Butterflies in the Garden

Last weekend at Brookside Gardens there were a lot of flowers blooming (Joe Pye Weed and Coneflowers) in the high heat and attracting butterflies. Most of the butterflies were Tiger Swallowtails. I took pictures and then categorized them when I got home. The males are slightly smaller and less colorful.

The females are larger and have more blue scales.

And then there are the dark morphs of the tiger swallowtail that are all female.

While I was doing the categorization, I found one that was not a tiger swallowtail. It was a Spicebush Swallowtail! It looks very similar and I never try to distinguish these dark swallowtails in the field. I just take pictures and make the identification when I get home.

There was some butterfly drama just before I went into my Wings of Fancy shift. In the garden near the conservatory give shop – there was a butterfly moving oddly. I quickly determined that it wasn’t the butterfly moving itself; it was a praying mantis eating the butterfly under a flower! One less dark morph of the tiger swallowtail in the garden….