6 Fascinating Swallowtail Butterfly Facts

There’s much more to swallowtails than their colorful elongated wings. Check out these interesting swallowtail butterfly facts.

You might already love watching swallowtails in the garden, but there’s much more to learn about these stunning pollinators. Enjoy these fascinating swallowtail butterfly facts.

Black swallowtail, swallowtail butterfly factsCourtesy William Fischer
Black swallowtail butterfly

1. Female Swallowtail Butterflies Produce Many Eggs

A female black swallowtail can lay up to 400 eggs in her short life. Check out 6 common swallowtail butterflies you should know.

eastern tiger swallowtailCourtesy Diana Glawson
Eastern tiger swallowtail on lilac bush

2. The Most Popular Swallowtail is Common in Backyards

The eastern tiger is one of the most common and well-known swallowtails in the U.S. Here’s a fun fact—this yellow butterfly has even made an appearance on two official postage stamps.

Grow the the top 10 plants for swallowtail butterflies.

giant swallowtail butterflyCourtesy Amos Tindell
Female giant swallowtail laying eggs on a citrus tree

3. One Swallowtail is the Largest Butterfly in North America

Here’s one of the biggest and best swallowtail butterfly facts! With a wingspan of up to 6 1/4 inches, the giant swallowtail is the largest North American butterfly.

Check out these unique gifts for butterfly lovers.

Zebra swallowtailCourtesy Mark Tegges
Zebra swallowtails have extra long tails on their wings

4. Zebra Swallowtails Have a Unique Look

You know that birds and squirrels have long tails, but some butterflies do too! Zebra swallowtails have longer tails on their hindwings than any other species—up to 1 inch long.

Check out the top butterfly host plants that attract pollinators.

Zinnia and butterflyCourtesy Dan Davidson
A pipevine swallowtail on a zinnia flower

5. Dozens of Swallowtail Species Live in North America

More than 550 species of swallowtails are found around the world. At least 30 of them can be spotted in North America. Use this butterfly ID cheat sheet to help identify the butterflies in your backyard.

Learn how to attract pipevine swallowtail butterflies to your garden.

6. Visit Florida to See Rare Swallowtails

While most swallowtails are more common, the Florida Keys are the only place to see 350 federally endangered Schaus swallowtails. Travel to south Texas to see hundreds of rare butterflies.

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Sheryl DeVore
Sheryl DeVore is a science, nature, health and social Issues writer, editor, educator and wild birds expert.