The Black Swallowtail (AKA Eastern Black Swallowtail) belonging to the swallowtail family is indigenous to a major part of North America and popular for its magnificent and graceful appearance. When the wings are opened, the upper surface has a black coloration with spots of yellow arranged in two rows. The spots appear big and bright in the male species, while in females they look small and light. The space between the rows is blue in color which is more prominent in females and less prominent in males. In the inner part of the hind wing towards the bottom is located a red spot having a black bullseye, whereas a solitary yellow spot is seen on the frontal edge. When the wings are closed the base is black with white blue and orange spots separated by powdery blue regions.



Black Swallowtail” by John Flannery, licensed under (CC BY-ND 2.0)



Black Swallowtail” by John Flannery, licensed under (CC BY-ND 2.0)


Black Swallowtail Facts

Butterfly Family: Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilionidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Papilioninae

Butterfly Wingspan: 2 1/2 – 4 inches

Butterfly Habitat: A variety of open areas including fields, suburbs, marshes, deserts, and roadsides


Black Swallowtail Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Rue
  • Celery
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Carrot

Nectar Plants:

  • Common Milkweed
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Thistles
  • Red Clover
  • Vetches
  • Verbena
  • Mountain Mint
  • Buttonbush
  • Blazing Star
  • Ironweed
  • Zinnia