Raising Black Swallowtail Butterflies in Virginia

by Stephanie
(Dinwiddie, VA)

My first butterfly born 07/10/09.     A beautiful male black swallowtail butterfly !

My first butterfly born 07/10/09. A beautiful male black swallowtail butterfly !

One day out of the blue I wanted to raise butterflies. Did some research online and got some books and was on my way to raising black swallowtail butterflies. I bought and planted some dill, fennel and parsley and had eggs two days later on the fennel. I collected the eggs from outside and everything else was done in the house.

The eggs hatched to the caterpillar, caterpillar turned to the chrysalis and then the beautiful butterflies emerged. The whole process took a over a month. I was really really excited!!

I have had 4 more emerge since then. Two more males and two beautiful females. All have been set free in my backyard! Loving it!

Comments for Raising Black Swallowtail Butterflies in Virginia

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by: Anonymous

I found some caterpillars at Lowe's on dill plants and bought them thinking it would be great for my daughter to watch the process. We were told they were monarchs, but I know now they are black swallowtails. After a few hours in my window sill on the dill plants, they left the plant and crawled up the window frame and hung themselves by a silken thread from their mouths. For two days now, they have done nothing more. What do I do? Do I need to provide them with something more, leaves, water?? Any help would be appreciated.

Karen says:
Are they in the chrysalis? If they are, then do nothing...but watch and wait. Here is some information on the black swallowtail chrysalis.
Hope this helps. Enjoy the miracle!

Female Black Swallowtail that can't fly
by: Patty

I found a black swallowtail female that can't fly. Looks like a problem with one of its winds. What should we do?

Karen says
I don't think it is really possible to repair its wing, but maybe you could feed it some Gaterade or Juicy Juice (saturate a white paper towel with it and put on a saucer or dish).

Stephanie, if you have any suggestions, you could add a comment.

Isn't that amazing?
by: Jo Ellen Land

Hi Stephanie~ Good for you to decide to raise butterflies! It really is simple, and so amazing to watch the different stages, and when that butterfly emerges it is so cool! And then you get to see if it is male or female and name them! That's what we do :) Our friends and family are like, "How can you tell the gender?" and of course once you know how it's easy. We are big fans of the butterfly garden, and this is our second year raising Monarchs. It's such a great way to help Mother Nature :)
Jo Ellen Land
Escondido, Calif.

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