Papilio canadensis

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Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio-canadensis-001.jpg
In Ontario
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Tribe: Papilionini
Genus: Papilio
Species: P. canadensis
Binomial name
Papilio canadensis
(Rothschild & Jordan, 1906)
PcanadensisMap.jpg
Synonyms

Pterourus canadensis

The Canadian tiger swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) is a species of the Papilionidae family. It was once classified as a subspecies of Papilio glaucus.

Description[edit]

Ventral view, Palmer Rapids, Ontario
Adult

The wingspan of this particular species is 67 to 80 mm. The two adult morphs are yellow and black, although the black form is considered quite rare. This species is very similar to the eastern tiger swallowtail, but has a noticeably smaller wingspan. Unlike it, the underside, yellow marginal band is continuous. The hind wing has many orange scales, on both morphs. This species has also been known to hybridize with both the eastern and western tiger swallowtail, though extremely rarely.

Caterpillar

The caterpillar is large and green, with an enlarged head. It has four yellow dots and two false eyes with bluish centers. In profile, this caterpillar appears snake-like. The immature larvae are brown and white to mimic bird droppings, making them unappealing to predators.

Distribution[edit]

This butterfly is found in most provinces and territories in Canada, as its name implies. Its range extends north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon, and to Churchill in Manitoba, Little Shagamu River in Ontario, and to Schefferville in Quebec. It has not been reported from Labrador, but has been seen in western Newfoundland. It is seen in the northern third of the United States. Within this range, it is a very common and well-known butterfly, even more so around woodland edges. It is one of the most popular puddling species and often hundreds will gather at a single puddle.

Lifecycle[edit]

Gathering on wet soil, Jacques-Cartier National Park

Adults fly during spring and summer and one brood occurs. Females lay eggs singly on the host plant. The caterpillar folds the host plants leaves and ties them together with silk; they then eat from this structure. The pupae overwinter, then emerge in May.

Adult food
  • Nectar
Larval food

References[edit]

External links[edit]