Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), photo Christian Gronau


Papilio rutulus, the western tiger swallowtail, is a swallowtail butterfly belonging to the Papilionidae family. It is a member of the genus Papilio, of which Papilio appalachiensis and Papilio xuthus are also members.

This western tiger swallowtail was spotted by Christian Gronau, July 2, 2018, in the Southpoint area on Cortes Island, a damaged individual, nectaring on Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria).

Also spotted by Debbie Dragseth, on Siskin Lane, May 15/20, 2020.

Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between the pale swallowtail and western swallowtail. The difference between these two is the colour of the last little bright crescent above the tails:  yellow in the western tiger and orange in the pale swallowtail (Christian Gronau)!

You can find more information on these sites:

Butterflies and Moths


Comparison between western swallowtail (left, yellow crescent) and pale swallowtail (right, orange crescent), photo Christian Gronau

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), photo Debbie Dragseth, Siskin Lane, May 15/20, 2020

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