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Thread: Giant Swallowtail Butterfly & Caterpillar Help Needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Whitehall, Ohio

    Default Giant Swallowtail Butterfly & Caterpillar Help Needed

    I live in Columbus, Ohio and currently grow Milkweed in order to attract Monarch Butterflies. I'm having relatively good success with collecting and hatching the eggs, and eventually releasing the adult Monarchs.

    This year I had a new Butterfly lay eggs on one of my plants... The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly. However, I'm not familiar with this species of Butterfly and I'm not sure what to do. The Female laid 12 eggs on my Peonies. I have tried to research what the Caterpillars eat, but I do not see Peonies in any of the information I've read. Does anyone know if the Caterpillars can eat & survive on Peony leaves?? The eggs were laid on July 30th and are starting to hatch TODAY!! So, I need some advise ASAP!! I have read that the Giant Swallowtail seem to prefer Citrus Plants. So, I called a local Greenhouse this morning & they do have a dwarf Citrus plant that they will sell me for half price. However, it's only about a foot tall and they will not be enough food once the Caterpillars get larger.

    From what I've read, this species is fairly new to this area of the U.S., but are becoming more common due to warmer weather. So, if anyone has any advice to offer, it would be greatly appreciated!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    New York


    Lucky you! Have been trying to attract them here in NY, to no avail.. I have Rue and Hop Tree growing (also Prickly Ash good food plant!) If you're desperate, see if any nurseries have Meyer Lemon plants for sale. As a citrus, should work with Giants! Good luck!

    Mark in NY

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