Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly


The process begins! Follow along as we monitor the life stages of the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly on our Pawpaw.

I’ll photograph the female if I can but she literally gets in and gets out in a flash. She laid a couple eggs yesterday then found another Pawpaw today. She’s not found the rest of them yet. I hope she’s fertile as she’s the only one I have seen.


great pic!


I plant a patch of dill and parsley just to encourage them to stay around. Fun for the kids to get to watch them lay eggs and then follow the growth of the larvae. They love dill.


I was looking in the newly planted Pawpaw patch and found some eggs on them as well, then I found this little guy on a 1 year old Pawpaw, so she must have visited this one first. If this were a tomato plant, I would have thought this caterpillar poop instead of the newly hatched larvae that it is.


:+1: Looks like I’m going to have to get my DSLR out, it took me several clicks with my point and shoot to focus on the egg. The black larvae was even harder to focus on.


we have alot of these butterflies here but don’t have pawpaws. wonder if they have alternate hosts? see the adults out and about around mid july/ august.


News to me: Butterflies are actually moths!








Glad you posted pics. Otherwise, I would likely be squishing anything that looks like that. Thanks for the education.


Judging by the numbers, there should be gobs of butterflies, I hope. I wouldn’t have known to look for them, had I not seen the butterfly laying the egg. I was afraid they were going to strip my leaves bare, as some of my Pawpaw are not very big. That is not the case, I’m glad to say, they appear to be making a hole or 2 and leaving the leaves intact. I’ve done worse damage removing a cage from around one of them that the tree had outgrown. Time will tell if their appetite becomes more veracious as they age.

From what I read, only one can exist on a tree as they will encounter the other and devour it. I have seen them all on a single leaf and not noticed any one attacking the other. I’m impressed in the fast growth they’ve shown in only a few days.

Under the 6/15 photo, you will notice one is black and the other one grey. I do not think the grey one is the right caterpillar species. They usually don’t turn color that small and it appears to have bumps on it.


Kind of like really pretty rats here.,really pretty





They sure are loving paw paw leaves.



That butterfly is loving my trees too, she keeps coming back and laying more eggs. I must have the only Pawpaws around. I would like to know where she came from because I didn’t see her or the caterpillars last year.


found a adult dead in my greenhouse. must have got caught in there and died. was in perfect condition to add to a butterfly collection.


They are getting bigger and harder to find. Shouldn’t be long before they are making their chrysalis.




That is one fat, cute green worm, I’ve ever seen.

I have checked my pawpaws, nothing touches their leaves. I don’t even know these butterflies will come this far east. One can only hope.


Today on my hike…