Sexing Tiger Swallowtail butterflies (Papilio canadensis)

As promised, I created some comparative photos that show how you can differentiate male and female Swallowtails. Photographs are of Papilio canadensis that I collected in Kemptville, Ontario, Canada.
Note the greater extent of blue along the postdiscal hindwing of the female:

Note the claspers on the end of the male's abdomen:


  1. I was doing a web search to look for some information on swallowtail caterpillars and came to your blog which was very informative. Good luck with your dissertation, my daughter completed and defended hers (finally) in psychology... Michelle

  2. Thank you for the kind words Michelle. Be sure to follow along to learn more! I had a number of P. canadensis caterpillars hatch today and I'll be writing more detailed natural history as I go along.