Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Description: This the only widespread black swallowtail in the Maritimes. Wingspan: 52 to 94 mm. It can be confused in coastal areas with the Short-tailed Swallowtail. See differences below.
|Black Swallowtail||Short-tailed Swallowtail|
|Tail||Long, spatulate||Short, pointed|
|Forewing edge||Slightly concave||Slightly convex|
|Yellow band on hindwing||Strailght (yellow in cell)||Curved|
Maritime Distribution: Throughout the Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.
Provincial Ranks: NB: S4. NS: S4. PEI: S3.
Flight Period: Double brooded, early May to late June, mid July to early September.
Host Plant: A wide variety of members of the carrot family (Apiaceae).
Notes: Black Swallowtail is much more common and widespread than Short-tailed Swallowtail. It can be found in a variety of open habitats, particularly meadows with an abundance of Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) and agricultural areas. The large, green caterpillars have conspicuous yellow-spotted bands, and can be found in vegetable gardens feeding on carrots, parsley, and dill.