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Species Polygonia interrogationis - Question Mark - Hodges#4420

Eastern Comma - - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Ventral - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis Eastern Comma? - Polygonia interrogationis Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis Polygonia interrogationis Caterpillar - lots of colors and spikes - Polygonia interrogationis Polygonia interrogationis
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 Nymphalinae (Crescents, Checkerspots, Anglewings, etc.)
Tribe Nymphalini
Genus Polygonia (Commas, Question Mark)
Species interrogationis (Question Mark - Hodges#4420)
Hodges Number
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.
One of about nine Nearctic species in the genus.
58-76mm (1)
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.
e US to AZ / Cuba - Map (MPG)(1)
Wooded areas: rivers, swamps, parks. (1)
mostly: Mar-Oct (MPG)
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)
There are 2 generations per year(3)
See Also
Comma (left); Question Mark (right):
Print References
Opler, pp. 261-262 & plates 4, 22 (1)
Internet References
[]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
3.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.