The Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail is a species of swallowtail butterfly found in eastern North America, particularly in the Appalachian Mountains. It is a hybrid of two Papilio species, the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), with which it shares many characteristics. As for identifying the species in the wild, Appalachian Tiger Swallowtails are twice the size of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails. It’s a bit more difficult to distinguish the Eastern and Appalachian Tiger Swallowtails. The Eastern Tiger has more blue on the hind wing and a spotted yellow band on its forewing underside compared with a solid broad band on the Appalachian Tiger.


Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail” by Sara Bright


Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail Facts

Butterfly Family: Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilionidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Papilioninae

Butterfly Wingspan: 3 3/8 – 4 1/2 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Deciduous broadleaf forests of mid-to-high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Seldom strays far from wooded areas


Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Black Cherry Tree (Prunus serotina)

Nectar Plants:

  • Common Milkweed
  • Blackberry
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Black Cherry
  • Cockspur Hawthorn
  • Northern Bush Honeysuckle