Life of a Black Swallowtail


I’ve been sitting on these images since April and have just now got around to working on them to get them posted here. I had several dill plants growing out on the side of my house. Dill is one of the a host plants to the black swallowtail butterfly in its larval stage. We had multiple caterpillars chowing down on the dill throughout their lifecycle and I even managed to catch one not long after it had emerged from its chrysalis when I came home from work at lunchtime. It was really fun to check on them daily to see which instar they had grown into, sometimes it seemed like overnight—probably true—they were teeny tiny and then giant, fat caterpillars!

Beware, there are lots of photos—but they were too beautiful not to get up close and personal!

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

Black swallowtail

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5 thoughts on “Life of a Black Swallowtail

  1. Gayle Bicik says:

    That’s cool – thanks for sharing all your work and patience!

  2. Erin says:

    Very cool, Misti! Awesome that you were able to capture so many of the phases, especially the last one!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    So cool! Thank you for sharing!

  4. chel says:

    this is *breathtaking* Wow. WOW!

  5. I’m not worthy to be in the same forum. ROTFL

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