Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly – Papilio polyxenes

black swallowtail dorsal

Black Swallowtails are attracted to parsley and carrot plants, and take nectar at various flowers including phlox and milkweeds. Their flight is much less frenzied than the pipevine swallowtail, which it resembles. Black Swallowtails’ flight is swooping and dipping, a real joy to watch – but hell for a shutterbug bent on a good picture of this gentle creature. These pictures were taken in 2003 with one of my first digital cameras – the Kodak DC4800.

black swallowtail lateralLife Cycle: Eggs are yellow. Caterpillars range up to 2″ long, white to green with black bands on each segment, with yellow or orange spots. Host plants include Queen Anne’s Lace and other members of the carrot family as well as some members of the citrus family. 2 or 3 broods; February – November in south. Habitat: Meadows, fields, farmland, gardens and watersides. Seldom found in woods or forests. Range: Southern Canada east of Rocky Mountains south to Arizona and Mexico, east to Atlantic Ocean [3].

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