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Black Swallowtail
Black Swallowtail Black Swallowtail Caterpillar Photos:
Above & left - Tony Coomer
Caterpillar - Kim Hosen, Virginia's eastern shore, October 2007

Black Swallowtail

The Black Swallowtail can be distinguished from the region's other large black butterflies by its double row of brilliant yellow spots on the upper wings.

In males, the upper band is considerably wider. Females have an iridescent bright blue area near the tails. Below, the Black Swallowtail has two rows of orange spots.

Look for them flitting through fields, meadows and other open areas.

Black Swallowtail caterpillars feed on wild and cultivated plants in the carrot (Umbelliferae) family: Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota), dill, carrot (tops) and others.