Saturday, December 4, 2010

Two-tailed Swallowtail

Sigh, it's still winter in my back yard.  I want the attitude of my old cat Otis, who figured that if the weather outside the front door was wet and rainy, then the weather outside the back door should be happily different.  So, I'm thinking out the front door and across the street to butterflies on my neighbour's spruce tree, mid-summer.  (Has anyone managed to follow that at all?)

This is a Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata).  My butterfly identification skills are at Basic Beginners level, so do please correct me if I have this wrong.

(Click to enlarge, if you want to)

The Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America says this is the largest western butterfly with the range map indicating maybe I'm a little east of the usual range.  Probably not.  I've seen these around; we have their larval diet of ash and chokecherry leaves.  

What else does the guide tell us?  Well, apparently the "males sail up and down streamside canyons searching for females."  Boy butterflies are just like boys of any other species. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely butterfly,just got into butterflies this year works well with birding.Birding in the morning butterflies in the afternoon.