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Question Mark ~ Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius, 1798)
Canon EOS 30D

Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Subfamily: True Brushfoots (Nymphalinae)

Identification: Forewing hooked; upperside is red-orange with black spots. Upperside hindwing of summer form is mostly black with a short tail; that of winter form has much orange and a longer, violet-tipped tail. Underside is light brown; hindwing with pearly white question mark in center.

Life history: Males find females by perching on leaves or tree trunks in the afternoon, flying to chase other insects and even birds. Females lay eggs singly or stacked under leaves of plants that are usually not the hosts. Caterpillars must find a host plant; they then eat leaves and live alone. Adults of the winter form hibernate; some staying in the north, many migrating to the south.

Flight: Overwintered adults fly and lay eggs in the spring until the end of May. The summer form emerges and flies from May-September, laying eggs that develop into the winter form; these adults appear in late August and spend the winter in various shelters.

Wing span: 2 1/4 – 3 inches (5.7 – 7.6 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: American elm (Ulmus americanus), red elm (Ulmus rubra), hackberry (Celtis), Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus), nettles (Urtica), and false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica).

Adult food: Rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion. Only when these are unavailable do Question Marks visit flowers such as common milkweed, aster, and sweet pepperbush.

Habitat: Wooded areas with some open space, city parks, suburbs, fencerows.

Range: Southern Canada and all of the eastern United States except peninsular Florida, west to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, south to southern Arizona and Mexico.

Tags

brush, question, butterflies, lisa, true, visionary, footed, nymphalidae, putman, nymphalinae, brushfoots, polygonia, interrogationis, fabricius, mark, macro

Comments

  • KSkinner
    KSkinnerover 5 years ago

    WOW – the color is unreal in this image… do you set a custom WB when shooting or shoot RAW and adjust in post?

  • I usually use the “nuetral” setting and adjust in post. I shot this in RAW and JPG, but I actually edited this one from JPG because I need to reinstall my RAW editing software. I actually had to desaturate a lttle, and do a color balance because the orange tones were a little too bright, and too magenta to match real life. The preview of my RAW file had a more accurate color balance. I want to rework this from RAW when I get my software reloaded.

    – Lisa G. Putman

  • Auntymazza
    Auntymazzaover 5 years ago

    Stunning Lisa

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 5 years ago

    GORGEOUS!!!

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 5 years ago

    excellent beauty

  • Bobby McLeod
    Bobby McLeodover 5 years ago

    magical lisa!

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsover 5 years ago

    Stunning Image Lisa!!..wonderful colour!!

  • velveteagle
    velveteagleover 5 years ago

    Worth the wait on dial up .. Such a beautiful capture Lisa…
    Chuck…

  • Brenda Sikes
    Brenda Sikesover 5 years ago

    Wow! Amazing color and clarity! Awesome work, Lisa!

  • Kelly Robinson
    Kelly Robinsonover 5 years ago

    Congratulations on being featured in the Canon DSLR group from your hosts at Canon DSLR

  • Kathryn Potempski
    Kathryn Potempskiover 5 years ago

    such an amazing collection Lisa with so much detail a real joy to view ,thank you.

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