Tuesday, April 4, 2017

tigers appear

I first posted this, nine years ago on April 2. Today I watched the same.

"After overwintering inside chrysalids, the first generation of adult tiger swallowtails was seen fluttering through the treetops today. And after the males and females find each other and mate, the she-tigers spend the rest of their lives laying spherical green eggs on the top of leaves of certain host plants: cottonwood, tulip tree (a.k.a. tulip poplar), sweet bay, spicebush, ash and wild cherry.

[Today it was a wild cherry just beginning to leaf out.]

The adults live only a matter of days, after which, all the tiger swallowtails in our area will exist as eggs that hatch into larvae that eat, grow, molt; eat, grow, molt; eat, grow, molt until they molt one last time and form chrysalises that in time metamorphose into a new wave of adults that we will see fluttering about in several weeks.

In the South, tiger swallowtails go though two or three broods between early spring and winter. The arrival of each new generation produces a natural pulse of the spectacular yellow and black adults.

In memory of Rikki Hall who took so much joy in noticing such as this.


troutbirder said...

and these are my favorite things! A remarkable blog and a wry sense of humor. Thank you very much for sharing. This made my day.

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

Hello troutbirder!

Me too. Watching for the pulses of tigers is one of my favorite things to do.

Yesterday as I drove about the country roads around my house, I saw tigers fluttering by in several locations. From my deck, they were dancing through the upper branches of a tulip tree that's just now beginning to leaf out.

It must be spring.