Saturday, July 27, 2013

Papilio canadensis

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

The wingspan of this particular species is 67 to 80 mm. There are two adult morphs, 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 the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail the yellow marginal band is continuous. The hindwing has many orange scales, on both morphs.
The caterpillar is large and green, with an enlarged head. It has 4 yellow dots and 2 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.
This butterfly is found in most provinces and territories in Canada, as its name implies. Its range extends north of the Arctic Circle in Yukon, and to Churchill in Manitoba, Little Shagamu River in Ontario, and to Schefferville in Quebec.
Adults fly during spring and summer and there is 1 brood. Females lay eggs singly on the host plant. The caterpillar will fold the host plants leaves and tie them together with silk they will then eat from this structure. The pupae will over winter then emerge in May.


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