Q: I spotted this gorgeous butterfly in our back yard in June. Its wing span was nearly the size of my hand. Some of the black round spots on the wings were actually bulging, not flat. Is it unusual?
A: It’s an eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus, probably a male. Swallowtail butterflies are common in summer. They are easy to spot because they are so large.
The caterpillars feed on yellow poplar, willow, black cherry, red maple, American elm, and sassafras.
The website eNature.com offers a great list of pictures of butterflies (and other insects) to help you identify them.
Eastern tiger swallowtail