Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillars

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on May 15, 2011

I got an excited call from a friend to bring my camera over and take pictures of these caterpillars all over her dill plants.  I went over, and the dill had dozens of these critters on it.  I am not that good at identifying caterpillars, so I asked a friend who does a lot of butterfly gardening.  She says these are a color variant of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars.  While the birds got most of these, we hope some pupated and became butterflies.  So, if you want butterflies, you will have to put up with some caterpillars eating your stuff from time to time.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar on Dill

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia May 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

Hi Stephanie

What an interesting looking caterpillar! Have to remember that when I spot any eating the plants LOL Some will actually get to be the lovely butterflies that are always welcome in the garden 🙂

Fortunately the lovely lavender doesn’t seem to have too many pests that tolerate being around them. So they are easy to grow and often protect veggie patches from critters that would like to have a free feed!

Patricia Perth Australia


Stephanie Suesan Smith May 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I know marigolds can be used to protect vegetables from bugs, but didn’t know lavender would do that.


Patricia May 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Yes lavenders are often used here as companion plants to keep the bugs at bay in the veggie patch 🙂

Patricia Perth Australia


Betsi Hilton May 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hi- I was just out looking at my herb garden, I had gathered dill a few evenings ago and had to wash off some little white global things. Today the remaining dill has tiny caterpillars that are similar to the black swallowtail in the picture…… Guess I’ll be buying dill for a while! Thanks for the ID! Betsi in South Carolina


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