Butterfly Larval Host Database forum: Black Swallowtail

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Mar 4, 2010 1:45 PM CST
Name: Debbie (Debnes) Magnes
Deep Burbs
or... Eastern Black Swallowtail Papilo polyxenes

These are very common butterflies and they are active between March and as late as November in warmer places across North America. The females seek out plants of the Parsley family on which to lay their eggs, *(with exception in the Rue family). Though some plants fit the catagory(s) there are a few that are proven to entice them from miles away in season. When any of the herbs listed below are planted in fall (for the south) and/or early in spring your garden will be ready for the first flights coming out of diapause (hibernation).

All of the Swallowtails overwinter in thier chrysalids, except in ranges where winters are warm.

Proven Larval Host Plants for Black Swallowtails:
Curly Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) 'Purpureum'
Common Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Dill (Anethum graveolens)

*Common Rue Ruta graveolens

Adult Female BST pictured here:

Thumbnail by Debnes

[Last edited Mar 4, 2010 3:11 PM CST]
Quote | Post #97044 (1)
Mar 4, 2010 3:04 PM CST
Name: Debbie (Debnes) Magnes
Deep Burbs
The eggs appear as tiny yellow or white specks, and pefectly rounded. After 3 days the cats emerge eating the corion shell first. This is a jumpstart for the caterpillar just in case there is no foliage when they come out. The energy from the shell supplies the distance between them and a suitable host to feed on. At first the cats are tiny and brownish maroon colored, with a light blue band around their middle. As they develop through their instars (molting/shedding) they look more like this one...

a fifth instar clinging to Rue Ruta graveolens planted at the school garden.

Thumbnail by Debnes

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Having an abundance of butterflies in your garden is simple. We focus on specific host plants, and the natural geographical range for each species of butterfly. Two things which are certain to bring butterflies galore to your garden.

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