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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio canadensis


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Hagen et al. 1991; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 4.3-4.5 cm. Relatively small, both sexes tiger-striped. Uppersurface with relatively broad black stripes, hindwing anal margin black more than half of distance to anal vein, top spot (crescent) of hindwing submarginal spot row orange. Undersurface of forewing with marginal yellow spot (crescent) band nearly continuous, hindwing with some or extensive orange in marginal crescents, extensive orange overscaling and blue submarginal spot band relatively intense.

Phenology
One flight, June to July (Scott 1986). Mainly late May to mid-July (Glassberg 2001). Late May to August in British Columbia (Threatful 1988; Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by a combination of uppersurface with relatively broad black stripes, hindwing anal margin black more than half of distance to anal vein, top spot (crescent) of hindwing submarginal spot row orange; undersurface of forewing with marginal yellow spot (crescent) band nearly continuous, hindwing with some or extensive orange in marginal crescents.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Subarctic and boreal North America from central Alaska east to the Maritime Provinces, south to the northern tier of US states as far as northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota (Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); to at least 1219 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana, reported from at least 22 counties across the state, absent from the southwestern and northeastern quarters (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database), to at least 1554 m elevation. Common to abundant (Glassberg 2001).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 1

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Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Migration
Non-migratory. Adults may move only a few km (Scott 1986).

Habitat
Deciduous forest, aspen parkland, mixed conifer/deciduous forest, roadsides, stream banks, other edges, suburban areas (Threatful 1988; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002). In Glacier National Park, Montana reported from mesic montane meadows and riparian areas (Debinski 1993); in Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem possibly found in deciduous woodlands and parks (Debinski and Pritchard 2002).

Food Habits
Larval food plants are native and introduced trees and shrubs in the Aceraceae including Acer, members of the Betulaceae including Alnus, Betula (several species), Carpinus, Corylus, members of the Juglandaceae including Carya, members of the Oleaceae including Fraxinus (multiple species), Syringa, members of the Rosaceae including Amelanchier, Crataegus, Malus, Prunus (several species), Sorbus, members of the Salicaceae including Populus (multiple species), Salix (multiple species), members of the Tiliaceae including Tilia, and members of the Ulmaceae including Ulmus (Scott 1986; Scriber and Ayres 1990; Hagen et al. 1991; Scriber et al. 1991; Scriber 1996; Guppy and Shepard 2001). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Apocynum, Eleagnus, Lonicera, Senecio), mud, carrion, and dung (Scott 1986; Scriber and Ayres 1988; Pyle 2002; Scriber 2002).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on uppersurface of host plant leaves (Scott 1986; Scriber and Ayres 1990; Guppy and Shepard 2001), larger females produce more eggs (Ayres and Scriber 1994). Eggs hatch in about 7-10 days (depending on temperature), develop from L1 instar to L5 instar and pupae in 42-56 days (depending on temperature) (Ayres and Scriber 1994; Scriber 1996; Guppy and Shepard 2001). Larvae feed on host plant leaves, rest on silk mat on leaf top, overwinter (hibernate) as pupae (Scott 1979, 1986; Hagen et al. 1991; Scriber 1996). Males patrol throughout the day in woodland lanes, valley bottoms, along stream banks in search of females (Scott 1986; Guppy and Shepard 2001).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail — Papilio canadensis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from