Pipevine Swallowtail eggs

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While wandering in the backyard last week with my camera, I was excited to see this Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor) laying eggs on the Pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla).

Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor) - a native Kentucky butterfly

I went back later to find she had laid eggs in at least two places. As I was photographing these eggs, I saw a tiny insect crawling toward them.


In the past, butterfly eggs I’ve seen have mysteriously disappeared overnight. Eggs and caterpillars are tasty food for birds and other insects. I’ve read that no more than one out of a hundred eggs survives to become an adult.

I’d like to increase the chances for this batch of eggs, so I brought them inside. When the caterpillars emerge I’ll put some of them back on the Pipevine and raise the rest to adults.

I’m delighted my 2011 backyard butterfly adventures have begun and I’ll keep you posted on developments.

5 thoughts on “Pipevine Swallowtail eggs”

  1. wow betty. most amazing photos. you get better and better. mom and scotty love them also. guess you won’t need any caterpillars for your program. 🙂 i’m still looking though. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Connie. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. And please do keep looking for caterpillars!

  2. WOW! That is soooo cool! I recently planted a wooly pipevine and am coaxing it along – have yet to see a pipevine swallowtail or eggs – I’m dreaming though. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Gosh, “only 1 out of 100 survive.” I know birds and bugs have got to eat but wouldn’t
    it be wonderful if many more butterflies made it to the winged stage and further filled the air with their colorful show?

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