The Tiger Swallowtail: One of Florida’s Largest Butterflies

The tiger swallowtail ( Papilio glaucus ) is one of Florida’s largest and most easily recognized butterfly. The tiger swallowtail is yellow, having black bands on the front wings. The hind wings are powdery blue. Tiger swallowtails can have a wingspan averaging between three to five inches. It is not easy to mistake this butterfly in your landscape. However, there is a black form of the female species that looks similar to other butterflies, such as the spicebuch and pipevine. Tiger swallowtails are a native species that depends on specific native tree hosts to lay its eggs. The sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana)  and Tulip tree, (Liriodendrum tulipifera) are two host trees that tiger swallowtails depend on. The tiger swallowtail female will lay eggs singly on the upperside of the tree leaf. Once they hatch, caterpillars will feed on the foliage. Feeding does not damage the tree. Once they reach their final instar, they will begin to pupate and soon will hatch into a an adult. For more information, please visit: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in218

 

 

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