Sunday, July 17, 2011

Question Mark

On the underside of the wing in the lower photograph,  do you see the small, white question mark that gives this butterfly its name?  Appropriately, this critter's scientific name is Polygonia interrogationis. Question Mark caterpillars eat, among other vegetation, American Elms, Hackberries, and nettles. Adults consume rotting fruit, tree sap, carrion, animal waste, milkweed, and asters (Ohio History Central).  My Question Mark fed among the fine sand settled in cracks on the street.

In the summer, male Question Marks often lay in wait for females on tree trunks.  Some avoid the winter by migrating, others by hibernating. The are found across most of the eastern United States, spilling over into southern Canada and northern Mexico.

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