Black Swallowtail

Papilio polyxenes

Appearance: Above, males are black with a row of yellow spots along the trailing edge of the wing and a yellow sub-marginal band; females lack the yellow band, with spots on the trailing edge of the forewing and blue scaling on the hindwing. Both have a yellow spot on tips of the forewing. Below, the hindwing has two rows of orange spots with blue between. Abdomen is black with rows of faint yellow spots.

Size: Large; 3 1/4 to 4 1/4 inches

Habitat: Urban, suburban and rural open areas including fields, gardens, marshes, hilltops, and roadsides

Season: April to September

Larval Foodplant: Plants in the Parsley Family (cultivated and native) and sometimes plants in the Citrus Family

Did You Know…
Males perch and patrol for receptive females. Female lays eggs singly on leaves and flowers of the host plant, which are then eaten by hatching larvae. Hibernates as a chrysalis.

Species Gallery (click to enlarge)