The eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus) is thought of as the American insect, in much the same way the bald eagle is thought of as the American bird. It was the first American insect pictured in Europe; a drawing by John White was sent to England from Sir Walter Raleigh¿s third expedition to Virginia. Native to North America, its range extends from New England south to Florida and west to eastern Texas and the Great Plains. Although Maine is the northern extent of their range, I have observed the species at several points within the Georges River watershed where it can be seen from spring to autumn. During this time, P. glaucus produces two to three broods, and the chrysalis can hibernate during the cold weather months. The species has a wingspan that can extend to 14 cm across. The males are yellow with four distinct, namesake tiger stripes. Females are either black or yellow, with the latter possessing blue spotting along the hindwing. A percentage of the sale of this painting will be donated to the Georges River Land Trust.
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