Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes

Apparently difficult to get normal photos of this species for me anyway. Note this is a male in liftoff position and you are seeing mostly interior wing surface. This is the most common swallowtail some years in open prairie areas. And on one local butterfly count the Lavers almost broke the national record for this species in a count circle at Camp Robinson WMA with close to 1000. This is a strongly marked male. Note the heavy upper hindwing yellow (left wing). And the subtle blues of the male. Spicebush has much less yellow on the hindwing. And Pipevine has much less yellow anywhere. Boom year for these in 2007. 

This is a fresh female. Note the much more diminished yellow spot rows on the upper surfaces. And the subtle blue.

Norm's fresher and brighter male shot. Compare directly with above female. The much rarer and local Ozark Swallowtail supposedly has off centered dots in the orange hind spots. It may not occur in the southern portion of the Ozarks or my river valley area.

Shot of both the big striped late instar and a bird-dropping early instar of the Black Swallowtail. Late cats are unmistakable. The Ozark cat is apparently much greener (I am not sure how? Or even bluish..)  I live in the woods and this species always finds our dill and parsley plants. Some years they are stripped by fifty cats at once.

And two more cats from my yard. Another bird dropping instar to the left and the transition to the orange and white form still showing the white saddle.

The bright green egg of the Black Swallowtail. The beginnings before the nibblers arrive.

The pupal case is fairly subtle on the Black. Note the nice sling it makes for the upper portion. This cat came home from a nursery on a parsley plant. Crawled up the front porch bricks after it ate everything it could.

And the freshly eclosed Black Swallowtail exterior with the shell of the pupal case to the right. This may be a female. It is tougher from the exterior to tell the sexes.