Bug of the Week: Swallowtails

Our family visited Colorado last week, where we saw some interesting insects as well as great views. For example, at the “beach” of Horsetooth reservoir near Fort Collins, we spotted these swallowtail butterflies.

If you look closely you can see that the butterflies are persistently probing the damp soil with their mouthparts (proboscis).

This behavior is called “puddling.” (See previous post for more about puddling).

With the more delicate black markings on their wings, these are two-tailed swallowtails, Papilio multicaudata, rather that tiger swallowtails. Ironically, the two-tailed swallowtail is the state butterfly of Arizona and I had to travel to Colorado to see one. 🙂

Firefly Forest has more information about two-tailed swallowtails.

Have you ever seen butterflies puddling? Do two-tailed swallowtails live in your area?

And yes, there are a few things to see in Colorado besides butterflies:

1 Comment

  1. Karen

    That picture of Colorado is worthy of framing. So pretty!

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