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Posts Tagged ‘swallowtail butterfly’

I love the look of this black-colored swallowtail butterfly feeding on a cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) in the marsh—I just wish that I could identify the butterfly with greater certainty.

I used to think that there were only a few varieties of black-colored swallowtails, but as I learn about more species, I get more confused when trying to identify them. Most of the time I think that this is a Pipevine Swallowtail, but at other moments I convince myself that this is a Spicebush Swallowtail or even a Black Swallowtail. Whatever species it is, this butterfly kept its wings flapping pretty quickly as it was feeding, which accounts for the motion blur in the wings.

I really like the color and shape of the cardinal flower and wanted to show some of the buds and petals, so I decided not to crop the shot any tighter. I was a little surprised to find this butterfly on the cardinal flower, because I read in one document on the internet that these flowers are pollinated almost exclusively by hummingbirds.

swallowtail_cardinal_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus) photographed today at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I haven’t seen too many butterflies yet this season so I was happy yesterday to encounter several Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) butterflies at a local garden. The few that I have seen during the past few weeks have been pretty damaged but the male I photographed was in great condition. The female had some damage to one of her “tails” but otherwise was almost perfect.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail male in perfect condition

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail female with damaged tail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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