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Swallowtailed Moths

8th July 2010

Presumably the nice weather has encouraged Swallowtailed Moths to emerge. Cathy found this one, and another two came to the outside light once it got dark.


  1. just taken a photo of one of these on my living room window, are they british? are they rare?

  2. Hi. Yep Swallow-tailed Moths are British. They are not rare, but they tend to only emerge at dusk so they aren't often seen. Late June and early July is the best time to see them, presumably that is when most emerge having pupated over winter. They do make good photographic subjects so I hope you got some good shots.
    All the best,

  3. hi we have found a catapilla of one and are wondering how we can look after it untill it can fly away as a moth does anyone have any ideas please ? Debbie

  4. If I remember rightly Swallow-tailed moth caterpillars overwinter as caterpillars rather than pupating, so if it is still eating it may be OK to leave it outside.

    If you want to look after it over the winter you will need to make sure you get and regularly top up some of the foodplant (Ivy, privet or other shrubs. When a species has more than one foodplant it is best to put in a couple and see which it prefers). When I was younger I kept various species in a small glass tank with muslin over the top. If it does pupate then keep it somewhere cool, so it doesn't emerge too early (i.e. before the spring) and die.

    Good luck!

  5. Hi my daughter come in with what looked like a twig on her botyoms but wen it fell off it it started to wiggle its a long brown looks like a worm but i have puttit in a tub but we think it is a moth

  6. Hi. It could well be a moth caterpillar, there are quite a few that look like twigs, it's very effective camouflage. Without knowing what it is you won't be able to get the right foodplant, so it's probably best to take some photos and release it into a garden.