Is this a question mark butterfly
May 8, 2012 4:04 pm
We found this in Nashville, TN. We think it might be a question mark butterfly? Can you confirm?
Though it closely resembles a Questionmark, we believe this is a different punctuation mark butterfly, more specifically an Eastern Comma, Polygonia comma, which you can find on BugGuide. Here is a description of the difference between the two species, also from BugGuide: “Similar to the Question Mark, but smaller, and usually less common. Occurs in similar habitats. ‘Comma’ mark on lower hind wing is large, often a little curved, and hooked at least on one end (usually both); only very rarely is it divided (if so, usually on ‘plain’ females). On some other species the mark is ‘L’-shaped and not hooked, and on Question Mark it is usually devided into a large and small portion to make the ‘question mark’ it is named for. On upper forewing of Question Mark, there is a row of four dark ‘postmedian’ spots, but only three in the Comma and other Polygonia species. Ragged edge of hindwing is distinctive compared to Question Mark, where hindwing is fairly straight. Both species have winter and summer forms, with the lighter form overwintering and seen flying mostly in autumn and spring and the darker form mostly seen in summer (some individuals fly at the wrong time or are intermediate in coloring though).”
Thanks very much! You are really helping with my “bug journal” project! I have a few more that we don’t know for sure but my mom and I are gonna try to keep looking first.
You are most welcome Jovie. We are happy we were able to assist.