Black Swallowtail Range

by Carole Ann Brown
(Spring Valley, CA)

I got all excited learning that Black Swallowtails love to use Rue for a host plant. However, I live in Spring Valley, an unincorporated area just east about 10 miles from San Diego. A friend just gave me lots of Rue seeds--and now it looks like they don't even get this far in the SW USA! Bummer. I have seen the Western and the Anise Swallowtails in my yard--and I have lots of Monarchs, Gulf fritillaries, CA sisters (I think), and some Mourning Cloaks.

I'll probably plant more Rue, anyway, just in case...

Karen says:
Yes, don't give up. "Butterflies and Moths of North America" showed that Black Swallowtails have been found in Southern California. Also, Rue is a host plant for the Giant Swallowtail and possibly the Anise Swallowtail which both have also been found in Southern California. Let us know if you are successful at attracting any of these Swallowtails with your Rue.

Comments for Black Swallowtail Range

Click here to add your own comments

October 2011
by: Coronado Resident

I discovered an interesting caterpillar species today in my coastal San Diego garden, looked a bit like monarchs which frequent the plants these 3 were on, but no, they showed this orange antenna when they seemed a bit threatened. I have had many Giant Swallowtails on my lemon and lime trees, but this is a first. Can't wait to see the outcome.

Karen says:
It sounds like a swallowtail caterpillar which have an osmeterium. It appears when the caterpillar is threatened and releases a foul smell to repel predators. Maybe it is a Giant Swallowtail caterpillar??

Swallowtails in San Diego
by: Carolyn

I live in Hillcrest, which is about 1 1/2 miles from the ocean in San Diego,and discovered some amazing caterpillars on my parsley plants. Did some research, and they are definately Swallowtails. So if I can get them, you can too. They have those retractable 'horns'-the only caterpillar that does. I knew nothing about all this, but have fallen in love BIG TIME with the whole experience and can see it being a lifetime fascination.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Butterfly Questions.