Tuesday, May 14, 2013

pale swallowtail ~ 05/14/13 ~ Washington

I generally have such a hard time distinguishing between the yellow and black-colored swallowtails, especially in flight. Sometimes they flutter in wafts high up in the treetops and other times they're spastic through a natural corridor like a crazy cat chasing a laser light. I meant to ask Dr. Shapiro how he tells the difference, but I was already struggling with information overload much of the day. We also spotted western tiger (Papilio rutulus, aka Pterourus rutulus), two-tailed (Papilio milticaudatus, aka Pterourus milticaudata), and anise (Papilio zelicaon, more pictures) swallowtail butterflies.  This distinctively light-colored pale swallowtail was kind enough to be mud-puddling so that I could get a half-way decent picture.


Jeannette said...

I need a lot of co-operation from nature to get photos too. Today we have had Violet-green swallows...swoop swoop.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks, Jeannette. It's nice to hear other people are in the same boat. This definitely makes me appreciate the work of professional nature photographers.

I love stopping to watch the barn and tree swallows do flybys across the Rec Trail near Fisherman's Wharf. It'd be nice to get a couple good photos, but I'm not sure a still frame would do their aerial acrobatics justice.