Tag Archives: Black Swallowtail Butterfly Osmeterium

Save the Date ~ Screening of My Film “Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly”

On August 16th at the Berkshire Museum they’ll be showing a double header of sorts. Earlier in the afternoon at 2:00pm is a presentation of my program on how to attract butterflies and pollinators to your garden, titled “The Pollinator Garden,” followed by a showing of my film Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly, followed by a Q & A. The event is part of the “Butterflies” exhibit currently on display at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. I hope you can come join me!

Black Swallowtail osmeterium ©Kim Smith 2011 copy

In the above photo, the orange horn-like structure at the top of the caterpillar’s head is called an osmeterium. When the caterpillar is distressed, it everts the osmeterium. The osmeterium is thought to be a mimic of a snake’s tongue and is a defense against would-be predators such as birds. Additionally, a horrible smelly odor is released from the osmeterium, which can be smelled from a distance of up to ten feet away, and is yet another defense mechanism!

See previous GMG posts about the “Butterflies” exhibit here.

 Butterflies at the Berkshire

Museum Map to Berkshire Museum Provided by GMG FOB Catherine Ryan

Exciting New Film Assignment for the Berkshire Museum Black Swallowtail Butterfly Male ©Kim Smith 2013

Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Coming Soon: Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly tells the story of the ubiquitous and stunning Black Swallowtail butterfly.

My new documentary film captures the beauty and mystery of the Black Swallowtail, through all its life stages, and in it’s surrounding habitats. I think you will be amazed and captivated by this garden-variety and seemingly ordinary, extraordinary butterfly!

From Egg to Caterpillar to Chrysalis to Adult

Black Swallowtail Eggs 

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar Everting Osmeterium

Black Swallowtail Emerging from Chrysalis

Female Black Swallowtail

Filmed on Cape Ann. Click photos to see full-size images.

One of several preferred Black Swallowtail habitats—Gloucester’s sandy wildflower meadow at Good Harbor Beach. The milkweed provides nectar for swallowtails on the wing and Queen Anne’s lace is a food plant of the Black Swallowtail caterpillars.