Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio polyxenes

We promote legislation to make the Black Swallowtail butterfly Michigan’s State Butterfly. Using a specific pollinator as a teaching example is an effective way to educate both our citizens and our youth about the importance of pollinators.Butterflies are both beautiful and important to our ecosystem. The Black Swallowtail is especially important to Michigan. It is found throughout the entire state and it is a permanent resident of Michigan. It does not leave in the winter as many butterflies do. The Black Swallowtail overwinters in Michigan as a pupa, making it a great butterfly for school groups to study. Each Black Swallowtail lives 2+ weeks, with 2-3 generations per year.

Butterflies contribute to thriving ecosystems and are great pollinators. Not only are they objects of beauty in our world but they are a source of food for birds, reptiles, mammals and other insects. Butterflies are harbingers of the fragility of life on our planet. They are particularly sensitive to changes in our environment from the use of harmful pesticides and the loss natural habitat areas.

The Mission of Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. is to promote environmental responsibility. We celebrate the presence and value of butterflies; particularly, our full-time resident butterfly, the Black Swallowtail.

Educational Resources:
Lesson Plan
Black Swallowtail Brochure
Black Swallowtail Power Point Presentation
NGC Booklet on Butterflies
Butterfly Wand Front
Black Swallowtail Wand Back

Swallowtail Bookmark
Black Swallowtail Butterfly Coloring Sheet
Photos of the Black Swallowtail

Girl Scout Opportunity:
Michigan Garden Club members partnered with local girl scouts recently on a project that others may want to do. In a quest to earn their Inside Government Badge local girl scouts joined Michigan Garden Club members at the local indoor Farmers Market to educate the public about the importance of pollinators in our environment and to support Senate SB 167 and House HB 4314 making the Black Swallowtail the official State of Michigan Butterfly. Did you know that 47 of the 50 states have a state butterfly, state insect or both Unfortunately, Michigan is not one of them. We think Michigan should join those states that celebrate the presence and value of butterflies by passing SB 167 and HB 4314 making the Black Swallowtail the official state of Michigan butterfly.
Steps of Girl Scout and MGC Partnership

For more educational information, Contact:
Nancy Smith

Legislative Action:
Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. supports SB 167 and HB 4314 which designates the Black Swallowtail as the official State of Michigan Butterfly. These identical bills were introduced both in the
Senate and the House. MGC supports pollinators and butterflies of all types, but the Black Swallowtail is the best choice to be the State symbol. Did you know that 47 of 50 States have an official state butterfly, state insect or both The Surprising Stories behind Michigan’s State Symbols.  MGC believes that Michigan should join those other states and celebrate the presence and value of butterflies by passing both bills  The link below allows members to register their support  SB 167.

Vote Here for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Legislation Plan:
Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc is supporting SB 167 and HB 4314 which designates the Black Swallowtail as the official State of Michigan Butterfly encourages all members and their associates to write, call or email their senators and representatives to support these bills. Additional information and updates are available in the links below.
MGC Black Swallowtail

Sample Letter for your State Senator 2019
Look up your Senator Here
Representative Sample Letter
Look up your Representative Here

Black Swallowtail Summary 2019

Letters of Support:

Stella Thelen, The Saginaw Branch of Woman’s National Farm & Garden Association
Representative Jim Ellison’s (10/14/19)
Representative Darrin Camilleri (8-28-19)
Representative Thomas Albert
Representative Jim Lilly (6/4/19)
Representative Yousef Rabhi Democratic Floor Leader (5/16/19)
Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (2/26/18)
Green Thumb Master Gardeners
Senator Mike Green (11/14/17)
Representative Eric Leutheuser((9/6/17
Robert E. Grese Director Matthaei Botanical Gardens (12/21/15)
Brenda Dziedzic Co-founder and past President of Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association (11/12/15)

David R. Drain, Legislation Chair
Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc