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What does the Black Swallowtail eat?

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Posts: 1
Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:40 pm   

OK guys, I am new to this whole thing...I housed Monarchs a couple of years ago, but this is my first venture into the world of the Black Swallowtail. I currently have four crysalids (not sure if that is the correct plural term or not). We are heading out of town for a couple of days. The butterflies are not "scheduled to emerge" until after we are home, but I am concerned about a premature appearance. Does anyone know if I should be putting anything in the mesh house besides parsley in case the butterflies emerge before we get home? I know Monarchs like to have oranges or something sweet, but I haven't been able to find any info about what the Black Swallowtail butterfly eats. I have crysalis photos to share if anyone is interested, I just have to figure out how to reduce the pixel size.

Any info would be appreciated,
Thanks in advance "Wings" McClure

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Posts: 6
Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:18 pm   

I have raised black swallowtail butterflies. The butterflies drink nectar just like the Monarchs. In my garden, they like Zinnia, Joe Pye Weed flowers, Swamp Milkweed flowers, phlox, etc..

I think it is O.K. for them to be without nectar for a little while (I think I read Monarchs would be O.K. for 24 hours without nectar). I usually set them free the same afternoon after they emerge in the morning.

Parsley is the host plant (food) for the black swallowtail caterpillar, not the butterfly.

I hope this helps! They are such beautiful butterflies and the caterpillars are interesting, too!!

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Posts: 1569
Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:48 pm   

I wouldn't worry. Butterflies are very true to their timetables. If there IS any doubt leave them outside in the shade with your container open.

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