From eggs to just released Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

by Sharon Brown
(Apopka, Fl, USA)

Here I am world

Here I am world

I just happened to be standing close to a Florida Orange tree at a friends house and I noticed a Giant Swallowtail landing on each leaf and flying to next leaf. I wondered if it was a female laying eggs so I quickly grabbed a ladder and climbed up to where I had seen her land.

I was lucky and spotted an egg on one of the leaves so I took the leaf home and waited. Soon it hatched and I went to a big lemon tree to collect leaves for food. Wouldn't you know that one of the leaves also had a just hatched caterpillar so I brought it home too. As it turned out they were both Giant Swallowtails and they kept me busy everyday collecting leaves.

They both went into their chrysalis within hours of each other which was glorious but yet sad. I had gotten attached to those babies that I found. And then the big day came for them to be free and I have several pictures of the different stages which I cherish.

When I released them I was able to get a picture of one of them. I am very proud that they turned out so beautifully. Every time I see one I wonder if it could be a result of the two that I raised. You never know because anything is possible.

Comments for From eggs to just released Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

Click here to add your own comments

Giants are in Minneapolis!!
by: Pete

I saw one on Aug. 17 flying over the track at the U of M, and watched in shock, almost disbelief.

Then last night I saw one in our courtyard in downtown Minneapolis, and of course photographed it at night.

As it was still around this morning, I went to see if it was OK. It crawled onto my finger, where it hung out for a couple of minutes before flying off into a tree, where it perched.

I don't know if it was male or female, but it was quite large, at least a 5" wingspan. It would be great if it was a female full of fertilized eggs, and if a breeding population was established.

Is there already a breeding population in Minnesota? I love these things--they are as good as Black Widows!

Giant Swallowtail
by: Bill

The area around Wyoming and Forest Lake Minnesota has had a pretty respectable population of Giant Swallowtail butterflies the past month or so. I've had at least a couple of dozen of sightings and just today picked up 6 road kills on HWY 95 and HWY 97 between Osceola Wisconsin and Forest Lake MN.In 27 years of living in Minnesota these are the first I've seen. I used to see them in southern Indiana where I came from but not here.

Giant Swallowtail sighting at Whitewater State Park MN
by: LeeS

I saw a beauty today!! It isn't in the Northwoods Butterflies guidebook, but this IS what I saw. Sounds like I'm not alone in seeing these in MN.

Karen says:
I keep hoping they'll come a little further North to the Twin Cities :)

Giant swallowtails in Minnesota
by: Anonymous

Saw two giant swallowtails in our garden in Marine on St. Croix last week. Yesterday (June 5) we encountered at least six on a sandy beach on the St. Croix River drinking water and minerals from the wet sand. I used to be an avid collector, but I have never seen one in Minnesota before this. It is a dramatic big butterfly in person.

Karen says:
Wow! I live in the Twin Cities area. I would love to see a giant swallowtail. I just read that Rue is a possible host plant in Northern region. I have Rue in my garden....send them my way :)

Giant Swallowtails are in Minnesota
by: Anonymous

There are giant swallowtails in Minnesota. I took over 100 pictures of one today here in Red Wing, Minnesota. I don't see many but they are here.

Karen says:
Wow - that is fantastic! We would love it if you would like to share some of your giant swallowtail butterfly pictures.

Giant Swallowtail Stages Photo
by: Karen

Would you be willing to share one of your Giant Swallowtail stages photos with us? I would love it and I'm sure my visitors would, also. If you would be willing, just do a new submission on the butterfly picture page.

Beautiful Butterfly!
by: Karen

WOW Sharon....what a beautiful picture! We don't have Giant Swallowtails up here in Minnesota, so I am very glad that you have submitted this photo and story.

Thank you very much!

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 Pictures of Butterflies.