Canadian Tiger Swallowtail looking for food, photo used with permission from John Fowler

As an adult, the Canadian tiger swallowtail, like most butterflies, eats the nectar from flowering plants. While in the larval, or caterpillar stage, they will eat the leaves of the trees in their habitat (Opler et al., 2012). Information on the Canadian tiger swallowtail's habitat can be found here.

Nectar is a great food for butterflies. It is a sugary liquid that can often be found in the flowers of various plants. This high-energy food provides butterflies with the nutrition they need to power their muscles for flight (Schlaepfer, 2006).

Some butterflies will also snack on a few unlikely food sources, such as rotting fruits and vegetables. Because their proboscis is so narrow, the more liquid the food is, the better (Schlaepfer, 2006). Swallowtails have even been seen feeding on dung! Which doesn't seem very pleasant, considering that butterflies smell with their antennae and can taste with their feet (Simon, 2011).

If you are interested in inviting the Canadian tiger swallowtail, or any butterflies, into your garden, be sure to plant a wide variety of plants and flowers so that there is at least one kind in bloom throughout the warm months, from early spring to late autumn (Simon, 2011)