Butterflly Bush And The Swallowtail
Photograph - Photography
A visit to a garden that has many Butterfly Bush plants, was attracting the Swallowtails finally as it gets warmer. This male Tiger Swallowtail was enjoying the bushes, and was able to capture him. I noticed the butterflies looked smaller to me and the first ones I have seen as it is still cold some nights. What a treat to see them, a sure sign spring is here.
The Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucas) is a strong flier with distinctive yellow and black striped markings on its wings and body (some females are brown or black, mimicking the poisonous pipevine swallowtail). This relatively common butterfly has a wingspan of 3.5-6.5 inches (9-16.5 cm). Southern subspecies are larger than the northern ones. These butterflies are called swallowtails because they have long "tails" on their hindwings which look a bit like the long, pointed tails of swallows (a type of bird).
Butterfly bush is an introduced shrub from China that has been widely planted as an ornamental and butterfly plant throughout North America. Butterfly bush can now be found commonly along riversides and roads and in cleared forests. The deciduous shrub is up to15 feet tall with arching branches. The showy flower spikes grow at the branch ends, either upright or often nodding, 4 to 10 inches long with the flowers typically light purple with orange centers (hence the common name "orange eye"), four-petaled, bell-shaped, and in dense clusters.
Nature photography by Sandi O'Reilly, All Rights Reserved and Copyrighted. You can contact me through FAA's email service with any questions you have, glad to help.
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April 21st, 2013
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