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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The black swallowtail butterfly is a large blue, black, golden yellow, and cream speckled beauty. Black Swallowtails are also known as Eastern Black Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, American Swallowtail, and the Parsnip Butterfly. 

Male and Female Markings Differ

The male and female have different color variations.

Female Black Swallowtail

The female black swallowtail to me appears to be a lighter color black than the males. It isn’t as striking.

The female doesn’t have the top first row of yellow markings on the wings like the male does.


Male Black Swallowtail 

The male black swallowtail is a glossy black colored butterfly with three rows of brightly colored markings of yellow and blue.

The best time to start your search for them is from June 1 – August 1. Higher numbers are always seen during the month of July.

Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on dill, fennel, parsley, and common meadow rue plants.


Black Swallowtail Caterpillars

  • Often called the parsley worm because it feeds on parsley.
  • Can take a caterpillar a few weeks to many months to emerge from the chrysalis.

Plants The Caterpillar Eats

The butterfly commonly feeds on many different members of the parsley family, including parsley, carrots, dill, and parsnip.

  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel 
  • Parsley
  • Anise
  • Celery
  • Chervil
  • Coriander
  • Caraway

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