Family: Papilionidae • Genus: Papilio • Species: polyxenes • Range: North America • Synonyms: n/a • Common Names: Black Swallowtail •
Look at this handsome devil that showed up in my yard last week. One of the many butterflies I see in my yard from time to time. Click HERE for some earlier posts on butterflies. Here is a little more information about the Black Swallowtail butterfly courtesy of the University of Florida.
The caterpillar of the black swallowtail is 1-1/2" to 2" long, often called the "parsley worm" because it forages on parsley and other umbelliferous plants (carrot, wild carrot, dill, celery, fennel, etc.). Mature larvae are green with black and yellow spots or markings on each segment.
The black swallowtail butterfly, also known as the American or parsnip swallowtail, has a wingspan of 2-1/2" to 3-1/2". The upper surface of the forewings has two parallel rows of yellow submarginal spots that contrast with the basal black color of the wings. These spots also appear on the hindwings, but with a curving row of blue spots between the rows of yellow (Castner, 2007).
Sources: Castner, J.L. (2007, July 1). Florida butterflies sheet 2. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in032