I am seeing extraordinary numbers of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies this year....

Asked August 7, 2013, 9:44 PM EDT

I am seeing extraordinary numbers of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies this year. And people who hardly notice insects are asking me about this. Any explanation?

Baltimore Maryland beneficial insects butterflies

1 Response

Yes, this has been a wonderful year for swallowtail butterlies. In all ecological systems organism numbers are constantly changing. Some years populations are quite low and other years they are quite high. For example if the number of rabbits goes up, the number of foxes will go up as a result. Some years we see lots of Japanese beetles and some years we see less. Climate--temperature and moisture, etc.-- greatly affects insect populations. So clearly temperature, moisture, predator populations (or lack thereof) have come together to make this a very good year for swallowtails. We are lucky to have them in spite of the fact that people keep throwing insecticides into the environment. vw