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.
Canadian tiger swallowtail Papilio canadensis