Question and Answer

My monarchs are eating dill or parsley! What's going on?

What you are looking at is not a monarch, since monarchs only eat milkweed (genus Asclepias). We get this observation and question quite often, because the caterpillars of the black swallowtail butterfly resemble a monarch caterpillar. Black swallowtail larvae feed on a variety of different host plants, but cultivated garden plants like dill, parsley, celery, and fennel are a few on the list. If you come across a caterpillar that you don't know, try identifying the host plant that it is on. This may help you in determining what Lepidoptera (butterfly or moth) species you are dealing with!

Back to Frequently Asked Questions