Western tiger swallowtails (Papilio rutulus) abundant this week.

I can’t recall seeing so many Tiger swallowtails around the yard in other years as we are seeing this year.
Our non-invasive but introduced butterfly bush Bidulphia sp. is particularly attractive to them.

Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)


  • Of particular interest is the backward flying mating dance– one individual 25 cm above and ahead of the other… Several times I have watched these displays go on for up to 10 minutes.
  • The other interesting observation was the speed which they insert the proboscis into florets repetitively. You can see that by clicking on the following short video clip:
    • The only competition for nectar appears to be the Anna’s Hummingbird.


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Papilio
Species: P. rutulus

Papilio rutulus Lucas, 1852