We Love Our Pollinator Pals!

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Papilio polyxenes This distinctive butterfly is commonly seen across Toronto. Although this species has lost a lot of its territory in the city due to development, it is still fairly common, living on the plentiful Queen Anne’s Lace, their main host plant. The caterpillars are nicknamed “parsley caterpillars” as they are often found living and munching on plants like parsley, dill, and members of the carrot family. Adult butterflies have black wings with blue, yellow, orange and red markings, and a wingspan of 6.7-10 cm. The yellow markings are generally larger in males and the blue are more prominent on females. Nectar sources include Purple Loosestrife, thistles, milkweed, and red clover. Fun Fact! Male butterflies, including swallowtails, often hang out in groups in muddy puddles, where they get salt and other nutrients. This activity is called “puddling”.

Black Swallowtail Butterflies live on parsley, carrots, dill, and Queen Anne’s Lace!

butterfly lifecycle


Butterflies develop through a process called metamorphosis, which means to change or transform.  Let’s stretch our bodies and learn about the life stages of the butterfly: egg, larva, pupa, and adult!


Read or explain about each life stage of a butterfly.  Follow along with our suggested stretches (or make up your own!) to get your body ready for outdoor adventures!

1. Egg: Adult female butterflies lay their eggs on plants, which will become food for the hatching caterpillars. Crouch down and roll yourself into a tiny ball, just like a round butterfly egg!

2. Larva: The larva (also known as the caterpillar if the insect is a butterfly or moth) hatches out of the egg and eats and eats and eats! Caterpillars can grow 100 times their size during this stage!
Wake up your face muscles by making chomping motions with your mouth! 

3. Pupa: Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it becomes a pupa (the pupa of a butterfly is also called a chrysalis).  Inside the pupa, the caterpillar is transforming into its adult form.  Stretch your arms high above your head, making your body into a long, narrow pupa! 

4. Adult: Once fully formed, the adult butterfly emerges from the pupa.  Pretend your arms are wings!  Flap them and fly around, looking for a safe place to lay eggs, so the cycle can begin again!








Go to PAGE 4 to read about Squash bees and how you can help these cute pals stay hydrated!

© 2018 Shoresh.