Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Location: Cold Lake, AB
Date: June, 2003
          Photo 1

Common Name:  Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Latin Name:  Papilio canadensis Rothschild & Jordan, 1906
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Wingspan:  85 - 100 mm

Range:  Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Hilltops overgrown with aspen

Time of year seen: May to July (Additional Sightings)

Caterpillar's Diet: Aspen, willow and crab apple

Preferred Flowers: Dandelion, lilac

Other: The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail  is a widespread species found across Canada.  In Alberta it is found anywhere aspens grow.  Adults are frequently found near the edges of aspen groves in the parkland region and along trails and streams in mixed forests.  Male butterflies tend to gather on aspen covered hill tops and at mud puddles, where they suck up water rich in minerals.  They are on the wing from May to early August, with the peak flight time being in June.  Common Dandelion is among their favorite nectar sources, however they will also nectar at a variety of other flowers and are also attracted to dung and carrion.  While nectaring they flutter their wings, a trait attributed only to swallowtails.  (Bird et al, 1995 and Acorn, 1993)

Photo courtesy J. Bregar 2003.

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