Flying dragons, leaping lizards, parasitic wasps and giant spiders are just a few of the marauders of these beautiful creatures. How well they escape the grasps of these hunters determines if they live or die.
Being a strong, agile flier is an asset to the Tiger Swallowtail. The ability to change directions in a split second enables this butterfly to thwart attacks by dragonflies, wasps and birds. Eyespots on its hind wings mimics a face that makes these butterflies look bigger than they are and in split second decisions, small predators will stay clear of the “large” creature. But birds frequently will attempt to make a deadly blow to the head by striking these pretend “eyes”. That is why you will often see swallowtail butterflies with tattered tails.
Despite broken wings, tiger swallowtails continue life, pollinating plants, escaping danger and continuing the cycle of life.