Sunday, 25 August 2013

Finally captured the illusive Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on my property

You'll recall my struggles with the yellow jackets.
They are GONE!
The little twerp has been teasing me, popping about, in the meadow, on Oliver's Lot, after our wildflowers beginning in June. Finally, I got her.

Unfortunately, if you watch the video, so did Daisy.

It started off simply enough. I was looking at the pond, admiring the new fencing around the primrose. The white have flowered and gone to seed. The much more aromatic pink have now blossomed. I love the colour.

Geraldine is a happy girl. We had 48mm of rain.
Checking out Geraldine, to see if she was OK after a cold night (10 C.) in the pond, There this flighty butterfly was feeding.

I spotted it, and grabbed some great photos of her long proboscis reaching deep into the flower. They are yellow on the underwing, and the body yellow, but on the top, much darker.

Papilio glaucus Linnaeus, 

first identified in 1758.
The wings flap separately, and their furry bodies are amazing. It truly flutters, and in the video, you'll notice that she only uses her forewings, the hindwings remain still. They are quite separate. Her antennae are quite different from the nocturnal moths, long, smooth, with a bulb at the end. It is used, primarily, for smelling; pheromones in mates and plants, semiochemicals; navigation; locating food and avoiding predators.
Her abdomen is yellow on the bottom and black on the top.
There are many places to find out more information, just ensure that they are a reputable source. Any affiliated with a university, or those with "" = government of Canada.
Also, on-line to track them. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is widespread throughout the eastern U.S. It reaches into Canada only in southern Ontario north to the Bruce Peninsula, the Rideau Lakes and Grenville County in eastern Ontario. 
map of CanadaSpecimen collection data
and dynamic map

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I've been trying to capture this beauty for two months. Finally, it landed on my flowers. Unfortunately, Daisy was nearby. It did get away from her! All was good.


Anonymous said...

great captures, they certainly are hard to get into focus

Hilary said...

Well that was an unfortunate end to a lovely photo shoot.. and a lovely critter. Such is life with cats. You got some fine photos of the butterfly. I hope you weren't barefoot when it probably made its way back up Daisy's system. ;)

eileeninmd said...

Lovely shots of the Tiger Swallowtail. They are numerous swallowtails around my yard. But, no Monarchs.

Red said...

It always amazes me how much detail and beauty you can see with the use of specialized photography equipment.

Bill Nicholls said...

Awesome butterfly, don't get any of those in the UK. Glad it got away from the puddy cat

The Furry Gnome said...

Very interesting; enjoy the videos you're posting, though it was a dramatic ending! Glad it got away.

Kay said...

Terrific photos of the beautiful butterfly, Jenn! I love the colors!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Just beautiful Jenn, very neat capture of a great butterfly.

Christine said...

what a beautiful butterfly, I can see where fairies could be imagined from these delicate creatures. What a great capture on your video! And so glad Daisy didn't get him.