Right after making a chrysalis, the Polydamas Swallowtail’s chrysalis is a yellowish color. The yellow rubbed of causing a stain on the Kleenex. After drying though, the chrysalis darkens to be a green color.
When the butterfly inside the chrysalis has completely developed, the chrysalis will change to a black color. This means the butterfly inside will soon come out to reveal its beautiful wings. When ready to come out it uses its front legs to push through the chrysalis.
To fit in the chrysalis the butterflies wings must be all folded up. When it comes out, it finds a place to hang and starts pumping the fluid from its abdomen into its wings. It only takes a few minutes for its wings to be fully lengthened, but it takes hours for its wings to be dry enough to fly.
Polydamas Swallowtails (also known as Gold Rim Swallowtails) advertise their bad taste by their bright colors. On their body they have orange spots and orange triangles along their abdomen. On their wings they have strange red squiggles.
Most Swallowtail butterflies have “tails” on their wings, but Polydamas Swallowtails don’t have any on their wings. Can you find the tail on this Black Swallowtail in the picture above?
Its wings are ready for flight so I placed it on its host plant Pipevine. Because I have been releasing many Polydamas Swallowtails I’ve been seeing them flying all around our yard. They love Milkweeds and Pentas. They jump all over them sucking up nectar with their long proboscis.