Flutter, flap, oooh what’s that? The north woods are teeming with new life this time of year as we welcome birds, buds, blooms, buzzing bees, and of course, BUTTERFLIES! Though they can be hard to see for more than a few seconds, butterflies are exciting to look for. This week we’ve been seeing lots of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails along dirt roads, likely they are grouping together as they seek out moisture on the damp roads after all the rain we’ve been enjoying. We looked up these yellow flutterers in Butterflies of the Northwoods by Larry Weber, a great resource on butterflies, to learn more. We discovered that Canadian Tiger Swallowtails eat a variety of plants including Labrador tea, cherry blossoms, honey suckles, and blackberries. There are two species of similar looking swallowtails: Eastern Tiger and Canadian Tiger, both of which are found in Minnesota. The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail is more common in the north woods, but can hybridize with its southern look alike. Canadian Tiger Swallowtail’s spend our cold winters in their chrysalis form and emerge in mid to late May. As you adventure outside this week, what butterflies will you see?
-Marie Fargo and Sarah Waddle