The Black Swallowtail can be found throughout the state. Females mimic the Pipevine Swallowtail while males have two distinct rows of yellow cell spots on the uperside of their wings.
This is not a butterfly you are likely to confuse with any other. Its distinct orange markings make it stand out in your garden.
You’ll find this small orange butterfly throughout Texas almost all year long. I see it more in the Houston area than I did in West Texas, but it was common there, as well. It usually flies low to the ground and feeds on a variety of flowers in both fields and gardens.
Found primarily in East Texas, the Spicebush Swallowtail mimics the Pipevine Swallowtail. It differs from the Pipevine in two distinct ways. First, it has two rows of orange spots on the underside of its wings making it look more like the Black Swallowtail. Second, the white spots on the upperside cling close to the edge of the wings.
The Pipevine Swallowtail is abundant throughout Texas. It frequents gardens and can be found in flower fields and groves of trees. Its caterpillars feed on pipevine, a noxious plant which makes the butterflies taste bad to predators. Several other species mimic the Pipevine including the Spicebush and Black Swallowtails.
One of the largest butterflies in North America, the Giant Swallowtail lives throughout Texas. You will see this butterfly in both your garden and flitting along wooded paths.