Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)

Common and statewide in NC. Probably three broods in NC, adults can be seen on the wing during all months from April to November. Named for a red mark on the upper surface of the wings, not for the orange spots below, this common butterfly is often seen along roadsides and trails.

Amazingly, this is a subspecies of another butterfly called the White Admiral (L. a. arthemis), which, at first glance, doesn't look much like our Red-spotted Purple (see below)!
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Blackwood Division, Duke Forest
Orange Co., NC
20 July 2005
same individual

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)

Red-spotted Purple males often like to perch on flattened on leaves from which they can launch out and chase other bugs flying by.

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Carteret Co., NC
26 Aug 2012
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Orange Co., NC
20 Apr 2006
26 Aug 2012

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Duke Gardens
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Durham Co., NC
16 Aug 2003
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Orange Co., NC
18 Aug 2013

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) Red-spotted Purples are usually seen on dirt roads and at mud but occasionally are found nectaring, like this one on Buddleia.
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Chatham Co., NC
24 Sep 2005
same individual

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Currituck Co., NC
20 Aug 2014

Red-spotted Purple egg (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Catawba Co., NC
4 Aug 2012


Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) caterpillar Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) caterpillar
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) caterpillar Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) caterpillar
Macon Co., NC
12 May 2006


Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)
Carteret Co., NC
26 Aug 2012

Hood ornament wannabe



White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis) White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis) This is the White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis), the same species as above but a different subspecies. It's found in the northern states and Canada and readily hybridizes with Red-spotted Purples where their ranges overlap.
White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)
Ontario, Canada
7 Aug 2005
same individual

White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis) White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)
White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)
Washington Co., ME
5 July 2011
same individual


North Carolina Butterflies | North American Butterflies | Jeff's Nature Page


Created on ... November 30, 2003 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com