The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

In recent weeks I’ve been lucky enough to find some dead examples of this species along the road, while also having the opportunity to photograph living examples at close range. These were on different days, but it has allowed me to put together a nice little visual study of some of the species features. All three of the specimens I’ve found on the roads have been males.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus is one of the most familiar and iconic of butterfly species in Eastern North America. They have a large range, and they’re still quite common, but like most insects they’re in decline due to habitat loss (due to both direct human activity and our climate crisis), pesticide and other chemical contamination, and of course our never-ending vehicular traffic. Enjoy them while they last.

I ended up shooting a larger set of this species than I anticipated. I’ve been practicing with new gear and new techniques, so the quality of them will vary, and a few of them aren’t great in terms of sharpness, but they still illustrate something of the character of the butterfly so I’ve decided to include them.