This winged beauty interrupted me as I labored in the garden earlier this week. Such a perfect specimen of lepidopterahood demanded nothing less than my full attention so I took a break from my duties (and allowed the Head Gardener to do the same). After snapping 2 or 3 shots with my iPhone, I took a chance that this Tiger Swallowtail would stick around and ran inside for my camera. I came back out and spent several minutes following my visitor as she flitted from one cluster of Lantana blooms to another. I used the zoom lens so I wouldn't get too close to the dining diva and scare her away. 33 shots later, I turned off the camera and spent a few more minutes just watching and marveling at her perfect beauty. I'll spare y'all all 33 pictures and instead show you only 19. The HG thinks that's still too many but, hey, she's not the one posting! If you make it through all 19 pictures, there's some information about this form of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio (Pterourus) glaucus.
According to authors John and Gloria Tveten in BUTTERFLIES OF HOUSTON AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS (1996, University of Texas Press), male Tiger Swallowtails are always yellow but females can be either yellow or black. Male Tiger Swallowtails have very little blue on their dorsal hindwings, however, leading me to identify this one as a female. A Duke University site confirms that identification.
That's one of the moments that make the gardening even more enjoyable.
Annie at the Transplantable Rose