I love Joe Pye Weed. It’s got such lovely soft pink flowers. And although I like to look at them, what is REALLY great is those flowers are veritable butterfly magnets.
They are especially popular with the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies.
I think it’s interesting that there are three color variants of the Easter Tiger Swallowtail. The male is yellow, and he’s just a tiny bit less showy than the females, as he only has small red and blue spots on the inside of his hind wings, up next to the abdomen.
I think this is a male (I’m not an expert here!).
The male comes in only the one color… yellow.
The females can be yellow too, but have an area of blue between the black margin of the hind wing, and the yellow.
So I would say these are female swallowtails!
This one is definitely a female with those prominent blue spots!
But here’s the thing… remember I said there are three color variants? Well, the female Eastern Swallowtail butterfly also has a black form.
So if it’s black, it’s female. If it’s yellow, it could be male OR female.
Whether they’re black or yellow, male or female, they’re beautiful!