Tag Archives: Black Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

A patch of thistle was growing at the edge of a parking area at Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Cuddo Unit. I suspect it was planted or at least encouraged by human intervention: it was a little too neat to be just wild.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle, Bee Photobomber

An assortment of insects were working the thistle blooms, with a Black Swallowtail standing out.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

The blooms were in all stages of development, some well on their way to releasing seeds for a new crop.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

Black Swallowtail

A pair of Black Swallowtails were doing their thing along the edge of a pond.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Quick poses then flitting along at full speed constituted much of the action.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Then they stopped for an interaction, somewhat shielded from my view by tall grass.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Pair
Black Swallowtail Butterfly Pair

I liked the intersection of the curlicue vine with the butterfly’s antennae and the nicer view of the blue wing spots in this last image.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

April 28. 2020

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

The four or five Swallowtails flitting around these thistle plants flew off when I drove by. I had room to stop, walked back and waited.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

After a few minutes one returned and continued probing the thistle.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

These butterflies were competing with some other flying insects, the tail end of one can be seen here sticking up out of the flower.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

This Black Swallowtail Butterfly flitted along on the outside of the plants lining the walkway as I went along the edge of the pond, obscuring my view. Finally he landed in a fern and seemed to peak through the fronds.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Fern

He then moved to a more open area and spent some time on this statice type plant.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The plant was down an embankment putting me even with the Butterfly for part of his feeding.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The area just beyond these plants has recently been flooded as part of a plan to make an additional pond near the heron rookery. Next year the vegetation will likely be very different here.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

A year ago I captured similar images of butterfly and plant at a different pond about 25 miles (40 Kilometers) from this spot and thought the plant to be Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis).  Black Swallowtail Butterfly is the post if you’d like to compare.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

These flowers look awful small to offer much to a butterfly but this one persisted, moving steadily from flower to flower. The lack of leaves on this plant gave me a clear view.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

He rotated and showed me every side while he was doing it.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Even upside down!

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

He easily walked across the tops of the flowers.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

And hung off the side.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

I believe the plant is Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis), a non-native plant that grows wild along roadsides, in disturbed areas, old fields. (NameThatPlant.net, A storehouse of information about native and naturalized plants of the Carolinas and Georgia.)