Question Mark

(Polygonia interrogationis)



This distinctive looking butterfly has a forewing hooked and its upperside is red-orange with black spots. The upperside hindwing in its summer form is mostly black with a short tail while its winter form has a much more orange and a longer, violet-tipped tail. The typical wingspan is 2 1/4 to 3 inches (5.7 - 7.6 cm). .

The caterpillar is very a striking black with orange fuzzy spikes across its entire length.



The Questionmark Butterfly prefers wooded areas with some open space, city parks, suburbs and fencerows.



Caterpillars feeds on hackberry, nettles and false nettles.  The butterfly prefer Rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion. Only when these are unavailable do Question Marks visit flowers such as common milkweed.


Life Cycle

Males find females by perching on leaves or tree trunks in the afternoon. Females lay single or stacked eggs under leaves plant that are not hosts. Adults hibernate. 



A rare migrant to Bermuda to attract the Question Mark plant Milkweed and let nettles grow in un-managed areas.