Papilio polyxenes – Black Swallowtail

Caterpillar food: plants in the Umbelliferae – the carrot family – including Queen Anne’s Lace, Parsley, Dill as well as native plants in that family.

Male Black Swallowtail – 9/2010  Males have larger yellow markings, and less blue.

Male – underside of wings

Females have less yellow and more blue, but the same basic pattern.

A newly hatched female – underside of wings

I often see male Black Swallowtails “puddling” on our driveway during the summer – gathering up salts to use in mating.

A puddling male

When the females lay an egg, they hover next to the host plant – laying the egg without resting on the plant.

The eggs are laid singly – this one is on a dill leaf

An early instar caterpillar – on Yellow Pimpernel (Taenidia integerrima)

Black Swallowtail caterpillar – late instar – on Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

Two Black Swallowtails in their pre-pupa position

When caterpillars pupate, sometimes the chrysalis is green, sometimes brown.