Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Lepidoptera > Papilionoidea > Papilionidae > Papilio > Papilio polyxenes

Papilio polyxenes (Eastern black swallowtail)

Synonyms: Papilio americus; Papilio mediocauda

Wikipedia Abstract

Papilio polyxenes, the (eastern) black swallowtail, American swallowtail or parsnip swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma and New Jersey. An extremely similar-appearing species, Papilio joanae, occurs in the Ozark Mountains region, but it appears to be closely related to Papilio machaon, rather than P. polyxenes. The species is named after the figure in Greek mythology, Polyxena (pron.: /pəˈlɪksɨnə/; Greek: Πολυξένη), who was the youngest daughter of King Priam of Troy. Its caterpillar is called the parsley worm because the caterpillar feeds on parsley.
View Wikipedia Record: Papilio polyxenes


Diet [1]  Herbivore
Wing Span [2]  2.9 inches (.073 m)

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve 90 Michigan, United States
Carlsbad Caverns National Park II 15448 New Mexico, United States
Western Michigan University's Asylum Lake Preserve 274 Michigan, United States


Emblem of


Prey / Diet

Anethum graveolens (dill)[3]
Angelica ampla (giant angelica)[3]
Angelica atropurpurea (purplestem angelica)[3]
Angelica venenosa (hairy angelica)[3]
Apium graveolens (wild celery)[3]
Asclepias syriaca (broadleaf milkweed)[4]
Aulospermum panamintense (Panamint springparsley)[3]
Berula erecta (cut-leaf-water-parsnip)[3]
Brassica oleracea (broccoli)[3]
Cephalanthus tetrandra (Buttonbush)[4]
Cicuta bulbifera (bulb waterhemlock)[3]
Cicuta douglasii (Douglas' waterhemlock)[3]
Cicuta maculata (poison parsnip)[3]
Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)[4]
Conium maculatum (cigue tachetee)[3]
Cryptotaenia canadensis (honewort)[3]
Daucus carota (bird's nest)[3]
Daucus pusillus (American wild carrot)[3]
Dictamnus albus (Gasplant)[3]
Eryngium cuneifolium (snakeroot)[3]
Foeniculum vulgare (sweet fennel)[3]
Harbouria trachypleura (whiskbroom parsley)[3]
Heracleum sphondylium subsp. montanum[3]
Levisticum officinale (garden lovage)[3]
Magnolia acuminata (cucumber-tree)[5]
Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay)[5]
Osmorhiza aristata[3]
Osmorhiza longistylis (longstyle sweetroot)[3]
Pastinaca sativa (wild parship)[3]
Ptilimnium capillaceum (herbwilliam)[3]
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan)[4]
Ruta graveolens (common rue)[3]
Sanicula odorata (clustered blacksnakeroot)[3]
Sium suave (hemlock water-parsnip)[3]
Spananthe paniculata[3]
Spermolepis divaricata (Roughfruit scaleseed)[3]
Taenidia integerrima (yellow pimpernell)[3]
Tauschia parishii (Parish's umbrellawort)[3]
Thamnosma montana (Mohave desertrue)[3]
Thaspium barbinode (hairyjoint meadowparsnip)[3]
Tiedemannia canbyi (canby's dropwort)[3]
Tiedemannia filiformis subsp. filiformis (water cowbane)[3]
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)[4]
Zanthoxylum americanum (Common pricky-ash)[3]
Zizia aptera (heart-leaf alexanders)[3]
Zizia aurea (golden zizia)[3]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Aix sponsa (Wood Duck)1
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)1
Apis mellifera (honey bee)3
Archilochus colubris (Ruby-throated Hummingbird)2
Battus philenor (pipevine swallowtail)2
Boloria selene (Silver-bordered fritillary)1
Branta canadensis (Canada Goose)2
Chlosyne gorgone (Gorgone Checkerspot)1
Colias philodice (clouded sulphur)5
Danaus plexippus (Monarch Butterfly)1
Marmota monax (woodchuck)1
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)1
Microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow vole)2
Nymphalis antiopa (camberwell beauty)2
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)4
Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)1
Papilio glaucus (Eastern tiger swallowtail)6
Papilio troilus (spicebush swallowtail)1
Pieris napi (Green-veined White Butterfly)1
Pieris rapae (imported cabbageworm)3
Sphecius speciosus (cicada killer)3
Spinus tristis (American Goldfinch)1
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)3
Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)1


Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)[4]
Anax junius (green darner)[4]
Calosoma scrutator (Fiery searcher)[4]
Mephitis mephitis (Striped Skunk)[4]
Misumena vatia (flower spider)[4]
Plestiodon fasciatus (Five-lined Skink)[4]
Tenodera aridifolia (Chinese mantid)[4]


Mimic of 
Battus philenor (pipevine swallowtail)[4]


Pollinator of 
Asclepias syriaca (broadleaf milkweed)[4]
Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)[4]
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan)[4]
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)[4]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Tropical Butterfly House


Belize; ; Western Michigan University’s Asylum Lake;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Butterflies of Canada, Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility
3Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
4Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
5HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access