Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Strong flier with distinctive yellow and black striped markings on its wings and body (some females are brown or black, mimicking the poisonous pipevine swallowtail). This relatively common butterfly has a wingspan of 3.5-6.5 inches
These butterflies are called swallowtails because they have long "tails" on their hindwings which look a bit like the long, pointed tails of swallows (a type of bird).
Egg: A butterfly starts its life as an egg. The female Tiger Swallowtail butterfly lays its spherical, yellow-green eggs on a leaf high in a tulip tree, sweet bay, wild black cherry, ash, lilac, aspen, birch, or choke cherry.
Caterpillar: The larva (caterpillar) hatches from an egg and eats the egg shell. Then it eats leaves (almost constantly). The newly-hatched larva is brown and white, and looks like bird droppings, but it turns green later. The caterpillar loses its old skin many times as it grows.
See photos of Swallowtail Butterflies (click here)
Giant swallowtail on ironweed.