Eastern Tigers

This dramatic Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly was everywhere early this summer, to my delight. On honeysuckle:

swallowtail on honeysuckel

or milkweed:

Eastern Swallowtail

In a previous incarnation, it was a large green caterpillar, with fake “eye” markings to deceive predators; the actual head is the reddish section to the extreme left:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

When threatened, it coils in its front end to create a very convincing – looking face, and those flaps even make its feet look big.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 

They curl up a leaf with silk threads, creating a little woven silken pad to which they can anchor themselves to rest. I watched this one for days, and it never moved (unless I touched it gently), and then one morning  it was gone, leaving its bed behind:

Had it gone off to pupate, or had something swooped down and eaten it?? We will never know.

6 thoughts on “Eastern Tigers”

  1. She’s beautiful! Your photos are, again, amazing! What a great, clear, photo of her proboscis on the Milkweed. Often seen the Butterflies, never a caterpillar.

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  2. And the body looks like pure velvet. I was noticing last night how the underside of the leaves of my magnolia tree are velvety. I wonder how many things there must be in our natural world that are velvet like?

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