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Tiger emerged with only three wings

Posted by christie_sw_mo Z6 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 2, 11 at 14:53

This is a first for me. One of my Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (a male I think) emerged with one of its lower wings missing. The other wings all opened fully and surprisingly it could fly quite well. I wanted to get a picture of it and I chased it around the yard for awhile then gave up when it flew out of sight.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tiger emerged with only three wings

Well, if it can fly with three wings, it can still be a butterfly, so congratulations, Christie!
I'm amazed that you've raised so many tiger swallowtails - they're a little harder to raise, at least for me, than others.

RE: Tiger emerged with only three wings

Thanks - I'm hoping I'll see it again.

I've had trouble keeping the Tulip tree leaves fresh. I have to change them out every day. I wrap wet paper towels around the stems and keep them in those Sterilite clear plastic boxes with white lids. The containers aren't air tight so I didn't poke any holes in the top. I just take the lids off a couple times a day and fan them a little. The leaves got crispy pretty quick when I tried using my mesh hamper. The boxes stay pretty humid so it's probably not the best way to do it but I haven't had any major problems so far with the ones that have emerged. A couple very tiny cats died in the first instar and I'm not sure why. There were about 22 in my first batch and most emerged successfully except for one wasp and one that tore its wing badly and the three-winged one. I'm still waiting on four. I have eight new babies and a couple eggs and I've been averting my eyes when I go by my Tulip tree so I hope that will be all. lol

The two that I found on Wild Black Cherry don't seem interested in switching to Tulip tree leaves so far and they're not eating much. Those may not do well. What did you raise yours on?


I have to take it back. One of the Tigers on Wild Black Cherry leaves switched and was on a Tulip Tree leaf this afternoon.

RE: Tiger emerged with only three wings

I'm glad the 3 winged butterfly can fly! I am curious how you find the eggs for the Tiger swallowtail. Are your trees small?

RE: Tiger emerged with only three wings

My Tulip tree is around 30 feet tall but there are some limbs that hang down around eye level and I check those. I also found a few eggs on a volunteer that came up by our driveway last year and it's only about three feet tall. On the volunteer, the eggs were on leaves near the top.
But - It took the Tigers many many years to find my Tulip Tree for some reason. Maybe it's not a common host here.

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