Papilio Polyxenes Caterpillars Feed on Parsley, Dill, Carrot, Fennel and Queen Ann’s Lace

Eastern black swallowtail butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Magnificent jewelry on the wing! Fresh and resplendent.

Our 4th post of Eastern Black Swallowtails. This one with every single tiny scale in place, reflecting sunlight and refracting sunlight.

Take heart my friends, this gem was nectaring at Raccoon Creek State Park’s Nichol Road trail on May 24th.

Papilio polyxenes caterpillars feed on the leaves of members of the carrot family (parsley, dill, carrot & fennel) as well as Queen Ann’s Lace. This gives the larva some protection, as they become distasteful to predators.

Adults feed on flower nectar. They can be approached while nectaring but the featured image was appreciated because they flutter their wings at a furious rate and it’s very difficult to capture the beauty of the ventral (below) wing surface.

One of those butterflies that sends my heartbeat racing when first spotted. What can I say? The big W. Wow!