Swallowtail Acrobatics

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
I have not seen many butterflies this year so it was fun watching this Swallowtail spiral its way around the flower clusters of an appropriately named Butterfly bush.

This is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), a North American native butterfly species. I believe the Buddleja upon which today’s garden visitor is feasting is Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue butterfly bush).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


One weather source gives the temperature as 88°F (with heat index it feels like 101°F), but another reporting station shows 92°F and my money is on the 92°F. Last year the actual high was 99°F. Thunderstorms are predicted for later this evening. They have been regular occurrences lately.

21 thoughts on “Swallowtail Acrobatics

  1. gardeninacity

    Really great pics! I am so jealous you have swallowtails already! Butterflies have been extremely scarce so far this year. I just planted a compact butterflybush called Adonis Blue, or Blue Adonis, I forget. It’s still pretty small.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. I bought Adonis Blue and Black Knight years ago and have only one surviving. I’m not positive which one this is. I tried to ID it from pictures on the web. Probably I should remove the name. This one is 5 feet tall. Hope yours does well this year.

  2. P&B

    We don’t have that many butterflies up here either, but I blame it on the birds. I thought it was just in our garden since we have so many birds around. But maybe it’s the weather; still cold for butterflies. I’m glad you have Swallowtails to enjoy now. I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      P&B, hope you’ll have many butterflies soon. We have fewer bees this year too it seems to me. Interesting thought about the birds. We have a couple of feeders and the garden is full of birds, but about the normal amount. Have a good weekend.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, Christina, I was hoping the slideshow could help show the butterfly moving around the flower.

      Slideshows are not new, but they are easier now to add one by creating a Gallery and changing the Type to Slideshow. Here is quick explanation and here is a good introduction to tell you about it.

  3. Judy @ GrandparentsPlus2

    Beautiful photo. I haven’t seen one butterfly yet this year. But, as for weather here in NH, we’ve been getting rain several times a day for weeks now and it is forecasted the upcoming week. It is so wet, you can’t enjoy the outside at all. 😦

  4. Pauline

    Such a beautiful butterfly, unfortunately we don’t have swallow tails here, but quite a few varieties are now flitting round the garden.

  5. Alberto

    Hi Susie, I’m not seeing many butterflies this year either, for instance I haven’t spotted a swallowtail yet, although I found some of their caterpillars on my fennel. Last year I couldn’t see my fennel (they had it all!) but the garden was crowded with butterflies. I guess every year has its flush of insects and animals depending on the weather and other factors I totally ignore.
    Your swallowtail looks much bigger than mine, although I can see they always like to strike a pose and they’re not so shy, like mine. I like that final slideshow and the way you manage pictures in general, is it some kind of wordpress feature? I shall poke around more…

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Sometimes I think the slideshow works better than other ways to show the images. This wordpress article shows examples of all the gallery options, including slideshow option finally at step 8. http://en.support.wordpress.com/images/gallery/
      I’ll be checking your blog for a slideshow to show up soon!

      It’s worth it to plant fennel just to attract the butterflies. Did you plant some this year as well? Hope you get some butterflies coming in soon.


      1. Alberto

        Thanks Susie! I guess my fennel is perennial and I hope the lack of butterflies will at least allow it to self seed around this year

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