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Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails

Female Tigers come in two basic types, 1) the yellow form, which is similar to the male except for blue instead of black on the hindwings, and 2) the black form, which has dark semi-transparent wings.  These are the daredevils of the butterfly world: they're the only ones I've seen show up when stormy weather threatens.

Durham, 8/25/03. A very typical female Eastern Tiger, with some damage. Indian Creek Trail, Chatham County, NC, 8/2/05 Durham, 8/15/03.  Ventral side.

 

Durham, 10/18/02.  Here's a female Tiger that's seen lots of action.   Just after a bad storm, she landed in my yard and took off again without incident. Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, Wake County, NC, 3/17/06.  This butterfly had lost her entire left hind wing and part of her left forewing.  Its flight pattern was a little ragged, but it managed to get around. OK, I'm not sure whether this swallowtail is female, but otherwise s/he fits in with the other torn-up tigers!   Durham, 4/25/06.

 

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, NC Botanical Garden, 8/17/06.  Surprising brownish color!

 

Here are two more pictures of black-form females, showing how hard it is to pin down their true colors!  Note the gold bands in the forewings of the above female, extending from the blue bands on the hind wings. Black form, Durham, 9/3/02:  the non-transparent parts of the wings are the standard Tiger markings.

 

Black form, Little Scaly Mountain, 8/11/05 Black form female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, NC, 7/30/06

© Copyright 2005 Dorothy E. Pugh