Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Generally fairly common and widespread in NC, this species is usually found on dirt roads/trails in or near forested areas. This is one of a handful of species of butterflies in NC that overwinters as adults.
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Duke Forest Blackwood Division, Orange Co., NC
9 March 2010

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Summer form has very dark upper hindwings
Clay Co., NC
22 May 2005
Note the sideways "question mark" on the hindwing
Ft. Fisher, New Hanover Co., NC
22 May 2008

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Note the white markings in the middle of the underhindwing for which the insect is named!

Summer Form
Orange Co., NC
19 Mqy 2004
Same individual -- Enjoying Will Cook's arm!

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
York Co., VA
21 Aug 2013
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
York Co., VA
21 Aug 2013

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Duke Forest Blackwood Division, Orange Co., NC
22 May 2008

Despite lacking the "dot" and hence looking vaguely like a comma, note the orientation of the comma-shaped mark in the middle of the underhindwing. Connecting the ends of this "comma" with an imaginary straight line extending beyond the wing edges yields a line roughly parallel with the outer edge of the wing, indicating this is a Question Mark. Such an imaginary line never approaches the butterfly's head. On the other hand, connecting the ends of the mark on a true comma species (e.g. Eastern Comma) yields a line roughly perpendicular to the outer edge and which would connect the wing outer edge to the butterfly's head. In other words, the axis of the comma portion of the punctuation mark on a Question Mark is vertical, whereas the axis of the analagous mark on an Eastern Comma (and all other comma species) is horizontal.


Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark Party
Tyrell Co., NC
21 Jun 2003
Blackwood Division, Duke Forest
Orange Co., NC
20 May 2003

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Eno Division, Duke Forest
Orange Co., NC
17 Apr 2004
This odd-looking Q. Mark was found in
Buncombe Co., NC
26 Jun 04

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Durham Co., NC
2 May 2006
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Durham Co., NC
2 May 2006

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Muscatatuck NWR, Jackson Co., IN
27 July 2015

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Duke Forest Blackwood Division, Orange Co., NC
1 June 2009

Question Marks, like all anglewings, are fond of feeding on oozing sap from injured trees.


Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Chatham Co., NC
22 Sep 2013

Note that this individual was perching but not nectaring on these flowers.


Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Chatham Co., NC
22 Sep 2013
With flash
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
Chatham Co., NC
22 Sep 2013
Without flash

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) egg Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) egg
Question Mark eggs laid on Winged Elm (Ulmus alata)
Orange Co., NC
20 May 2008
Question Mark eggs laid on Winged Elm (Ulmus alata)
Orange Co., NC
20 May 2008


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Created on ... June 29, 2003 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com