Butterfly #6 — Black Swallowtail

papilio polyxenes

Friday, June 25, 1999 — 8:23 am

Grundy County, Illinois — Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area

I was well out into the center of the prairie, near a wet pothole. In the knee-high praire grasses along the path, there was a plant with softball-size pink flower clusters. This Black Swallowtail was on the flower, wings wide open. It occasionally fluttered around the area or moved to another flower on the same plant.

It was very pretty, velvet black with a bold yellow stripe along the rear edge of its hindwing. There was a small red/orange spot on the inner back corner with a tiny black dot in the center. There was also some faint blue irridescence near the trailing edge. The black body had two parallel rows of small yellow spots. It was near the size of a Monarch.

Another blutterfly, some kind of fritillary, I think, and a pretty white moth with a gold lacework pattern on its wings, were also on the same plant and often on the same flower.

Black Swallowtail - Hickory Grove - May, 2008Black Swallowtail - Hickory Grove - May, 2008

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