The Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) is a beautiful orange and black butterfly with sharply angled wing margins, and short tails-like projections. Underneath is a mottled brown color. It is similar to the Eastern Comma butterfly and the Hoary Comma.
Its size is in the 2.2" - 3.0" range.
Distribution and Habitat
The Question mark ranges across the eastern two thirds of the United States, from North Dakota down to Texas, and east to the Atlantic coast.
This butterfly is often found in moist woodlands, swamps, parks and residential landscapes. Winter adults can hibernate in warmer climates, and emerge on warm, sunny days.
Shown in the image below are the markings on the underside of the Question Mark butterfly that give it the name. A silver curved line and adjacent dot form what appears as a question mark.
They resemble dry, dead leaves with their wings closed.
Host plants used by the Question Mark are hops, elm, hackberry,and nettle.
Adult food sources include sap, mud, fruit, dung, and carrion.
|Egg stage||4 to 14 days|
|Caterpillar (larval) stage||3 to 4 weeks|
|Chrysalis (pupal) stage||7 to 18 days|
|Adult butterfly stage||6 to 20 days|
Question Mark butterfly - wings open
Question Mark Butterfly (ventral view)
The perfect camouflage of the Question Mark butterfly
Question Marks are friendly to humans!