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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Tiger Swallowtail Appreciation

The western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, is different from the giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) in the time it spends in relatively stillness while feeding or perched on a flower. I was able to get so close to this one, feeding on the lantana, that I could hear and appreciate the lush swoosh of its wings as it waved them--repeatedly--past the foliage and flowers while feeding.


Cindy said...

Nice shots! And is it just me, or are these guys actually bigger than the "giants"?

Christine said...

Wow, stunning photos. Perhaps fair entries for next year?

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your first photo, which shows what it would be like to be small enough to be in the shade of a beautiful butterfly wing ABOVE me!
A childhood dream!

vanessa cardui said...

As I have said before, everyone loves a butterfly. It sounds sappy to say but what a wonderful place our earth is that it produces butterflies.

Bugguide has the following information on wingspan:
Western tiger 90--110mm
Giant 83--140mm
If that is correct, it would be fairly common to see P. rutulus larger than P. cresphontes.

Slugyard said...

We don't have too many different kinds of butterflies up here in western Oregon (at least that I've seen), but this one we have in abundance.

I guess if we had to get stuck with one, tiger swallowtails aren't a bad choice!

TitusL said...

Great Post :D
thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly's tale~
Bright Blessings
elf ~