Wednesday, July 27

Garden Pic Wednesday: Dark Lady Tiger Swallowtail!

Hubby and I make a weekly hobby of reading the Police Blotter that comes in the free local Wednesday paper to see what weird things are going on in our town:
 Here's a couple highlights from this week:
* A guy riding along on roadway on his bike reported several unknown persons in a gray van chased him, attempted to take his picture, asked for his I.D. and tried to block  him, he continued to ride away until he crashed on Cedar Dr.  (He crashed? That's it?
But there was nothing more in the report.)

* Police responded to a local Tom Thumb Convenience Store where a woman was reported yelling and creating a disturbance. Police arrived, spoke with her. She then got into her vehicle and went on her way.  (One is left wondering what there was to yell about at a convenience store?)
Today's Garden Pic is a lovely shot of a female dark-form Tiger Swallowtail:
You may not know that about Tiger Swallowtails, the showy, typically yellow and black butterflies you see in your flower beds.
The males are always strongly yellow & black, but females can look yellow & black like the males OR they can be a shade of black, such as this one.

You Might Wonder How I Know?
The dark female Tiger and a female Black Swallowtail do look quite similar in wing markings.
I can tell by the body coloring. All Black Swallowtails have a black body with a row of white dots down the side, while a female Tiger's body can be the typical yellow w/ black stripes or sometimes they're a plain brownish color.
Never the white dotting on the body. If you look closely you can see orange stripes on the upper body & orange antenna.

I've created a collage to show you with pictures of both side-by-side:

The dark lady Tigers I see around here typically have the yellow & black striped body.

For comparison, I've created this illustration using a photo of a Black Swallowtail I raised from a batch of caterpillars.
You'll notice it has a blacker coloring and significant differences in markings. The Dark Lady Tiger is more brown.

That's your butterfly identification lesson for today!

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