Black Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail

Papilio polyxenes

This swallowtail calls the entire state home. The males have two bands of yellow on the upper wing. The upper yellow band is absent on the females making them look more like a Pipevine Swallowtail.

On the underside, two bands of orange cell spots help distinguish it from the Pipevine Swallowtail, which only has one.

In West Texas, Black Swallowtails frequented my plumbago. I have had less luck attracting them to my backyard in Houston, although I’ve had recently had some visit my parsley. In the hill country, I’ve often found black swallowtails feeding on thistles.

Similar species: Pipevine Swallowtail; Spicebush Swalowtail

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