Swallowtail butterfly probed for nectar in the coneflowers.  Males have two bright yellow rows of spots on their wings, with little blue showing in the hindwing.  Females lack the upper row of spots, and have much more blue in their hind wings (see a recent post for illustration of male-female differences)

female eastern tiger swallowtail

A female eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, easily recognized by the bright blue scales at the edges of her hind wings.

Populations seem to be rebounding after two summers of low numbers.  Tiger Swallowtails and Monarch butterflies are two of the most common species seen in the backyard garden this year — which I am glad to see.

5 thoughts on “Brand new and beautiful

  1. I found all these catapillars on my parsley. I started taking them off. These orange horns popped up and after about 8-10 of them I started smelling this odor. It wasn’t bad just different. Almost sweet. I found the catapillar on your blog. Either black or Easter black swallowtail. I love those butterflies just moved them to an empty lot. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.

    • I’m glad the blog description or photos helped. These caterpillars really like dill and other members of the carrot family of plants. They seem to be rather picky about where they lay their eggs, I have them some years but not others…

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