What do pipevine swallowtails eat?

By: Mark RussellbrownUpdated: January 18, 2021


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    June 26, 2022
What do they eat? Caterpillars (larvae) eat the leaves and seedpods of the pipevine plant. Adult butterflies feed on a variety of plants for their nectar and may also seek out minerals at puddles.

Also question is, are pipevine swallowtails rare?

Although the Pipevine Swallowtail is not listed as a rare butterfly, native stands of pipevine are becoming less and less common. Some gardeners plant the host plant, pipevine, and the Pipevine Swallowtail appears like magic. Other gardeners wait for quite some time before their efforts are rewarded.

Similarly, do pipevine swallowtails migrate?

The pipevine swallowtail is also found northward to southeastern Ontario, Canada and southward to southern Mexico (Cech & Tudor 2005, Opler & Malikul 1998, Scott 1986).

How long does a pipevine swallowtail butterfly live?

Pipevine Swallowtail Life Cycle Stages and Times
Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage Generally 4 to 10 days, depending on temperature and host plant
Caterpillar (larval) stage 3 to 4 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 10 to 20 days (except for overwintering pupae)
Adult butterfly stage 6 to 14 days

Are swallowtail butterflies helpful or harmful?

For example, the pipevine swallowtail tastes bad to birds and other predators, while black swallowtail caterpillars emit a bad-tasting odor and toxins that they absorb from plants. This makes them beneficial in gardens plagued by unwanted animals.


Do birds eat black swallowtail caterpillars?

Planting for Pollinators: Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Moreover, butterflies help to pollinate your plants and feed your songbird population. While adult birds can live well on seeds and berries, nestlings are unable to digest these yet and require juicy caterpillars to help them grow.

How do you attract a pipevine swallowtail?

Try planting native pipevines to draw them in. The Pipevine Swallowtail seems like a drab black butterfly, until you get a glimpse of the iridescent blue lower wings of the male flashing in the sun. Once you see that, I promise, you'll be hooked and want to attract this butterfly to your own garden!

Is Dutchman's pipe invasive?

Native to South America and the West Indies, Dutchman's pipe is a fast-growing vine that has been widely promoted as an unusual, easily cultivated ornamental plant. Dutchman's pipe is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Are swallowtail caterpillars poisonous?

"Don't eat 'em; they're quite poisonous." Both the caterpillar and the adult are poisonous. The caterpillars of the Pipevine Swallowtail feed on the poisonous host plant, Aristolochia, also known as the pipevine, Dutchman's pipe or birthwort. It contains the lethal toxin aristolochic acid.

What do Swallowtails lay their eggs on?

The wet June has made for a long season for dill, fennel, parsley and rue the plants on which Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs. Below are tips for raising them at home. First, locate the eggs. The tiny yellow spheres perch prominently on the leaves of dill, fennel, parsley and rue.

Where do Tiger Swallowtails lay their eggs?

Tiger Swallowtails spend much of their lives in the canopy of broadleaf deciduous trees. I've often seen them fluttering high in bigleaf maple trees, where female Western Tigers lay their eggs on the leaves. There, hatching caterpillars have a relatively safe environment in which to feed and grow.

How long does a swallowtail stay in its cocoon?

When it is ready, (about 24 hours after attaching) it will wriggle its outer skin off exposing the chrysalis beneath. The chrysalis will either be green or brown depending on the color of the surrounding area. In 1-2 weeks the butterfly will emerge.

What does pipevine look like?

The large heart-shaped leaves alternate along a woody stem. The flowers appear in late spring and early summer. They are a tinged plum color with speckles. An interesting bit of Dutchman's pipe info is its one-time use as an aid to childbirth because of its resemblance to a human fetus.

What does a swallowtail butterfly look like?

Most (not all) of these large, brightly colored butterflies feature tails on their hind wings. These tail-like appendages resemble the tails of swallow family of birds, hence their name. Swallowtails feed on flowers, and can often be found in mud or damp sand where they sip dissolved minerals and salts.

How are butterfly eggs fertilized?

Coupling: Butterflies mate on the ground or in the air; internal fertilization of the eggs takes from a few seconds to many minutes or hours. During mating, the male transfers a sperm packet (called a spermatophore) into the female; these sperm will fertilize the female's eggs.

How do you raise a tiger swallowtail butterfly?

Bring in some sprigs of fresh plant and put them in the jar. I usually leave the eggs alone until the caterpillars are big enough to spot with a naked eye–generally two days. You'll see they're tiny and hard to monitor, so again, leave them alone and just provide fresh air and fresh host plant until they grow bigger.

Where does a pipevine grow?

This California native vine has become fairly drought tolerant with time and seems to grow ok with Salvia spathacea, hummingbird sage on north slopes or under live oaks. This grows in shade in the central Sierras in moist places and the associated plants are Tellima, Heuchera micrantha and Umbellularia californica.

What is the food of Caterpillar?

Caterpillars, the larvae of butterflies and moths, feed almost exclusively on plants. You will find most caterpillars munching happily on leaves, though some will feed on other plant parts, like seeds or flowers.

What do swallowtail butterflies represent?

Because they come in such a variety of colors, swallowtail butterflies are highly sought after by collectors. Common cultural depiction often use swallowtail butterflies to represent the grace and free nature of the ineffable human soul.

Are Painted Ladies butterflies or moths?

Painted lady, (Vanessa cardui), species of butterfly in the brush-footed butterfly family, Nymphalidae (order Lepidoptera), that has broad wings (span about 4 to 5 cm [1.5 to 2 inches]), with beautifully elaborate patterns of reddish orange, pink, brown, white, and blue scales.

What is a blue butterfly?

The blue morpho is among the largest butterflies in the world, with wings spanning from five to eight inches. Their vivid, iridescent blue coloring is a result of the microscopic scales on the backs of their wings, which reflect light.