KFN 75 Years Logo

Mid Summer Tiger Swallowtail Research

There is a tiger swallowtail in Eastern Ontario that flies in July, well after the peak flight of the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis). So far, this entity has been dubbed the “Mid Summer Tiger” (MST). It looks like a population of hybrid origin: canadensis x glaucus. However, it could also be distinct enough to be labelled a new species in its own right; that is unknown at the moment.

Dr. Chris Schmidt in Ottawa has done some work looking at the genetics of the MST. There is also a researcher named Julian Dupuis at the University of Kentucky who is looking into this, along with a couple of citizen scientists of which I am one. We are currently in need of tiger swallowtail specimens covering a wide geographical range, anywhere from Ottawa to Point Pelee from any time period.

If anyone has some specimens to spare, please email me. Perhaps you caught some years back and they are in storage. Perhaps you see a dead butterfly on a walk or on the grill of your car. Anything will do. Specimens need not be in perfect condition since we need them for genetic analysis (which is why pictures alone won’t suffice). Equally important, of course, are the date and place of capture of the specimens.

For adult butterflies, the “normal” position of a deceased butterfly with the wings folded in a piece of folded paper will be just fine. If you find a caterpillar, I could take that and rear it indoors. I raise a few tiger swallowtails every year from caterpillars or eggs I find in the wild.

I currently reside in Kingston, so I can pick up material or you could drop it off, whatever is easier. If you decide mailing is the best option for any reason, I can reimburse the cost of mailing.

Thank you for any help.

Xi Wang