13 September 2016

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly is living at my house!

Yum
Last year my husband put in a butterfly garden for me.  With the help of one of his colleagues, Sue, we put in a variety of native Missouri plants.  Last year they greened up a bit and the rabbits ended up eating some, so we wired a fence around the garden and this year the plants did very well.  So well, in fact, that we are seeing some butterflies!

Do you see the caterpillar, too?  He'll be a black swallowtail, too!
The first butterfly I noticed was the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.  I happened to see it first while on my front porch visiting with my neighbor, Tina.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to get her to land on my finger so I could look at her closely.  My second sighting was in my backyard.  I grabbed my cell phone and captured a few images and with the help of Sue, was able to identify the butterfly!

The Black Swallowtail has a number of names, American swallowtail, parsnip swallowtail, parsley swallowtail, celeryworm, and caraway worm (Miller 1992).  It is a common butterfly, but I wasn't sure that I had ever noticed one before. The black swallowtail is found throughout southern Canada, most of the eastern and mid-western United States west to the Rocky Mountains, and southwest into Arizona and northern Mexico.

One can tell the males from the females by looking at the wings.  On the upper part of the wings the two rows of yellow spots are large on the males and smaller and lighter in females.  The part between the rows of spots is iridescent blue on the females.  

I've seen some other butterflies as well.  

21 comments :

  1. I think these are the same kind of butterflies that are around my house too. They are really pretty. The undersides are even a different color.

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  2. how beautiful! my mother-in-law loves butterflies! I know she would know all about this!

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  3. What a beautiful butterfly. we visit the butterfly exhibit a lot to get up close with butterflies.

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  4. She's lovely! It's so sweet of your husband to put up a butterfly garden and I'm glad you guys were able to maintain and take care of it until butterflies appeared. Thanks for the trivia about the swallowtail butterfly.

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  5. That's a beautiful butterfly. The twins are fascinated by butterflies, they especially love the colourful ones.

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  6. What a beautiful butterfly! I had a butterfly garden years ago and it was so much fun watching the butterflies (and birds). I used to sit out for hours every evening.

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  7. This is such a beautiful butterfly!! My youngest is obsessed with them, she gets so excited to see them in parks here.

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  8. Wow I've never thought about putting a butterfly garden in. My kids and I love butterflies. I was actually just looking into getting them the grow your own butterflies so they can see the whole process!

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  9. Such a beautiful butterfly! I would love to have my own butterfly garden in my backyard!

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  10. Beautiful. It must be so peaceful to watch them. I wonder how many species live in your garden.

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  11. That is SO cool! My baby girl are always on the lookout for butterflies at our home. She just loves them. I'll have to tell her about this one!

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  12. Wow, I love this. I want to go there, I am a fan of butterflies ever since I was a kid.

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  13. That is a beautiful butterfly! My kids are always fascinated by them and trying to get close enough to figure out what kind they are.

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  14. That's so cool! I love the picture where it has a butterfly and a caterpillar. I think butterflies are so beautiful and majestic!

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  15. I've seen these butterflies probably a million times but I've never known their official name! Very neat!

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  16. I've loved butterflies since I was a little girl. They are so beautiful and elusive and you are so lucky to have them right in your own garden.

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  17. That's really beautiful! My kids love spotting butterflies, and so do I. What a gorgeous photo!

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  18. When I was a kid I used to raise butterflies and then release them once they hatched out of their cocoons! Butterflies are beautiful!

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  19. Butterflies have always been such a beauty to me. So many different ones and this one is beautiful.

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  20. I have always enjoyed garden watching and part of that comes with butterflies. I love that you have pointed out the black swallowtail because I think this is the one that visits my garden often.

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  21. I love butterfly gardens and hope to put in a few plants this spring. Yours is lovely!

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