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 thoughts on “Pale Swallowtail

        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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