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.
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)
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.