Pale Swallowtail

DSC_1398aWalking through some nearby hills, we came upon this gigantic butterfly. After coming home I got help from Wikipedia and learned that this is a Pale Swallowtail.  I have regular Swallowtail butterflies in my yard, but not as big as this. 

20160607_084946aA stream meanders through the canyon off to the right. Makes sense that these butterflies would be nearby —

Though not as common as the Western Tiger Swallowtail, the Pale Swallowtail can be seen in large numbers at puddling parties where up to a dozen or more males may be seen gathered. There they join other species to sip water from damp soil to obtain nutrients for mating …  Tiger stripes and borders are thicker than those of Western Tiger Swallowtails. The wingspan is typically 3.5 to 4.5 inches. [Wikipedia]

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13 Comments

    1. Thanks Mike. They were totally into the thistle, which made it easy.

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  1. Amazing size! I just love butterflies 🙂

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    1. Thanks Karen. They’re Really Big, that’s for sure. And these are quite beautiful, I think.

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  2. smiling to the butterfly
    i feel you express, MK 🙂

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    1. Yes David — it was an honor that they let us stand so close and admire them.

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  3. They do make the day so much lighter and brighter! Thanks MK 💛

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    1. Yes they sure do, Val. When a butterfly comes near it’s like getting a visit from a little flying flower.

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  4. Such beauty takes your breath away! Fantastic images, M!

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    1. Beautiful butterflies and a beautiful canyon to walk through. Thanks Eliza!

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      1. Wish I could join you. 🙂

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        1. If you find your way here, I can find my way back!

          It’s really a pretty canyon full of oak & sycamore, and zillions of those shrubs with yellow flowers that smell like bubblegum, and lots & lots of thistle. We saw a big (permanent) warning sign at the trail head that mountain lion had been seen in that area, but there were lots of walkers — mostly singles & pairs of women, but also several batches of what looked like high school cross country runners.

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          1. I don’t think I would run in lion country. At least not alone. (Nothing like a good chase to whet the appetite. 😉 ) Maybe it’s safer in packs.

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