Its prime tiger swallowtail season here in Central Ontario, so I was out driving the backroads looking mostly for puddling papilio canadensis. Found a few spots, got a bunch of photos and videos, and upon checking a favourite last spot, I was astonished to see a melanic sipping minerals with a normal tiger. I assumed it was melanic as with wings upright, I could only see the underside and it was much darker than I have ever seen. Now the decision, to take a photo first and risk it flying away, or to go to the net and make a capture. After about 2 seconds of deliberation, I pulled the net from my vehicle and made the capture. After a pinch to disable it so as not to have it escape, I then took this photo. Never thought I would see a real live "fletcheri" in my life, no less catch one. Sorry but the photo won't upload, although its only 620KB. Says the forum has exceeded its attachment space limit. I will try again later.
Good choice you made. The darker specimen could be related to those few freezing night we had here in mid May. Possibly it got shocked some sort of. Perhaps we should keep an eye open. Look forward to see your specimen
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The darker specimen could be related to those few freezing night we had here in mid May.
I doubt it, the cold shock causing melanism (assuming it is not genetic) must happen immediately after the pre-pupa sheds its skin to become a pupa. Presumably in this case that would have been some time last autumn.
I am very much looking forward to seeing the photo(s).
I wonder if you had "hung around" the area a little longer if you might of seen one or two others like it ?
Perhaps, what happened to it may have produced a few others a well (albeit - in very limited numbers). At least, that is what happens with our occurrences of what we Americans term "smoky" tiger swallowtails (Papilio glaucus).