Glorious Garden Guests: Tiger Swallowtails

One of the glorious guests that visits our front yard garden is the Tiger Swallowtail.

The male is bright buttery yellow with black stripes on his wings – hence the name “tiger.”

The female comes in two color combinations. One is yellow with a brilliant band of blue at the base of her wings…

…and the other is a beautiful blackish-blue.

Although they were a little late in their arrival this year, these beauties have been out in abundance for the last several days.

I enjoyed watching the “courtship” behavior of one flirtatious male, as he followed a female from flower to flower with the hopes that she would welcome his advances. (Fyi – she played hard to get!)

Tiger swallowtails only live for a couple of weeks. You can tell when they are at the start of their lifespan because their scales are still vibrant (Yep – butterflies have scales!) and their “tails” are still intact.

As they get older, they lose their shimmer and show some wear and tear, like this one below.

The two blossoms the Swallowtails seem to enjoy the most in my yard are the Butterfly Bush – which clearly lives up to its name…

…and the Zinnias.

Both of these plants provide plenty nectar…and clearly plenty of pollen.

I know these butterflies won’t be here for long…

…so I will gratefully bask in the fleeting beauty of these glorious garden guests.

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