Black Swallowtail Butterfly Facts

21 Black Swallowtail Butterfly Fun Facts

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Facts-black-swallow-tail-collecting-nectar
Black swallowtail collecting nectar

The black swallowtail butterfly is beautiful and can be seen gracing many urban gardens with their presence these butterflies are active between late April and early June so if your hobby is studying butterflies in their natural habitat then this time of the year is when you should watch out for them.

Though they have a short life span they do leave their mark that is unforgettable, below we will be discussing some amazing fun facts as we enter the world of the black swallowtail butterfly.

Black Swallowtail butterfly facts

1. It’s said that when the courting ritual beings the male black swallowtail butterflies gather and the females do the picking. The courtship lasts for about 45 minutes. This is pretty interesting won’t you say.

2. The males are known to mark territories that they actively defend.

3. The black swallowtail butterfly has a wingspan of 3-4 inches.

4. Because the caterpillars are so delicate you should not hold them in your hand.

5. The black swallowtail is rare in the Florida Keys.

6. The black swallowtail butterfly is the official state butterfly of New Jersey.

7. A fully grown caterpillar has an orange horn-like gland on its head called an osmeterium. If the caterpillar believes that it is in danger it will release a foul smell from this gland

8. The black swallowtail also goes by the name parsnip or American swallowtail butterfly.

9. The butterfly feeds on nectar plants.

10. The caterpillar feeds on host plants from which they extract toxins that are dangerous to predator birds.

11. The caterpillar feeds on plants in the carrot family.

12. The black swallowtail butterfly flies faster than other swallowtails.

13. Predators of the black swallowtail include bats, lizards, toads, frogs, centipedes, spiders, beetles, ants, and mantids. Some parasitic flies and wasps will use the caterpillars as hosts.

14. If you are growing the caterpillars from home ensure to provide them with plenty of food, it is recommended to keep the plant leaves in water to prevent them from drying out.

15. The male black swallowtail has more yellow and less blue on the wings.

16. The female has more blue and less yellow on the wings.

17. Baby birds enjoy feasting on them.

18. The swallowtail caterpillar feeds on many host plants.

19. The caterpillar that emerges is black with a white band around its middle.

20. As the caterpillar grows it develops orange-reddish spikes.

21. The black swallowtail has two generations a year.

The final word on black swallowtail butterfly facts

There you have it, these are the amazing facts on the black swallowtail butterfly and as you can see there are many, this butterfly though beautiful and with this list of facts as we have established has a short lifespan. So remember if you cross paths with them take some time and enjoy their presence as they display their many colors making the most of their short time before they make way for the next generation.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.