Female Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Subject: Black Swallowtail – Male
Location: Toronto
July 14, 2016 3:03 pm
Hi, I am pretty sure this is a young male Black Swallowtail – but just to be sure! Thanks for all you do!
Signature: filigree

Female Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Female Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Dear filigree,
You have correctly identified the species of this Black Swallowtail butterfly, however, you have incorrectly identified its sex.  This is a female Black Swallowtail butterfly, as identified by the blue scales on the lower wings.  Male Black Swallowtail butterflies lack the blue.  This posting from our archives illustrates a pair of Black Swallowtails side by side.  See BugGuide for verification, where it states:  “Female, with its large blue patches on hindwings, is a mimic of the Pipevine Swallowtail. Some female Black Swallowtails have little yellow on wings above. Males have more extensive broken yellow band.”

Leave a Comment