Scientific Name: Papilio rutulus
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionoidea - Swallowtail Butterflies
Subfamily: Papilioninae

What is a Western Tiger Swallowtail:
A papilio. Papilio is from the Latin word papilio meaning "butterfly."

Where do you see them:
Western North America, from eastern British Columbia to eastern North Dakota, south to northern Baja California and southern New Mexico. Rare stray to central Nebraska. Woodlands near streams and rivers, wooded residential areas, canyons, parks, and sagelands and mesas with creeks. May be seen at higher elevations.

What do they look like:
Adult butterflies have a two-and-three-quarter to four-inch (seven- to ten-centimeter) wingspan. The wings are black and pale yellow with black tiger-stripes. The hindwings have tails at their lower tips that resemble the long tail feathers of a swallow. Blue spots are found around the outer margin of the hindwing. The upper side of the hindwing may have a yellow spot on the outer margin. On the forewing, yellow spots form a continuous band along the outer margin of the wing. These yellow spots are bordered in black.

What they eat:
Caterpillars feed upon cottonwood, willow, quaking aspen, alder, maple, sycamore, hoptree, plum and ash. Adults feed on flower nectar from a wide variety of flowers.

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