With a wingspan of 2.6 to 3.5 inches, the Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) ranges from the middle of New Hampshire south to Florida then across the United States as far as New Mexico, down into Mexico, and back up through most of North Dakota. It does not fly in the western mountains or the Pacific Coast.
The males resemble the Giant Swallowtail in that they have yellow spots on the wing edge and another band of yellow color above that. The females have only small yellow-white spots on the wing edge with a touch of blue just above the spots. Both male and female have black bodies with white polka dots.
Larval host plants are numerous types of parsley whether cultivated or native, carrots, dill, fennel, queen anne’s lace and rue.
Nectar plants include Butterfly Bush, Daylilies, Joe Pye Weed, Phlox, Penta, Porter Weed, Purple Coneflower, Zinnia.
Please consider growing host and nectar butterflies in your garden. The same plants that attract the butterflies will attract other pollinators we need for our own food.