Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tiger Swallowtail

My daughter, Rhonda, took these pictures a couple of days ago and sent them to me on my offshore platform. They are lovely shots of the beautiful tiger swallowtail butterfly. They are quite distinctive with their vertical black tiger stripes, which is where their name comes from. As you may have gathered by now, the swallowtail family is my favorite group of butterflies and I'm doing all I can to attract them to my yard. So far this year, we've seen Pipevines, Giants, and Tigers in my yard. I'm working on getting some future Zebras and Spicebushes. I've got plenty of nectar sources for all of them, but the real key is having larval host plants for the eggs and caterpillars. To that end, I've got a paw-paw tree, a sassafras tree, and I've planted dill and rue. If you want butterflies, do some research on the particular butterfly you want and plant both host and nectar plants for them. Plant it and they will come...

This is the tiger swallowtail nectaring on my Mexican sunflower (tithonia.) I've already mentioned before that tithonia is one of the best butterfly attracting flowers you can plant. Nearly all types seem to visit these bright orange flowers in my yard. It's just a bonus that tithonias are one of the easiest of all annuals to grow.

1 comment:

MissyM said...

I am definitely growing those next year.