The 2 shots below are views of the underside and topside of an individual butterfly that looks quite dark.
Back in August I featured the gorgeous Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio glaucus. They have been more numerous this summer than I recall them being in past years. A result of global climate change? I don't know, but it surely could be. I can't resist posting a few more photos of these beauties.
|A female with the blue on the hindwing that males lack.|
It seems that there are only female dark phase specimens, there are no male dark phase individuals. When viewed from the right angle, you can see hints of the yellow stripes on the forewings. These can be confused with the Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), except the blue on the black swallowtail is almost fused into 1 large blotch.
Below is another dark swallowtail. It is the Giant Swallowtail (cresphontes).
I was not able to get a shot of the underside, but if you follow the link above, you can see that the underside is more colorful. These are the largest butterflies in North America.
What about the underside of the dark phase Eastern Tiger Swallowtail? You can see some nice orange spots along with some yellow and blue on the dark background.
The butterfly below also has orange and blue on a dark background. But this one, a Red-Spotted Purple, Limenitis arthemis astyanax, lacks tails. This is a subspecies of a White Admiral and can hybridize with White Admirals. It is considered a mimic of the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail.
|This one is missing one tail and other pieces, too. Amazing how well they can fly when tattered like this!|
|This one was so intent on drinking on the damp mulch I had uncovered while working on the garden path that it allowed me to move a piece of mulch that was stuck to its wing without even a flick of an antenna!|
|With its wings open, it is easy to see how worn it is. Don't you love that blue iridescence of the hindwing? I wonder if the blue looks more purple and the orange more red in fresh specimens?|