We have a stable population of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies in the “dark phase”. They look like they are dusted with black talcum powder and are often mistaken for other Swallowtails like the Spicebush Swallowtail. All the regular features of the Tiger are present, just partially obscured.
You can find more information here:
This butterfly is enjoying a snack at a Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). We have quite a few places where the Buttonbushes grow and bloom; this one thrives in a drainage ditch on a power line where it gets full sun and has wet feel all the time. Buttonbushes attract all sorts of insects, usually in large numbers, and bloom in late June through July in our area. We count on this particular bush being covered with butterflies on the Fourth Of July – I make a point of visiting it within a day or so of that date.
Here is a nice write up on the Buttonbush:
This picture was taken on July 5, 2013, in Green Lane, Pennsylvania, USA. I used the Canon T4i with the Tamron macro lens (1:1).
Dedicated to the close and all-important relationship between plants and their visitors.