All About Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies and Caterpillars 

Big, yellow butterflies are common in the east and fun to see in the garden. How to identify and attract Eastern tiger swallowtail butterflies to your lawn.  

Adults have a 3-inch wingspan but can grow to 5 1/2 inches. Adults have four black parallel stripes on each wing’s top and a complete black base stripe.   

Search the East Coast and Great Plains for Eastern tiger swallowtails. Their habitats include parks, suburbs, forests, and fields.  

Joe Pye weed, wild cherry, and lilac nectar feed adult butterflies. Wild cherry, tulip tree, cottonwood, sweetbay, willow, and white ash caterpillars delighted.  

Green eastern swallowtail caterpillars with big yellow and black decoy eyespots. They may extend orange “horns” when threatened.  

Canadian tiger swallowtail butterflies are smaller than eastern and western ones but seem similar. Geography distinguishes them.  

Western tigers live west of the Rocky Mountains, eastern tigers east of the Great Plains, and Canadian tigers north of Minnesota, Montana, and central New England.  

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