black swallowtail


Definition of black swallowtail

: a usually dark-colored New World swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) having yellow spots on the wing margins and a black spot centered within a larger orange spot on the hind wing inner edge

Examples of black swallowtail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Queen, Gulf fritillary, black swallowtail, giant swallowtail, sulfur, red admiral, American beauty and other species of butterflies are flying right now in area landscapes. Calvin Finch,, "Fall blooms to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your San Antonio garden," 13 Sep. 2019 The plant is the food source for the particular species of caterpillar, such as milkweed for monarchs and parsley plants for black swallowtail caterpillars. Kimberly Fornek,, "Western Springs business owner raises monarch butterflies and promotes conservation," 22 June 2018 Closer investigation showed them to be black swallowtail butterfly larvae, also known as parsley worms, which feed on the foliage of umbels — plants in the carrot/parsley/dill/fennel family with short flower stalks that spread from a common point. Sally Mccabe,, "June 15-21: In the garden, it's time to…," 15 June 2018 Plant dill, fennel and parsley and expect black swallowtails to find the plants for egg laying, even if the plants are growing in containers. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Attracting and producing butterflies in your landscape," 6 Apr. 2018 The parsley worm will munch away at your parsley, dill and fennel, but then turn into the beautiful black swallowtail. Adrian Higgins, idahostatesman, "Updated insects book gives gardeners all they need to know," 7 Feb. 2018 Vividly striped caterpillars feeding on parsley, carrots, Queen Anne’s lace or dill transform to black swallowtail butterflies after metamorphosis. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Garden plants vital to the life of butterflies | Idaho Statesman," 18 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black swallowtail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of black swallowtail

1840, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for black swallowtail

The first known use of black swallowtail was in 1840

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Comments on black swallowtail

What made you want to look up black swallowtail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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