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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Insects of Wisconsin

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The black swallowtail butterfly is a large blue, black and gold and cream speckled beauty. The male and female have different color variations.

Male and Female Markings Differ

Female Black Swallowtail

The female black swallowtail to me appears to be a lighter color black than the males. It isn’t as vivid. The female doesn’t have the first row of yellow markings on the wings as the male does.

Black Swallowtails are also known as : Eastern Black Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, American Swallowtail and the Parsnip Butterfly. 

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


Male Black Swallowtail 

The male black swallowtail is a glossy black colored butterfly with three rows of brightly colored marking 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 Eat

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

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

Additional Places To Explore:: Insects of Wisconsin / Birds of Wisconsin / Wildflowers, Plants, Invasives & Trees

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