Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 20 of /home/raw3y9x1y6am/public_html/includes/


Swallowtail butterfly
What is the function of the "tails" on the wings of some butterflies?


Many people guess that the "tails" help with flight, but many swallowtail butterflies lose their "tails" when attacked by birds, and they still fly just as well. Now to you have an idea of what the "tails" do? They help the butterfly survive bird attacks. The "tails" resemble the antenna, making the back end of the insect look like the front end. Some of them even wiggle the back of their wings to make the tails look more like antennae. A predator that grabs for the butterfly's head winds up with a mouth full of butterfly wing, while the butterfly escapes. This adaptation of a creature having its tail look like its head is also found in other animals, from fish to snakes.

This one is a Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata). We see them often in our garden here in Utah.