Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Black Swallowtail

Indulge me, I spent this morning running around the terrace chasing a gorgeous butterfly. And she was the second in fifteen minutes! A rather damaged one had been fluttering around earlier, and when this lady came along I realized: they're after me parsley!

See???? Egg!

So I set a trap for pictures. My parsley pots are usually scattered, so I cheated and clustered them.

One egg at a time.

Much circling around, touching the basil, the summer savoury, the nicotiana...and returning to the parsley.


  1. Fantastic pictures of the Swallowtail! in a couple you can see her ovipositor right in position to deposit the egg...fabulous! Now are you going to have to harvest your parsley very carefully so that you're not eating butterfly eggs? I see the black Swallowtails around my place a fair amount because they love the apples that have fallen to the ground and smashed. But my camera could never take the quality of pictures that you've made here.

  2. Wonderful sequence. Before the butterfly...caterpillar. Does caterpillar like to munch the parsley?

  3. A brilliant trap, and stunning photos of a glorious creature.

  4. The intriguing dance of oviposition, captured with so much whimsy. Lovely.

  5. she'sa beautiful! let them eat parsley..
    what a great morning it must have been, discovering, chasing,, clustering. good work!....captured beautifully marie, holly, wood, vine whoever...

  6. well worth the parsley sacrifice if need be. really amazing photos, i cant' tell you.

  7. Beautiful photos of your Swallowtail, Marie! So nice of you to accommodate her with parsley. We have Painted Ladies, the butterflies the county we live in (Mariposa) was named after -- back during the Gold Rush days, there were multitudes of them here.


  8. These are wonderful! How lucky you were to have seen this, (and how observant).

    BTW, this is unrelated, but did you know there's a South African restaurant on the Cape? Gigi mentioned it in a post today (hi Gigi!) and I thought of...


  9. Your camera takes gorgeous photos. These could be a series in frames on a wall in a gallery.

  10. QC - thank you...and you said ovipositor! I spend the evenign removing eggs, I'm afraid. I've left three as an experiment. It's just a point and shoot: a Canon SD880 and I just set it to take continuous frames. Most point and shoots can do this. I cropped some of the pictures.

    Lisa..I have a follow-up post...lol.

    Pam, Thank you :-)

    Gigi, easy trap, don't know how the butterflies know. Scent?

    TEOH - baie dankie, ek het die halfuur baie geniet.

    Deb - Merci, bonbon. Sorry about my schizophrenia earlier.

    Donna - tell Meess Zeephair that Don Es was stupefied by the mariposa.

    Keli-i..about to look up Painted Ladies...mariposa is such a beautiful word. Not at all like schmetterling.

    m.heart - thank you. About to check out the post :-)Sounds so incongruous!

    Hi Jen - why thank you, lady :-)

    Miss Ladyslipper! How de do. See first response to Qiltcat...sure your camera can do it, too.

  11. Amazing pics. Good enough and more for a book on butterflies

  12. Every year we grow parsley at our place on Fire Island JUST for the black swallowtails. Love to watch the caterpillars grow and finally become butterflies.

    I've planted milkweed this year in hopes of raising some Monarchs.


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