Mid summer tiger swallowtail research

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Aug 2, 2022, 10:57:27 PM8/2/22
to Ontario Butterflies
Hi all,

As many of you know, there's a tiger swallowtail in eastern ON that flies in July, well after the peak flight of univoltine Papilio canadensis. So far, this entity has been dubbed the "Mid Summer Tiger." 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's unknown at the moment. 

Dr. Chris Schmidt in Ottawa has done some work looking at the genetics of the MST. There's also a researcher named Julian Dupuis at the U of Kentucky who's 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 here has some specimens to spare, please email me at tachyo...@hotmail.com (credit will be given if something is eventually published). 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.

Thank you for any help.

Xi Wang

rick cavasin

Aug 4, 2022, 7:35:15 AM8/4/22
to Ontario Butterflies
Hi All,

I'd just like to add that based on past observations, the 2nd flight of Eastern Tigers should be on the wing right about now.  That means that any fresh-ish Tigers you see in Southern Ontario are likely to be Eastern Tigers.  Any tattered ones are likely to be straggler Midsummer Tigers (at one point, we were calling them "July Tigers", but that didn't really have much of a ring to it.  As they seem to start emerging in late June, I suggested Midsummer Tiger as a more appropriate name).  If anyone is game to collect fresh specimens, I expect that either species would be helpful for this research.

The Eastern Tiger appears to range only as far north as the Toronto Area, so North of there, folks should only be seeing straggler Midsummer Tigers at this point (if any).  For this reason, specimens from within the range of the Eastern Tiger would be especially useful.

Cheers, Rick

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