Here we see three young male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies (Papilio glaucus). They’re “puddling” on Great Cove’s shore during low tide Monday (June 24). That is, they’re sucking up sodium ions and amino acids that will help them reproduce.


Usually, only males do this and only during the first few days of their existence. Tiger Swallowtails live only about a month as butterflies.

Prior year image

Prior year image

Above, we see a female ETS drinking the nectar from purple cow vetch, which has recently emerged around here. Females have hind wings that are hemmed with blue jewels, whereas the males’ wing borders are black, except perhaps for a button or two of blue near the abdomen. (Brooklin, Maine)