“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” ―John Keats

The name ‘Tiger swallowtail butterfly’ is given for two reasons – color and tail like extensions. This lovely insect is adorned with yellow and black stripes throughout the wingspan and body. In case of some females, the wing and body color is darkened. As for the term ‘swallowtail’, this type of butterfly possesses long and tapering tail like features in the hind wings, which resemble the tail of a swallow bird.

Zebra swallowtails have long, triangular wings with black, zebra-like stripes on a whitish background. Its wingspan grows to approximately 2 to 4 inches. Two blue spots and long, thin tails appear at the ends of the wings, and red spots appear on the wings near the lower part of the body. The wings are smaller and lighter-colored in early spring. Zebra swallowtails have reddish antennae.

Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates up to 2,5000 miles to find a warmer climate. The iconic North American Monarch has been greatly affected by extreme weather conditions  going through drastic dips and spikes in numbers over the past several decades. The overall pattern continues to point downward, with a 95 percent population decline over the last 20 years, but conservation efforts are helping.

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly is found throughout North America and sometimes as far south as South America. These butterflies are called “swallow” because they have long tails on their hind wings that resemble the long, pointed tails of the birds known as swallows.



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