Swallowtail Butterfly

September 06, 2023



Photographer: Joe LaCour 

Summary Author: Joe LaCour 

When walking out of the door of my home a few months back I spotted this Western Tiger Swallowtail, (Papilio rutulus), flying around the garden.  Having only my phone, I waited until it landed on a Pink Dianthus to snap the above photo. We have quite a lot of these beautiful butterflies on the Olympic Peninsula (Washington State), and they seem to be at home in both woodlands and suburban areas. They're around from April to October but their numbers peak in June and July. In terms of the nectar that they feed on, flowering blackberry, lilac, rhododendron, and thistle in particular get their attention. However, they like to place their larvae on willow, aspen, poplar, and alder trees. These swallowtails have pretty big wingspans -- this one's was about 4 inches (10 cm). Photo taken on June 14, 2023, at 1:23 p.m. local time.

Photo details: Apple iPhone, 28mm f1.8.


Olympic Peninsula, Washington Coordinates: 47.7501, -123.7510

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