Swallowtails in Georgia

Butterfly Larvae

Spring in Georgia often feels like the end of winter or the beginning of summer but seldom like spring itself.  One constant is the re-appearance of the Swallowtail butterflies in the potager garden of HF.  It’s easy to miss the early stages of development known as instars.  Strange looking caterpillars in the beginning, some look like bird droppings.  Later, they resemble snakes with their enlarged heads and forked tongues coming out when touched lightly.  We commonly see the Giant Swallowtail, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and the Black Swallowtail.  The plants that host the larvae are parsley, rue, and fennel.  Provide nectar sources too and you will see the return of Swallowtail butterflies each spring and enjoy them in your garden all summer too.

Eastern Swallowtail