Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
(aka Eastern Black Swallowtail)
This remarkable butterfly is a strong flier that enjoys open areas and ‘hilltopping’. Hilltopping is popular among males in search of females; it allows a greater area to be covered in search of a mate. Males can also be very territorial, chasing other males off their hill. Swallowtails, because they are larger butterflies, commonly feed on taller plants that have the longer-tubed flowers. They are wonderful guests to welcome, and are a pleasure to watch dashing through the garden.
See more photos below to help you identify the stages of the Black Swallowtail life cycle.