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Subspecies Limenitis arthemis astyanax - Red-spotted Purple

Caterpillar - Limenitis arthemis Red Spotted Purple - Limenitis arthemis Butterfly - Limenitis arthemis Blue and Orange Butterfly - Limenitis arthemis Red Spotted Purple - Limenitis arthemis Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly - Limenitis arthemis Admiral Butterfly - Red-spotted Purple - Limenitis arthemis Red-Spotted Purple - Limenitis arthemis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily Limenitidinae (Admirals, Sisters)
Tribe Limenitidini (Admirals, Sisters and Sailors)
Genus Limenitis (Admirals & Viceroy)
Species arthemis (White Admiral/Western White Admiral/Red-spotted Purple - Hodges#4522)
Subspecies astyanax (Red-spotted Purple)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Papilio Eques Trojanus Astyanax Fabricius, 1775. Type locality: America
Papilio Equites Troës Ephestion Stoll, 1790. Type locality: Gold Coast of Africa (in error)
Papilio Nymphalis Ursula Fabricius, 1793. Type locality: America
Callianira ephestiaena (Stoll) Hübner, 1816
Najas turbida ephestion (Stoll) Hübner, 1819
Nymphalis ephestion (Stoll) Godman, 1819
Nymphalis ursula (Fabricius) Godman, 1819
Limenitis ephestion Harris, 1833
Limenitis ursula Westwood & Hewitson, 1850
Limenitis astyanax (Fabricius) Butler, 1869
Basilarchia astyanax (Fabricius) Scudder, 1871
Limenitis arthemis astyanax (Fabricius) ? date and author
Basilarchia arthemis astyanax (Fabricius) ? date and author
Explanation of Names
Greek Αστυαναξ- In Homer's Iliad, this is the title given to Hector's infant son by the people of Troy. It means "master of the city"

As to the common name, many people wonder why it is a "Purple" instead of a "Blue", since the color seen on the wings usually looks decidedly more blue (even greenish) than purple. Something to debate about when time needs killed.
Hard to confuse with any other species. Black-brown with metallic bluish coloring on both sides (may appear purplish or greenish); with orange spots on lower hind wing, and with pale bluish to white markings near outer margins of wings.

Red-Spotted Purple mimics the Pipevine Swallowtail, but its hind wings lack the tails and Pipevine lacks spots at wing base. Other Pipevine Swallowtails may look somewhat similar, but only superficially, and all are easy to tell apart. Other mimics (or possible mimics) in the same region include Pipevine, Black, & female Tiger Swallowtails, and Mourning Cloak, . Compare Pipevine Swallowtail (below):

A variety of deciduous trees: willows and poplars (Willow family), cherries, apples and pears (Rose family), birches (Birch family), oaks and beeches (Beech family), Basswood (Linden family) and others. Also recorded from currant and blueberry bushes
Life Cycle
Click on an image to view the life cycle:

See Also
Pipevine Swallowtail - Battus philenor