"E" Is for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Mar 14, 2017

"E" is for the Eastern tiger swallowtail. State butterfly. In 1994, by act of the General Assembly, the tiger swallowtail became South Carolina's official butterfly. The legislature acted at the behest of the Garden Club of South Carolina which selected the butterfly because it can be seen in deciduous woods, along streams, rivers, and wooded swamps, and in towns and cities throughout South Carolina.

The earliest evidence of the butterfly in South Carolina appeared in 18th century naturalist Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina...The adult has a wingspan of 3 to 6 inches across; males are yellow with tiger striping, but females have two distinct color morphs: yellow and black. It is believed that female eastern tiger swallowtails with black coloring mimic other black butterflies that are toxic—thus protecting them from predators.