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Species Polygonia interrogationis - Question Mark - Hodges#4420

Question Mark dark form open - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark butterfly - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis Newly Emerged - Polygonia interrogationis Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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 Nymphalinae (Crescents, Checkerspots, Anglewings, etc.)
Tribe Nymphalini
Genus Polygonia (Commas, Question Mark)
Species interrogationis (Question Mark - Hodges#4420)
Hodges Number
4420
Explanation of Names
Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius, 1798)
Common name refers to diagnostic mark on underside of hindwing.
interrogationis likely refers to interrogation or questioning, for the same character.
Numbers
One of about nine Nearctic species in the genus.
Size
58-76mm (1)
Identification
Caterpillar: variable coloration. Body and spines yellow to black. Eight silver spots on back. (1)
Adult: underside of hindwing has unique silver "question mark" shape. Upper forewing has extra black dash not in the similar Eastern Comma. (2) Upper hindwing of summer form is mostly black with short tails; winter form is orange/black with longer violet tipped tails. (1) Wing are very angular in outline.
Range
e US to AZ / Cuba - Map (MPG)(1)
Habitat
Wooded areas: rivers, swamps, parks. (1)
Season
mostly: Mar-Oct (MPG)
Food
Adults take fluids from soil, rotting fruit, feces, carrion. Seldom, if ever, take nectar. Caterpillars feed on nettle, false nettle, elms, hackberry, Japanese hops (1).
Life Cycle
Winter form adults overwinter. (1)
See Also
Comma (left); Question Mark (right):
Print References
Opler, pp. 261-262 & plates 4, 22 (1)
Internet References
[http://butterfliesofamerica.com/t/Polygonia_interrogationis_a.htm]Butterflies of America[/url] - BOA
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
Paul A. Opler, Vichai Malikul, Roger Tory Peterson. 1992. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Eastern Comma