Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Question mark butterflies (Polygonia interrogationis) get their name from their wings. The forewings of question mark butterflies are hooked
Adult males will sit during the afternoon hours on tree trunks or leaves waiting for females. They will, however, leave their perches to chase other insects and even birds.
Females will lay eggs alone, or stacked, on the leaves of plants. These are not always the caterpillar's host plants. When the caterpillars appear, they must find a host plant to feed on.
Caterpillar host plants include American and red elms; hackberry; hops; and nettles. Upon maturity, adult question mark butterflies will feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, carrion, and animal waste. Only if these are unavailable do they feed on milkweed and asters.
Some adults will stay in the northern United States to hibernate, while others will migrate south.
* The best way to differentiate Question Mark butterflies from Comma butterflies is to count the black lateral dots on the dorsal side of the wing. The Question Mark will have 4 dots, whereas the Comma will only have 3 dots.
Avg. Wingspan: 5.2 - 6.4 cm / 2 - 2.5 "
Diet: adults prefer rotting fruit, sap, dung and carrion. Only when these are not available do Question Marks go to flowers for nectar.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera