Black Swallowtails In the Garden: Green Caterpillars with Black Stripes and Yellow Dots eating Parsley

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What a gardening adventure I’ve had this week! If you’ve been following me on Instagram you may have seen some of my recent garden finds. First, I discovered that my watermelon plant is producing a HUGE watermelon that I just found! And then a little bit later I discovered these:

Green Caterpillar with Black Stripes and Yellow Dots

Green caterpillars with black stripes and yellow dots all over my parsley plant. What in the world are they? So I did some googling and discovered that they are called Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillars. They turn into those huge black butterflies with the blue dots. Just beautiful!

Green Caterpillar with Black Stripes and Yellow Dots eating Parsley

But of course, there wasn’t just one or two of these caterpillars on our parsley plant but lots and lots! Everywhere we looked we saw more caterpillars! Now, I’m not particularly fond of this parsley plant so I’m completely fine with them staying where they are and eating it all just so long as they don’t get curious about my other plants.

Green Caterpillar with Black Stripes and Yellow Dots

My boys have loved watching the caterpillars and check on them often. I, of course, couldn’t help but bring out my camera to snap a couple of photos of them to remember them by before they move on to make their cocoons to turn into butterflies.

Oh Hai

Check out that curious fellow above….it looks as if he is saying “Oh Hai!” as I took his picture.

Easter Black Swallowtail Cocoon

Speaking of the kidlets keeping watch over the caterpillars, today my youngest son pointed out a cocoon! Sure enough after watching them for about a week, they have eaten all of the parsley off of our giant parsley plant and have begun to spin their cocoons. I’m happy at least one has decided to make his cocoon on the actual parsley plant so we can hopefully catch the butterfly emerging from his cocoon.

The Domestic Diva

Heather is a homeschooling mom of two boys currently living in central Georgia. She has been sharing her domestic story online as a blogger for 13 years. Through her blog and social media platforms, Heather provides a glimpse into domestic life as she shares with other stay-at-home moms how she tackles modern homemaking with the challenges of raising a family.


  1. Nari
    July 27, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    Cool! I had the same on a parsley plant. Thanks for the ID!

  2. Jane Nelson
    August 1, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    I just had the same experience tonight and had to google to figure out what they are. Thanks for the post!

  3. Jeanette
    August 3, 2017 / 7:50 am

    Thanks for the info. I found our caterpillars enjoying my dillweed plants. Parsley is growing right below but they’re leaving it alone for now.

  4. Heidi
    August 10, 2017 / 7:54 am

    Thank you for posting pics & info! Found the same on my flat Italian parsley plant in the garden.

  5. Sue
    September 2, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    How in the world do these guys FIND our herbs, especially when they are in pots? It is like “spontaneous generation”!

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