Stealth Mode

The wings of this large bright butterfly made it hard to hide — until it turned sideways to my camera and seemed to disappear.

Many butterflies are so similar I despair of identifying them. But not the swallowtails: Them are easy (-ier).

The here-not-here butterfly is a Canadian tiger swallowtail.

“Tiger” refers to the striking black and yellow stripes. The “tails” are extensions of the hind wings. They narrow down the name-that-butterfly search right away.

One theory has it that the tails form a target for birds. Judging by the pinch marks on the sides of the wings — and the untouched “tails” — I’d guess the bird who attacked hadn’t read that memo.

Note the wear on the wings.


Canadian tiger swallowtail   Papilio canadensis

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4 thoughts on “Stealth Mode

    1. Thanks, Pete. It startled me when about to click the shutter the ‘fly disappeared. 🙂 It wasn’t a good spring. Normally our lilac bush is covered with flowers which they flock to. Odd weather caused the blooms to appear earlier than usual … seems like other flowers didn’t have the same attraction so we saw fewer.

      Liked by 1 person

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