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Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio appalachiensis - male

Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio appalachiensis - Male
Richfield, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, USA
May 7, 2006
Size: 9cm wingspan
Collected while nectaring on Lilac blossoms. I'm not sure if this is species P. glaucus or P. canadensis. Can someone confirm? If it is P. glaucus it would be a male, but do the male P. canadensis also lack the blue on the hindwing? Thanks!

Images of this individual: tag all
Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio appalachiensis - male Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio appalachiensis - male

Hate to throw in a discouraging remark,
but I can't see it. Just looks like a standard Canadian Tiger Swallowtail to me - can't find anything unusual about him at all. Every individual is a little different, but he looks pretty much the same as the one below (and many others). Also, he's relatively small in size, while Appalachians are large. I'm not sure what is going on in Pennsylvania; some do look like Appalachiensis (but not this one - at least not to me). Maybe there are three species there? Or, maybe two (glaucus & canadensis) are just variable and perhaps hybridizing some. And/or, maybe P. appalachiensis & P. canadensis are simply geographic variants of one species, and blend one onto the other across Pennsylvania.

Dr. Harry Pavulaan responded and confirmed that this is a male Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail (P. appalachiensis).

Possible Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
Harry Pavulaan wrote a paper a few years ago on a new Tiger from you area, called Appy for short. Your butterfly has many similar traits. Spacing between 2nd and 3rd black stripe (outward from body) on forewing is wider than ETS. Orange crescents (lunules)on hindwing margin are more square and angled differently than ETS. Blue on hindwings minimal or absent. Hindwing shape is more triangular.
Forewing: White dashes along outer border edge are almost connected and run as a near continuous line. In ETS they are usually just dots.
The black area just inside the dot or dash area is narrower than ETS.
Underside hindwing: Inside black area of hindwing (closest to body) is straight as opposed to wavy on ETS. The white crescent shapes on the black margin (lunules) are block-shaped as opposed to actual crescent shapes on ETS. It would help if size shown is wing-span. These Tigers are very large. Try googling for Harry Pavulaan, I'm sure he is on a leps newsgroup. Maybe they can help ID this creature.

I'm going to e-mail Harry Pavulaan with a like to this page and he can see what he thinks. I do notice the differences that you mentioned.

I've been trying to figure this out
in Scott (1) and Opler(2) but it seems that distinguishing features are mostly on the underside, not the upperside. P canadensis is supposed to have black edging along the anal margin (if you can figure out where that is - I think maybe it's the edge of the hind wing that's towards the body), and forewing underside marginal spots joined together into a continuous line. Both males lack the blue, I believe.
Did you check this site? it has a pinned specimen for comparison.

Original article on Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
Hannah, Matthew, et al:

I am interested in your exchange of comments because I photo'd a possible Appalachian Tiger in West Virginia last week. Not sure yet (if I ever will be), and will post a photo after I do a little more studying of the field marks. Thought in the meantime you might be interested in the original very interesting, descriptive article by H. Pavulaan and D. Wright

Thanks for your help. I downloaded it, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. I do think this is the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail because it seems to have all of the marks.

I checked and I'm leaning toward the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. I was hoping that this was the Canadian, but I don't think I'm that lucky. I'm going to upload another photo of the underwing in thew next few days, so we can be sure. Thanks for your help!

Yes, I'm thinking ETS too,
especially given your location. IDing pinned specimens is a different kind of skill, isn't it? A lot more visible marks than the live ones, but not necessarily helpful!

I have submitted a photo of the underwing. See what you think of the ID. I still think it is P. glaucus.

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