Papilio glaucus glaucus

Papilio glaucus glaucus (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail)

Photo Life HistoryPapilio glaucus glaucus

Habitat:  Forest; Valley Lakes & Rivers; Urban-Suburban;

Host Plants:  Prunus serotina, Salix spp.

Suitable Lab Host PlantsSalix exigua; Prunus virginiana

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Feed females every day.

Methods of Female Oviposition: See this video.  Also, the open screen cages slide show demonstrates how this is accomplished for glaucus-group females, which, can be quite uncooperative for a few days when it comes to laying eggs in captivity.  It's important to set them up in a cage where there is plenty of room to fly to and from the host plant.  Also, provide nectar sources for females.  Clark Thompson created a successful setup for California populations of Papilio rutulus. 

How to Find Eggs:  Look for immatures on isolated host plants, if at all possible. 

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container.

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  For earlier instars, look on the dorsal side of the leaf.  For later instars, look for swallowtail pads.  Finding glaucus-group caterpillars in numbers can be difficult and sometimes requires a certain degree of patience and hard work.  Always remember to look for isolated host plants

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrariums; Open Bucket, Collapsible Cages.

Larva to Pupa:  Larva purges and wanders; Larva Changes Color.

Number of Broods per Year: 1-3; depending upon location

Overwintering Stage:  Pupa.  

Overwintering Strategies: Your Own Backyard; Refrigerator

Post-Hibernation Strategies:  Expose pupae to room temperature, long-day photoperiod and high humidity (mist spray them daily.)

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Healthy Host Plant; High Humidity; Expose larvae to 24 hours of light.

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every three to five days using the open terrarium technique.

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes: Oddly, Illinois populations grow slowly and/or perish on Prunus virginiana and Populus tremuloides.  Larvae do very well on Salix exigua.  However, Texas larvae preferred Prunus virginiana over Salix.