Possibly a new species of Swallowtail (Papilio) for Arkansas
The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (P. canadensis) or more likely, the recently described Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail (P. appalachiensis), might be lurking among the multitudes of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (P. glaucus) in Arkansas. I was alerted to the "Appalachian connection" with other species from that region that occur in the Ozark Mountains, by David Wright, a co-author with Harry Pavulaan, on the description of new Appalachian Swallowtail species.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - Newton County, Arkansas
Note the sub-marginal band (between red markings) on the ventral forewing is separated into individual "lunules" formed by black separations. Also note the lobes/projections on the hind wing at arrows. This is a typical Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (P. glaucus). This picture was from a "puddle party" at Hurricane Creek, Newton County, Arkansas, on 4-11-03.
Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail ??? - Newton County, Arkansas
Note that sub-marginal band (between red markings) on the ventral forewing is like P. canadensis, or P. appalachiensis, in that it is a continuous band for most of its length, with no black separations. Also, the edge of the hind wing lacks lobes/projections, at the arrows, as in P. appalachiensis. This picture taken near Erbie canoe launch/campsite, on the Bullalo National River.


This comment, in part, from Wright and Pavulaan:

"Both Harry and I are absolutely amazed at the photo you sent. It truly looks like appalachiensis. At the least, it could be some canadensis-glaucus hybrid from a past glacial age. But we suspect it is appalachiensis."

And these comments from Ron Gatrelle to Herschel Rainy:

"This does look like appalachiensis except that the inner black stripe next to the abdomen on the HW looks narrow. But it is narrowish in some Appys. I can't judge the size - that would be the final straw. Another character is that in Easterns the outer edge of the HW is more undulate (as shown in the first picture). In Appy these lobes at the ends of the veins are not present. There are many similar species in the Ozark and Appalachian regions - as you know. So this would not be unexpected. Here is the ultimate proof you all need - an Appy female."

The Canadian Tiger is smaller than the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, but the one in the picture was LARGE, like Appalachian. Wright also stated that the timing would be similar to that of the Appalachian; about a month after the first Eastern Tiger. The Appalachian is univoltine, with a flight season beginning in early May in the southern Appalachians, and are only found at higher altitudes. Our spring is slightly advanced here in the Ozarks. The Appalachian has no dark form female. Needless to say this needs further investigation, but is highly suggestive....stay tuned.


Bob Barber - bbarber@odonate.com - Jasper, Newton County, AR