Insect that looks like a dead leaf
November 18, 2010 4:33 pm
Can you tell me what this bug is? I live in Birmingham Alabama. I took the picture a few days ago on November 12th. The bug looks exactly like a dead leaf. He is dark brown in color and has the shape of the blackjack leaves in our yard. He is even cut and jagged like a leaf. When his wings are opened he is the exact shape and size of a full leaf (size of an adult palm). I about swept him off the porch but noticed he had legs. His wings even looked delicate, almost like they would crumble like a dead leaf, if touched. Attached are the pictures I took. All I had was my camera on my phone and it was early morning around 6:00 am.
Signature: Mrs. Stock
Dear Mrs. Stock,
This is one of the Anglewing Butterflies in the genus Polygonia. There are several species that are named after punctuation marks because of the silvery markings on the undersides of the lower pair of wings. Your specimen may be a Questionmark, Polygonia interrogationis, and you may find other images in our archives as well as searching BugGuide for its comprehensive database. Anglewings are relatively long lived butterflies, and adults frequently hibernate over the winter even in climates with snow and freezing temperatures by seeking shelter in places like hollow trees. The more brightly colored dorsal surface of the wings causes the Anglewing butterfly to be visible while it is in flight, but when in alights among the leaves on the forest floor it appears to disappear, thwarting any potential predators with its resemblance to a fallen leaf.